Home Mobilization Options for Patients
This is the second part of Dr. Tony Rocklin’s focus on mobilization with movement that patients can do independently at home, excerpted from his presentation at OPTA 2016. You can watch the first part of this discussion here, see other excerpts here, or listen to the full one hour presentation here. One of the challenges in treating patients with hip osteoarthritis is that most insurance companies limit the number of visits for physical therapy they will cover, despite the fact that it is less expensive than reliance on prescription painkillers and NSAIDs over the course of the disease. And because it is incurable and degenerative, patients will need continuing treatment. As a result, best practices for physical therapists working with these patients include a combination of education, manual therapy and therapeutic exercise in clinic as well as home mobilization and exercise, that they can continue to do after discharge from clinical treatment.
Dr. Rocklin also discusses talking with patients to prepare and motivate them for the course of treatment and understand the work on both sides – patient and therapist – that will be involved, as well as the benefits they can expect to see. Given the nature of hip OA, and the fact that most patients diagnosed with it wait three to six years (on average) before their hip replacement surgery, patients who go for physical therapy will be returning periodically over the course of that time for modifications to their program. Setting those appropriate expectations for this pathology and building a relationship in initial visits is a key element that physical therapists need to incorporate in their approach.
Dr. Rocklin is an outspoken advocate of treating the signs and symptoms of hip osteoarthritis with physical therapy first and minimizing the use of prescription drugs and NSAIDS. A combination of education, manual therapy and therapeutic exercise can relieve the pain and improve joint mobility by addressing the source of the pain. This starts in a clinic, and patients can continue selected exercises and manual therapy at home. With this approach, patients can stay active and be in better physical condition if and when they do go in for surgery. Result: better patient outcomes and less cost to our healthcare system. Watch the video below.