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for lupus patients what does a physical therapist do

Physical therapy (PT) is an important and effective way to deal with one of the primary symptoms of lupus: joint pain and arthritis. If you suffer from systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), you may work with a physical therapist to help restore your physical function, improve your mobility, relieve your pain and prevent or limit any permanent physical disability.

The overall goal of your physical therapy will be to restore, maintain and promote your musculoskeletal fitness and health.

Physical therapy should reduce your pain and inflammation, help you feel less stiff and keep you mobile.

After examining your medical history, the physical therapist will test your:

strength
range of motion
balance and coordination
posture
muscle performance
respiration
motor function

Based on these tests, the therapist will develop a customized treatment plan to help you overcome physical obstacles from the disease.

Physical therapy treatment for lupus often includes exercise to increase flexibility and range of motion. As you continue with your therapy, more advanced exercises will also focus on improving:

strength
balance
coordination
endurance
Some of your physical therapy may take place in a pool. The water is a great place to exercise inflamed joints because it’s buoyant and soothing.

Your physical therapist can also help you learn how to best use a cane or a walker if they are needed.