Hemophilia is a bleeding disorder caused by a deficiency in clotting factors — proteins in the blood that promote clotting. Bleeding can occur spontaneously in people with hemophilia. The majority of bleeds begin in the muscles and joints leading to symptoms such as swelling, pain, muscle weakness, and decreased range of motion.
Physiotherapy is an essential part of hemophilia management as it helps repair injured muscles, build strength, decrease pain and swelling, and increase the patient’s movement and range of motion.
Types of training
Physiotherapy has several advantages for hemophilia patients when performed correctly and under the guidance of a trained physiotherapist.
- Strength training exercises can help build muscle strength to protect and support the joints. Strong muscles can lower the risk of bleeding episodes.
- Exercises to address specific areas of weakness can improve the patient’s fitness and prevent further bleeds.
- Balance training can help build core muscle strength and improve posture. A good posture minimizes balance issues, resulting in better mobility and fewer accidents.
- Bleeding can cause joint stiffness, which makes movement painful. Exercise can help reduce stiffness, increase joint movement, and build muscle strength. Improving joint motion and muscle strength minimizes the likelihood of bleeds.
Physiotherapy can also aid in rehabilitation. Sometimes internal bleeding can cause severe damage to the joints and muscles, and surgery may be required to fix the damage. After surgery, physiotherapy is vital to support recovery and improve muscle health. Healthy muscles prevent further bleeding and damage.
Role of a physiotherapist
Patients should undergo regular check-ups with a physiotherapist with specialized training in hemophilia, who can develop a workout plan with activities to help gain muscle strength and ease pain.
At the first visit, the physiotherapist will review the patient’s medical history and determine the degree of damage to develop an individualized therapy plan. The therapist can also educate the patient about proper movements, sports, and activities that won’t exert excess weight on joints.
The physiotherapist may recommend exercising in water (aquatic therapy), which can prevent injury and improve adherence to exercise regimens.
Finally, physiotherapists can show patients the proper use of assistive devices such as splints, crutches, or braces.
Hemophilia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.