Living with Lupus
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus or SLE (also known as Lupus), is an auto-immune disorder that affects the skin, joints, kidneys, brain, and other organs. The disease attacks healthy tissues, leading to chronic inflammation. This can have a drastic effect on a person’s quality of life. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) provides a wide range, estimating that 1.8 to 7.6 individuals per 100,000 individuals in the United States suffer from this disease every year.
Treatment depends on the extent of the disorder and the patient’s individual needs. Physical therapy plays a valuable role as part of a holistic treatment plan for patients with lupus.
Chronic inflammation results in severe pain, redness and swelling around the joints. While drug intervention is an important part of treatment, physical therapy helps manage the consequences of joint pain and other symptoms of the disease.
Your Biggest Ally
Your physical therapist is a trained and licensed healthcare professional. The therapist will determine the extent of functional limitations and answer critical questions such as:
- What was your prior level of function?
- What are you unable to do now?
- What is your treatment goal?
This information becomes the foundation of a treatment program, which consists of:
- Functional strengthening exercises – These movements are designed to improve muscle strength and increase muscle tone related to everyday activities. Patients tend to get fatigued easily, so sessions are short and include long rest intervals.
- Aerobic exercise – These exercises tend to be longer in duration and lower in intensity compared to strengthening exercises. They help reduce joint inflammation and improve range of movement.
- Ambulation – The patient is taught techniques to sit, stand, walk and roll in an efficient, pain-free manner. This is especially important if lupus has severely affected the hips and knees.
- AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill – The AlterG Anti-gravity treadmill uses differential air pressure to lift you up while you are walking on a treadmill. This allows the user the ability to improve mobility & strength without pain and reducing the stress to joints, tendons, & muscles.
- ML830 Low Level Laser – The ML830 laser works by sending light (photons) into your tissues and stimulates healing and reduces pain instantly.
- Assistive devices – Devices like walking sticks, walkers or more intricate, customized devices can facilitate ambulation, depending on the needs of the patient.
- Whole Body CryoTherapy (WBC) – WBC has been proven to reduce inflammation throughout the body, reduce stress, and enhance the immune system by increasing production of lymphocytes. Chronic inflammation is one of the body’s worst enemies and is associated many autoimmune disorders including rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthrits, fibromyalgia, psoriasis, dermatitis, lupus, and multiple sclerosis. A session in Whole Body Cryotherapy last 2-3 minutes.
Dignity, Freedom and Therapy
It is commonly thought that physical therapy can only help people who have sustained an acute injury. Physical Therapists are trained experts in the functioning of nerves, bones, muscles, and joints, your physical therapist is equipped to help patients with a myriad of ailments, including those as complex as lupus.
Valeo physical therapists guide our patients every step of the way, providing safe and effective relief from joint & muscle pain. The therapist works with the patient to design a program that will maximize independence.
Treatment is gentle, safe and effective and allows patients to live life with dignity and freedom. We won’t allow lupus (or any condition) to force you to ‘live with pain’ – not on our watch. This is our commitment to you. To learn more about how we can help you live a pain free life, call us today. We’ll show you how physical therapy can change your life.
Call us today to schedule a consultation and learn how we can help you or a someone you care about live a better life with lupus.
Valeo Physical Therapy
1235 Clear Lake City Blvd, Suite F
Houston, TX 77062