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Relief From Arthritis: A Who’s Who In Arthritis Treatment For Newly Diagnosed Patients
Newly diagnosed arthritis patients can easily become overwhelmed with the myriad of information, treatment options, help and professionals available to them, while still trying to find relief from their disease. In an effort to demystify who does what, this article will point out each of the people you’ll most likely be interacting with during your arthritis treatment and explain their role in helping you find relief from arthritis.
Considered foreign to most Americans, acupuncture has become a beacon in the arthritis treatment sphere. By placing small, sterile needles into very specific points on the body, acupuncture is said to relieve stress, increase endorphins and remove blockages that are pain-causing, thus providing relief from arthritis. For a list of fully trained osteopaths who are also acupuncturists, visit the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture for more information.
Arthritis Treatment Specialist: Chiropractor
Chiropractors are the hands-on, trained manipulators that actually realign the joints, muscles and tendons that may be out of whack. Although they are not medical doctors, chiropractors may refer their findings to your family doctor or rheumatologist for further investigation. The American Chiropractic Association can give you a better idea as to what exact these professionals can do to help you find relief from arthritis.
Arthritis Treatment Specialist: Massage Therapist (LMT, CMT)
Relief from arthritis isn’t only found in the bottom of a medicine bottle or at the hands of a surgeon; many arthritis treatment plans strongly suggest a massage therapist as an aide to reduce muscle tension or to increase one’s range of motion. However, not all massage therapists are trained the same: check with the American Massage Therapy Association for certified arthritis treatment specialists in your area.
Arthritis Treatment Specialist: Orthopaedic Surgeon (MD)
Specializing in the evaluation and treatment of the bones, joints and tissues, orthopedic surgeons usually work on a referral-based system from your family doctor. These types of doctors will determine whether or not your arthritis treatment will focus on surgery, non-surgical options or a combination thereof. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons can answer most of your general questions about surgical arthritis treatment options that can bring relief from arthritis symptoms.
Arthritis Treatment Specialist: Physical Therapist
Sometimes known as occupational therapists as well, physical therapists help with the daily management of the disease by showing patients practical, hands on tactics to find relief from arthritis. This can include heat/cold therapy, assistive techniques (different ways of doing the same thing so that there is less pain but with no reduction of mobility), introducing tools that can help with day-to-day living and exercises that increase flexibility and mobility. Contact the American Physical Therapy Association for more information.
Arthritis Treatment Specialist: Rheumatologist (MD)
A rheumatologist is a doctor who specializes in the treatment of muscle and skeletal problems, such as lupus, osteoporosis and gout. Rheumatologists work closely with your family doctor to ensure your arthritis treatment is specific and specialized. The American College of Rheumatology provides “professional education” to its members and publishes several journals related to arthritis treatment and the relief from arthritis symptoms.
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