Do you or your family member currently have a diagnosis of Osteoarthritis? Did you have a joint replacement surgery scheduled that was cancelled due to Covid-19? Or, are you aware that you will require a joint replacement in the near future but are fearful of going into a hospital setting?
If you’ve answered yes to any of these, we can help!
Malvern East Physiotherapy is now offering a specific Osteoarthritis Prehabilitation program to improve function and reduce pain prior to surgery.
Prehabilitation is the process of undertaking exercise prior to surgery to improve a patients functional capacity, e.g reduce pain and improve muscle strength and control. There is growing evidence to show that a block of specific exercise (4-8 weeks) before surgery can actually improve the rate of recovery post surgery, and have a positive impact on post-operative pain and length of stay in hospital.
We often hear of people ceasing exercise because they feel it increases their joint pain, or they perceive that it will make things worse. This is a bit of a myth. The best evidence and literature surrounding OA management points towards exercise and weight management being the number one intervention. These are even more effective than medications! In fact, in some cases, prehabilitation has been so effective it actually prevents the need for surgery.
An extremely important factor in any rehabilitation program is the choice or appropriateness of exercise, dosage, and intensity of exercise. This is usually where people go wrong. It is important that an exercise plan for OA includes predominately resistance based exercises, functional task training, and an aerobic component of exercise. This might look very different for each person depending on the severity of their condition, functional limitations and levels of pain. This is why Physiotherapy guided programs are recommended.
Education is an equally important component to managing your OA. Having a better understanding of the condition, it’s risk factors, and pain presentation, will ultimately allow you to feel more confident and empowered in your prehabilitation. Like they say, knowledge is power!
Your Physiotherapist will discuss lifestyle and behavioural factors that may be influencing your condition. They can offer strategies and suggestions for lifestyle change, or refer to a more appropriate practitioner if required.
What does our program look like?
Firstly, your Physiotherapist will complete a thorough assessment collecting objective data used to establish a baseline of your current strength and functional capacity. This will make it easy to reassess, track your progress, and show improvements of your prehabilitation.
Once you have completed your assessment, you will be eligible to complete our program either in our clinical gym, or in the comfort of your own home via Teleconsultations using Zoom or Physitrack consults online. Your program will be individualised to include all necessary exercise components and will be supervised to ensure exercise safety. This is important as exercises performed poorly can lead to increased pain and symptoms.