Physical Therapy Helps Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients Live an Active Life

Pain, fatigue, swelling and loss of function are common symptoms associated with the inflammatory disease, rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The disease impacts nearly 1.3 million Americans according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Disorders.  To discuss the role of physical therapy in treating RA, recipient of the American College of Rheumatology 2011 Distinguished Scholar Award,  Maura Daly Iversen, PT, DPT, SD Professor and chair of the department of physical therapy in the Bouvé College of Health Sciences at Northeastern University joins PT Talker in this week’s podcast.  

Recent medical advancements have modified the progression of rheumatoid arthritis. These advancements may account for the decrease of physical therapists receiving referrals for RA patients. Yet, despite the decline, Dr. Iversen sees plenty of opportunity for physical therapists interested in working with RA patients.  She states a growing number of studies demonstrate the importance of RA patients staying physically active and believes physical therapists are uniquely qualified to teach RA patients how to maintain physical activity and prevent deleterious effects of the disease.  To learn more about making a difference in the lives of individuals with RA, listen to the full podcast now.

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