What is polychondritis?
Polychondritis (also known as relapsing polychondritis) is an autoimmune inflammatory disease which causes inflammation of structures containing cartilage including the ear, lungs, heart and blood vessels. The exact reason behind polychondritis is unknown although it more commonly affects adults over the age of fifty.
Treatment of polychondritis includes drugs to reduce the inflammation and surgery in more severe cases where polychondritis has affected the structure of certain areas. Following treatment of polychondritis, you will require a period of rest to prevent any long term complications. Physiotherapy is an effective way to maximise your recovery and Physio.co.uk have specialist physiotherapists who are experienced in designing individualised rehabilitation programmes for individuals with polychondritis.
What are the symptoms of polychondritis?
As polychondritis can occur in a variety of different areas of the body, there are a range of symptoms that can be experienced. It is important to begin a physiotherapy programme as soon as you begin your treatment to maximise the outcome. Physio.co.uk will work with you from the start of your treatment of polychondritis until you have returned to full fitness and your normal activities of daily living. Symptoms of polychondritis may include:
- Ear ache
- Weight loss
- Breathing difficulties
- Difficulties swallowing
- Heart problems
How is polychondritis diagnosed?
The diagnosis of polychondritis will depend on whereabouts in the body the condition has affected. Possible tests include:
- Blood tests
- MRI scans
- Pulmonary function tests
- Examination of symptoms
- CT scans
How will physiotherapy help with polychondritis?
Physiotherapy is essential in the recovery process of polychondritis. It is important to have a rehabilitation programme prepared for you to begin as soon as possible after you have had your treatment. The specialist physiotherapists at Physio.co.uk will ensure that your treatment programme is individually tailored to your needs and will work with you to create specific goals to direct your rehabilitation. Physiotherapy can help in the following ways:
- Increase strength
- Improve cardiovascular fitness
- Reduce pain
- Improve range of movement
- Optimise your recovery
- Helps pace your activities
- Reduce inflammation
- Help you return to work/ normal activities
What physiotherapy will be used for polychondritis?
The physiotherapy chosen by your physiotherapist will depend on you symptoms and goals of the treatment. A combination of techniques is often used to maximise rehabilitation and these may vary according to your current symptoms. Physiotherapy for polychondritis may include:
- Pain control modalities
- Cryotherapy (ice)
- Electrotherapy including ultrasound and megapulse
- Strengthening exercises
- Range of movement exercises
- Balance retraining
- Cardiovascular activities
- Provision of specialist equipment and adaptations to help you around the home
- Pacing advice
Polychondritis is condition that causes inflammation of various cartilaginous structures including those of the ears, heart, eyes and lungs. Because of this, treatment is often quite complex and you may need a long period of rest when you come home from hospital. Physiotherapy is therefore very important to optimise your rehabilitation and will help you return to your normal active lifestyle as fast and safely as possible. Physio.co.uk have dedicated physiotherapists that are experienced in treating conditions such as polychondritis and will be able to provide you with an individualised programme to meet your needs. Please call Physio.co.uk on 0330 088 7800 to book an appointment today. Alternatively, you can also book an appointment online today!