Healthcare personnel to help rehabilitate patients with rheumatic diseases
What rehab techniques do each use?
Physical therapists: administer and instruct patients in the use of various therapeutic and pain-relieving techniques including heat, cold, traction, diathermy, electrical stimulation, therapeutic exercise, stretching, transfer skills, ambulation methods, and joint ROM/function/strength.
Occupational therapists: responsible for optimizing function by instruction in joint protection and energy conservation. In addition, they provide or fabricate adaptive equipment and splinting, especially for upper extremity (UE) functional activities.
Podiatrists: evaluate and treat foot and ankle disorders, provide orthotics for foot problems.
Social workers and rehabilitation counselors: assist in the management of social, economic, and psychological problems that create stress for the patient and family. This can include assistance in recreational activities as well as interpersonal and sexual relationships.
Psychotherapists: assist the patient with the psychological problems that arise from dealing with pain and loss of function.
Vocational counselors: can mobilize community resources to retrain and restore the patient to the workplace.
Arthritis rehabilitation nurses and patient educators: assist in instruction about the rheumatic disease and its therapy. Provide information, monitor compliance, and give emotional support to the patient and family.