Managing Osteoarthritis with exercises and lifestyle changes
One in every 3 individuals over the age of 65 years suffers from osteoarthritis (OA). It is the major cause of disability in the US affecting 32.5 million US citizens. This number is rapidly increasing owing to the increase in OA risk factors that include sedentary lifestyle, obesity, and joint injury.
Osteoarthritis leads to joint pains, functional limitations, sleep disturbances, fatigue, and depression. People afflicted with OA often have multiple surgeries, frequent ER visits and work absenteeism leading to an overall higher healthcare cost and economic burden.
A person suffering from musculoskeletal pain would prefer not to move at all. However, the most effective way to reduce pain would be to comply with the prescribed exercises. PTs can help patients to improve their functional abilities and learn self-management of their chronic pain with passive modalities such as gentle massage, heat or ice, electrical simulations, and active modalities such as stretches and exercises.
Evidence suggests that effective and non-invasive management of OA is through physical exercise and diet modification to improve joint function and control obesity.
BlueJayENGAGE enables healthcare providers to remotely monitor patients' progress through video visits and compliance with the prescribed treatment. Physical therapists can provide virtual care to patients through personalized home exercise programs
With regular consultations and exercises, patients can slow down the disease progression and improve their body strength and movement, thus enhancing their quality of life.