There are several people who live with ongoing health conditions and disorders. Autoimmune diseases are a collective group of disorders that plague nearly 50 million people in the United States today. When a person suffers from an autoimmune disease it means their own immune system is attacking the body and altering or destroying the tissues. Autoimmune diseases include things like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Crohn’s disease, pernicious anemia, multiple sclerosis, irritable bowel disease and ankylosing spondylitis. These conditions often lead to issues like fatigue, swollen joints, inflammation, and muscle weakness.
Clients with these conditions often report a more comfortable lifestyle after going through Physical Therapy. Physical therapy can help with the many effects of autoimmune diseases.Specialized exercises prescribed by a Physical Therapist can serve the patient well to counteract deconditioning, fatigue, pain, and dysfunction that can accompany these chronic diseases. Aquatic therapy and supervised therapeutic exercise programs can help improve quality of life for people with autoimmune disorders.
An individually-tailored physical therapy program consisting of gentle flexibility, strengthening, and endurance training can benefit many people with autoimmune diseases.
Appropriate exercises can:
- Reduce joint stiffness and improve range of motion
- Strengthen muscles to stabilize joints
- Improve cardiac endurance
- Retrain neurological coordination to reduce fall risk
- Reduce stress and weight gain
- Improve sleep patterns
- Decrease feelings of depression often associated with disability