Robyn Lakey almost let her injured knee stop her from enjoying a morning walk.
She knew getting out and about would send her to the couch in a whole other world of pain.
But that was before she joined Bendigo Health’s MOVE (Management of Osteoarthritis via Exercise and Education) program.
The program is helping reduce the burden of musculoskeletal disease on the Loddon Mallee community.
The MOVE clinic, run by Rehabilitation Services at Bendigo Health, is an effective management option for hip or knee osteoarthritis and has helped reduce pain, improve strength and walking speed among participants.
Mrs Lakey said after months of being on pain medication and trying other treatments, the program helped her get back on her feet – literally.
“I’m thrilled, I get a little twinge in my knee every now and then, but that’s all,” she said.
“I was shown exercises that would strengthen the muscles, tendons, everything.”
Mrs Lakey said she was taught to also focus on her own mental health and wellbeing, not just the physical side of her injury.
“I suppose like many people, as soon as you’ve got an injury you think ‘I’ll stop because it’s hurting’, but that’s the worst thing you can do,” she said.
Bendigo Health Stream Leader Orthopaedic Teams, Jonathon Turton, said musculoskeletal disease is the biggest disease burden on society according to the world health organisation, and hip/knee osteoarthritis is very common.
“Science shows that exercise, education and weight loss are first-line treatment for those with hip and knee osteoarthritis. We believe there are more people out there in the Bendigo region that would benefit from our program, they may just not know that it exists yet,” he said.
The program, which supports 160 people each year, runs six groups per week across two sites.
“Our program can alter osteoarthritis disease progress, and may result in delay or long-term deferment of significant procedures like hip or knee replacement, given its effectiveness in decreasing pain and improving function,” Jon said.
“We’re also getting some great comments back from our clients that they’ve increased their confidence with walking and daily life, and that they’re pleased to know that exercise doesn’t do further damage, it actually helps restore strength and balance and decreases pain.”
More information, visit: www.bendigohealth.org.au/ManagementofOsteoarthritis