Autoimmune Disorders

An autoimmune disorder develops when your white blood cells—those that fight infection and disease—start attacking normal, healthy tissue. 

Physical therapy can help some autoimmune disorders, according to the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association:

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA): This occurs when the immune system attacks the joints, causing swelling, stiffness, and pain. RA is normally seen in middle-aged or elderly people, but it can also affect the younger set. Exercise helps by strengthening and improving function, according to research journal Physical Therapy. 

Multiple sclerosis (MS): With MS, the immune system attacks certain parts of the central nervous system. This can lead to muscle weakness, balance problems, and issues with coordination. 

Lupus: One of the more commonly known autoimmune diseases, lupus is characterized by inflammation of various parts of the body. It can be mild, causing only minor inconveniences, or life-threatening. A guided exercise routine can help in improving physical and mental health, according to the Lupus Foundation of America.

Unlike a broken bone or muscle injury, physical therapy patients who have autoimmune disorders may require ongoing therapy. 

Common Symptoms

  • Fatigue
  • Achy Muscles
  • Swelling and Redness
  • Low-Grade Fever

  • Trouble Concentrating
  • Numbness and Tingling in the Hands and Feet
  • Hair Loss
  • Skin Rashes

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