Living with Lupus

Living with Lupus

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus or SLE (also known as Lupus), is an auto-immune disorder that affects the skin, joints, kidneys, brain, and other organs. The disease attacks healthy tissues, leading to chronic inflammation.

Treatment depends on the extent of the disorder and the patient’s individual needs. Physical therapy plays a valuable role as part of a holistic treatment plan for patients with lupus.

Chronic inflammation results in severe pain, redness and swelling around the joints. While drug intervention is an important part of treatment, physical therapy helps manage the consequences of joint pain and other symptoms of the disease.

Physical therapists are trained and licensed healthcare professionals. They will determine the extent of functional limitations and answer critical questions such as:

  • What was your prior level of function?
  • What are you unable to do now?
  • What is your treatment goal?
This information becomes the foundation of a treatment program, which consists of:
  1. Strengthening exercises – Simple exercises to improve muscle strength and increase muscle tone.
  2. Aerobic exercise – These exercises help reduce joint inflammation and improve range of movement.
  3. Ambulation – The patient is taught techniques to sit, stand, walk and roll in an efficient, pain-free manner. This is especially important if lupus has severely affected the hips and knees.
  4. Ultrasound therapy – Ultrasound waves can facilitate healing in muscles and joints. Ultrasound is generally avoided during the stage of acute inflammation. In such situations, the physical therapist may decide that ice packs are a better option instead.
  5. Assistive devices – Devices like walking sticks, walkers or more intricate, customized devices can facilitate ambulation, depending on the needs of the patient.

Dignity, Freedom, and Therapy

If you think physical therapy can only help people with pain and injury, think again.

As an expert with several years of training in the functioning of nerves, bones, muscles and joints, our therapists are equipped to help patients deal with a myriad of ailments, including those as complex as lupus.To learn more about how we can help you live a pain free life, call us today. We’ll show you how physical therapy can change your life.