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AthletiCo Offers Occupational Therapy Tips for Managing Arthritis

April is National Occupational Therapy Month

(Vocus) April 7, 2010 -- During the month of April, AthletiCo Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy celebrates National Occupational Therapy Month. Whether it’s the hand, wrist, elbow, or shoulder, our occupational/hand therapists are the premier specialists in treating upper extremity diagnoses.

Occupational/hand therapists treat various upper extremity diagnoses, and one common medical condition they treat is arthritis. Known as inflammation of the joint, arthritis may affect multiple joints and often causes pain and stiffness that can affect activities of daily living. AthletiCo’s occupational therapists have been trained on joint protection and work modification techniques to assist in the treatment of arthritis. For those diagnosed with arthritis, protecting joints is important.

Here are some simple tips to protect joints:

  • Keep Moving: Strengthening muscles around the joint helps to protect them. Having an exercise program can also help to reduce pain, improve range of motion, and reduce fatigue.
  • Use Larger Joints: Use larger joints to carry/lift heavy items to avoid excessive stress on smaller joints. For example, place your purse on your shoulder rather than holding it with your hand, or use your palm rather than your fingers to lift items.
  • Listen to your Body: Pain after activity could indicate you have overstressed your body.    Plan ahead by making a list and leave yourself plenty of time to complete the tasks. Listen to your body, and find a balance between rest and activity.
  • Avoid Static Postures: Staying in one place for long periods of time may cause stress on your body and increase stiffness. If you spend long periods of time sitting at the computer, get up and stretch, or change postures every hour.
  • Use Good Posture: Using poor posture especially in seated postures may increase stress on your joints. Try to maintain an upright posture.
  • Use Assistive Devices: Many devices have been designed to make tasks easier (jar openers, key extenders, button aids). Use these items as necessary.

AthletiCo’s occupational/hand therapists belong to the American Society of Hand Therapists, have on average over 12 years experience, and hold the highest level of training in the profession for treating the hand, wrist, elbow, and shoulder. If you would like more information about how you can manage your arthritis or other home/workplace modifications, schedule a complimentary injury screening at the nearest AthletiCo center or call 1-877-ATHLETICO.

Since 1991, AthletiCo has been the proud provider of rehabilitation, fitness, and performance services to many professional teams, performing arts companies, endurance programs, golf associations, volleyball clubs, high schools, colleges, and events in Chicagoland and Central Illinois. AthletiCo’s first Wisconsin location opened in Milwaukee in December 2009.

AthletiCo provides orthopedic rehabilitation including physical and occupational therapy, work rehabilitation, performing arts rehabilitation, women’s health therapy, spine control, pediatric physical therapy, vestibular rehabilitation, and athletic training/sports medicine. Expanded services include performance enhancement, fitness center memberships, golf fitness, endurance, nutrition, and massage therapy.

AthletiCo accepts all indemnity, PPO, POS, and WC plans including BC/BS, Humana, Medicare, Aetna (PPO/HMO), PHCS, UHC (PPO.HMO) and many others. As a courtesy to our patients, we verify insurance coverage.

AthletiCo Toll-Free Injury Hotline 877-ATHLETICO (1-877-284-5384)                               

Maxine Olhava, Public Relations Manager


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