Been told you have arthritis or degenerative changes, or that your hips or knees are “bone on bone” ?
Are you lacking confidence in your knee or hip to be able to walk longer distances, go up or down stairs or put your shoes or socks on?
Been told to ‘just stop’ doing what you love and that you’re just putting off the inevitable of a hip or knee replacement?
You’re in the right place, and you’re not alone. Osteoarthritis is one of the most common causes of hip and knee pain we see in the clinic and we’ve helped hundreds of people with hip or knee pain get improvements in their function, reduction in their pain, rely less on joint related pain killers and delay or even completely avoid joint replacement surgery. Let us help you do the same.
Some background on Osteoarthritis:
One in 11 Australians experience arthritis, meaning it affects more than 2.2 million Australians. It can be caused or influenced by risk factors including previous joint damage, being overweight, heavy work, weak muscles and irreversible factors such as age, sex and heredity.
Typically osteoarthritis develops slowly over many years and affects articular structures like the joint capsule, menisci and ligaments. The final stage of OA is consistent with articular cartilage loss and changes in the underlying bone. Knee and hip joints are most often affected and represent the largest population affected by OA.
What symptoms might you have?
Difficulty and/or pain with the following things:
- Putting on shoes and socks
- Going up or down stairs
- Standing up from a chair
- Standing and walking for long periods of time
- Leisure activities and sports
What you might not know is that FIRST line treatment of hip and knee osteoarthritis recommend patient education, exercise and weight loss before injection therapy or surgery. Why? Because it’s effective, research based and completely safe.
How can Physiotherapy help?
- Improved joint confidence
- Reduced pain
- Improved quality of life
- Less sick days
- Less likely to feel the need for surgery
How can Physiotherapy help me achieve these things?
According to the official guidelines, the best management for hip and knee OA that you can receive is in accordance with the GLA:D program. GLA:D stands for Good Life with Arthritis in Denmark (that is currently being rolled out in Australia) and represents a nationwide evidence-based initiative that follows the best and most current recommendations for the treatment of hip and knee osteoarthritis. This program helps with reducing pain and improving your quality of life through a tailored exercise program appropriate for YOUR joints and the severity of the symptoms you have.
What does it entail?
It’s a 6-12 week education and exercise program which has demonstrated fantastic results and had over 30,000 enrolled participants in Denmark. Due to it’s amazing success and great results, it’s now gone worldwide.
At this stage, you might be thinking…”But I can’t exercise, I can barely move!” We hear this a lot. No matter how sore, weak or poor your current function is, exercise is suitable for you. In fact, the research shows that rest and avoidance of activity and exercise for those with osteoarthritis will make your pain worse! We’re experts at utilising personalised exercise to help you feel and move better. Even for those with severe pain, there’s somewhere we can start.
Still not sure the GLA:D program is right for you? Here’s some things you need to know:
- The research shows exercise is safe and helps. Exercise has even been shown to thicken joint cartilage!
- Findings on your scans are poorly correlated to pain and disability. We’ve seen marathon runners with severe osteoarthritis, who run long distances without any trouble! Just cause your scan says your knee is ‘buggered’, doesn’t mean it is.
- Your degree of arthritis on imaging DOES NOT predict your pain and disability levels
Lastly, the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners clinical practice guidelines states:
“We strongly recommend offering land based exercise for all people with knee and hip OA to improve function and pain regardless of their age, structural disease severity, functional status or pain levels”
- 2 x 1 hour education sessions.
- 6-12 weeks of 2 x 1 hour supervised exercise sessions at a minimum
Want to know more? Check below for our upcoming completely FREE, no-obligation GLA:D first education sessions. This session will look to give you all the information you need about osteoarthritis, dispel many of the myths about OA management, and provide you with some clarity about the best way forward to keep you living the life you want. There will also be time for a Q&A so you can voice any questions or concerns you may have.
But I’ve been told I need surgery?
That’s fine, you may well need surgery down the track. Although many people delay and even avoid a joint replacement, we know some with moderate to serve osteoarthritis will need surgery at some point. We’re really passionate about ensuring you’ve exhausted your options and get the best result from your treatment no matter which option you choose.
It’s important to note that when considering surgery, arthroscope of the knee is no better than ‘sham’ surgery. Both feel 30% better! That means people who simply had only an incision but were told they had an arthroscope got exactly the same outcome as those who actually had the proper surgery. In fact, medicare is no longer funding arthroscope surgery because of this.
With joint replacement surgery, although 80% get a good outcome, 20% of people do not get any pain relief.
Lastly, if you do go ahead with surgery after completing a 6-12 week Physiotherapy block, the research shows you’ll get a better outcome post-operatively than those who didn’t complete physiotherapy. That means a quicker recovery, and less pain after your surgery!
To read more about the GLA:D program, the research behind it and any other information you might be seeking, hit the following link:
If you or a family member are struggling to find relief from hip or knee osteoarthritis and want to get back to your physical best and doing all that you love, call the clinic on 8490 0777 to secure your free education spot or else book online for your initial consultation today to get started. Alternatively, fill out the enquiry form below and we’ll get one of our experienced Physiotherapists to give you a call.