Rheumatoid arthritis and occupational therapy plus PS's

We recently had three women come in to teach us about rheumatoid arthritis. They were actually part of a program called “Patients as teachers”, as all three had rheumatoid arthritis themselves. Two of them barely had hands left it was so severe.

The first thing they had us do is wrap a rubber band around our knuckles/thumb for resistance so that it required a lot of strength to move just a little bit, and range of motion was extremely limited. They also had us put three hard chickpeas in our shoes and stand on them. It was painful. I can't imagine being in severe chronic pain.

They taught us that we should start with inspection, then palpation, range of motion, and then function. I won't go into a ton of details, but basically an OT can help a patient with R.A. by recommending assistive devices, helping modify the home & environment, and teaching joint conservation/energy conservation techniques, pain reduction, etc. Lots of other things too I am sure.

We then divided into groups and each got to do hands-on work with the patients. They spoke like doctors and knew all the correct terms regarding movements/muscles/inflammation etc.

They pay around $18,000 a year for meds. Wow. Ouch.

PS1: I'm busily working like a bee on homework so I tried to utilize my very damaged brevity gene.
PS2: Tai Chi assessments start tomorrow so I'll be extra busy for a while.
PS3: Thanks for all the kind comments – on days I am discouraged and think I will be the worst OT in the world, I always seem to get a great comment that re-inspires me. 🙂

Feb 18, 2008 | Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 1