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Rehabilitation

Stiff hips

11/28/2006

Question:

I have rheumatoid arthritis and since taking Enbrel have no pain in most of my joins. But I still have pain in my elbows and stiffness in my hips. I have tried stretches, rest, heat, ice but I can`t get rid of the stiffness in my hips. Could a physical therepist help me with this or is it something I have to live with as part of my RA? If I did see one what might he do?

Answer:

Our Netwellness experts have several opinions on this. First, one expert pointed out that nutrition can sometimes exact an effect on RA incidence and severity. Thus, he suggested that you monitor your nutrition. Another noted that a physical therapist would probably provide you with exercises primarily consisting of strengthening, either on land or perhaps in the pool. These can sometimes help as well. Thus, it might be beneficial to see a physical therapist.

However, both noted that the severity of your RA, and, perhaps, the presence of the symptoms you mention, may be due to individual factors that we cannot "see" when exchanging information online. Factors such as weight, age, frequency of exercise in which you engage, are but some, as is medical history. Because of these factors, we encourage you to contact a rehabilitation physician (called a "physiatrist") to work with your rheumatologist.

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Response by:

Stephen J Page, PhD Stephen J Page, PhD
Director of Research, Associate Professor
Drake Center
University of Cincinnati