Have you been told you might need a hip or knee replacement? Are you feeling a tad hesitant about such a diagnosis or are you at the point that anything would be better than the pain you are in?
The commonality of hip and knee replacement in recent times have made them accepted within the community as the only mechanism to solve the patient’s pain and debilitating effects of osteoarthritis. Here at Southern Riverina Physiotherapy, we strongly recommend a trial of conservative therapy, where recent literature has demonstrated that a structured rehabilitation program can decrease Osteo-arthritic pain considerably – meaning you might be able to avoid or delay surgery, decrease pain and increase mobility.
In practice the benefits of initially trialling conservative therapy over surgical intervention are numerous. The upside if you find that the conservative therapy didn’t work for you, then you have performed ‘prehabilitation’ which is likely to decrease your recovery time after surgical intervention.
Additionally, if your one of the participants that has found conservative therapy has provided you with the decrease in pain and increase in function. You may no longer require immediate surgery which in my opinion should always be the last resort for elective knee and hip replacements.
It should be noted that we as Physiotherapist cannot change the osteoarthritis itself. What we can change is the pain and function of the patient. We do this by:
- Actively listen to the patient.
- Identify the patient’s goal for getting Physiotherapy.
- Identify potential barriers.
- Perform a biomechanical exam.
- Diagnosis and differentials.
- A tailored exercise program within clinic and at home, with graduated progressions to minimise plateauing your progress.
- Education of your condition and specific cues to be aware of.
The Four Pillars
- Sleep: Is imperative for rehabilitation. If your waking up due to pain in your affected joint I would encourage you to contact your Physio or GP.
- Diet: I encourage everyone on this path to follow the ‘goldilocks’ method of not too much or not too little and to find a happy medium. If you struggle with your dietary intake, we can recommend a Dietician for follow-up.
- At Southern Riverina Physiotherapy we follow the American College of Sports Medicine who recommend 30minutes of cardiovascular exercise for those aged between 18-65yr five times a week or twenty minutes of high intensity exercise three times a week.
- Two days a week of strength training
- More information can be found at: https://www.acsm.org/persona-pages/health-fitness-professional/acsm-certified-blog/2020/09/03/acsm-exercise-guidelines-resources
- Mindset: Challenge vs Threat mindset
- Challenge: An opportunity to gain or change something.
- Threat: When you don’t have the internal resources to cope.
If you have been told you have osteoarthritis and are likely to need a hip or knee replacement, I would encourage you to contact Southern Riverina Physiotherapy so we can perform a comprehensive assessment and tailor a management plan specific to you.
Remember to stay active and if you have any questions please feel free to reach out to us here at Southern Riverina Physiotherapy.