Merck Manual

Please confirm that you are not located inside the Russian Federation

honeypot link

Arthritis

People with arthritis can benefit from activities and exercises to increase joint range of motion and strength and from strategies to protect the joints, as in the following examples:

  • To slide a pot of boiling water containing pasta rather than carry it from the stove to the sink (to avoid undue pain and strain to joints)

  • To get in and out of the bathtub safely

  • To get a raised toilet seat, a bathtub bench, or both (to reduce pain and stress on the lower-extremity joints)

  • To wrap foam, cloth, or tape around the handles of objects (for example, knives, cooking pots and pans) to cushion the grip

  • To use tools with larger, ergonomically designed handles

Foot drop

Foot drop is an inability to flex the ankle to lift the front part of the foot because of weakness or paralysis of the muscles involved. A person's toe drags when taking a step. To avoid catching the toe, people with a dropped foot may lift their leg higher than normal during a step. Foot drop can be caused by an injured nerve or damage to the nerves (polyneuropathy), which is common in people with diabetes. It can also be caused by a disorder or injury that affects the brain or spinal cord, such as multiple sclerosis, tumor, or stroke. Treating foot drop includes treating the underlying cause. Wearing braces called ankle-foot orthosis (AFO) helps people with foot drop walk. Physical therapy Physical Therapy (PT) Physical therapy, a component of rehabilitation, involves exercising and manipulating the body with an emphasis on the back, upper arms, and legs. It can improve joint and muscle function, helping... read more and occupational therapy Occupational Therapy (OT) Occupational therapy, a component of rehabilitation, is intended to enhance a person's ability to do basic self-care activities, useful work, and leisure activities. These activities include... read more to strengthen and stretch the involved muscles and to learn how to properly wear and use the AFOs may help. People whose foot drop is caused by multiple sclerosis may benefit from nerve stimulation therapy to stimulate the nerve that lifts the foot. Vocational counseling may help people maintain vocational skills even though the disorder is progressing.

Rehabilitation for nerve damage after a critical illness

Critical illness polyneuropathy is a nerve disorder that causes generalized weakness Weakness Weakness refers to loss of muscle strength. That is, people cannot move a muscle normally despite trying as hard as they can. However, the term is often misused. Many people with normal muscle... read more . It is most common in people who had been in an ICU (intensive care unit) on mechanical ventilation Mechanical Ventilation Mechanical ventilation is use of a machine to aid the movement of air into and out of the lungs. Some people with respiratory failure need a mechanical ventilator (a machine that helps air get... read more . It causes weakness of the diaphragm, limbs, and facial and back muscles. People take from 3 weeks to 6 months to recover. Physical therapy Physical Therapy (PT) Physical therapy, a component of rehabilitation, involves exercising and manipulating the body with an emphasis on the back, upper arms, and legs. It can improve joint and muscle function, helping... read more and occupational therapy Occupational Therapy (OT) Occupational therapy, a component of rehabilitation, is intended to enhance a person's ability to do basic self-care activities, useful work, and leisure activities. These activities include... read more can help people regain strength. Initially, therapy helps people prevent pressure sores Prevention Pressure sores are areas of skin damage resulting from a lack of blood flow due to prolonged pressure. Pressure sores often result from pressure combined with pulling on the skin, friction,... read more Prevention , contractures (when the muscles of the arms and legs tighten in permanent, flexed positions), and nerve damage caused by pressure on a nerve. As rehabilitation progresses, physical and occupation therapy helps people return to their normal activities and includes strength training, mobility or gait training to help people walk properly, and lessons in using appropriate orthotics and assistive devices Assistive devices Occupational therapy, a component of rehabilitation, is intended to enhance a person's ability to do basic self-care activities, useful work, and leisure activities. These activities include... read more , such as a cane.

NOTE: This is the Consumer Version. DOCTORS: Click here for the Professional Version
Click here for the Professional Version
Others also read

Test your knowledge

Do-Not-Resuscitate (DNR) Orders
A do-not-resuscitate (DNR) order is a document placed in a person’s medical record by a doctor. It informs the medical staff at a hospital that cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) should not be attempted if a person’s heart and/or breathing stops. CPR is often followed by more drastic measures such as use of electric shocks to the heart or insertion of a breathing tube; a DNR order stops these measures as well. When administered near the end of life, what is the success rate of CPR?
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID

Also of Interest

Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
TOP