Uncategorized

Miscellaneous, uncategorized blog posts that bring you tips about osteoarthritis that don’t seem to fit anywhere else. This is where you can find gold about topics that are a little less known and off the beaten path.

osteoarthritis of the hip joint

7 ways to avoid surgery if you have osteoarthritis of the hip joint!

Osteoarthritis of the hip joint can be frustrating and it can be a tricky journey to pain relief. There are certain things you can do to avoid surgery as surgery is not your only option! It is common belief that if you have hip osteoarthritis, the only way to relieve pain is through getting a new joint! It has been found that there are conservative treatments to relieve arthritic hip pain, you just have to know the right things to do. 

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One woman I have been working with had been dealing with hip pain for months. She had already gone through a hip replacement for her other hip and really did not want to go through that again. She wanted to try everything in her power to avoid that. 

So we got to work and after doing these 7 things, she was able to finally feel stronger, reduce her daily pain to almost zero, and sleep better! She has seen improvements in her walking as she no longer walks with a limp around her house. 

She continues to work on increasing her ability to tolerate longer distance walking but continues to stay the course to make her arthritis adventure possible.

The journey to relief from osteoarthritis of the hip joint is not an easy one. But it can be so rewarding if you know the exact steps you need to take. So many spend an incredible amount of time searching for answers while being passed from doctor to doctor only to find short term solutions. 

It’s time you start making your hip feel better with tips that work! I want you to know that you can do this. Check out this comment I received on instagram for inspiration! 

osteoarthritis of hip joint

7 ways to avoid surgery with osteoarthritis of the hip joint

Not all of these tips may apply to you and that is totally fine! My goal is for you to take at least 3-4 of these tips and begin implementing them into your daily life.

Remember your hip osteoarthritis likely didn’t happen overnight so results may not either. As much as I wish I had a magic wand to be able to give you quick pain relief, the slower the journey, the more sustainable it is. 

Patience with yourself is incredibly important. Your journey will not be perfect. You will have ups and downs but I want you to remember that you can do this. Remember what pain relief can unlock for you.

1. The power of food

Food can be incredibly powerful both at increasing and reducing osteoarthritis of the hip joint symptoms. In order to use food to your benefit you have to make sure you are including two things: 

  1. Anti inflammatory foods
  2. Enough protein

These are the two things I always start with clients as far as food is concerned. Too often, we tend to overlook the basics. So let’s take a little deeper dive.

Anti inflammatory foods are vital to keep inflammation levels lower in your body. When inflammation levels rise, pain and stiffness may also rise. You can see this instagram post here talking about inflammatory foods.

Most of the time, avoiding a majority of processed foods and sugars can bring great benefit to both pain and stiffness. This is not saying you can never eat these foods, but moderation is key. Here is a list of anti-inflammatory foods you can download. 

As far as protein is concerned, as a culture, especially as we get older, we tend to decrease protein intake. Protein is incredibly important for muscle building, helping to prevent insulin resistance (contributing to weight gain), and other vital body functions.

You can read more detail about protein here. Research has shown that protein can actually be almost as effective as ibuprofen for some joints pains, say what! 

The baseline for protein consumption is usually around 100 grams but will depend on your weight too. Getting enough protein should be one of the first modifications you make once cleared from your physician (increased protein can impact some medical conditions including kidney diseases).

2. Movement variety

This one is absolutely critical.

Think about your exercise, whether you typically do one or two activities like walking, if it’s non-existent, or if consistency tends to waiver. 

As humans, we typically move in a forward direction. As we get older, we tend to lack variety in movement, i.e moving sideways and backwards.

As we complete repetitive forward motions during the day then walk for exercise, again in a forward direction, you can put a lot of stress on one area of the hip joint. This can lead to pain and irritation. 

Adding in movements such as simple backwards and sideways movements can help to take pressure off one area of the joint and start recruiting help from other parts of the joint. Walking backwards can actually be really good for your hips! Learn more about it in the video below: 

Think about it, how often are you moving sideways and backwards? Let’s change that! 

3. Supplements are just supplements

If you are currently taking supplements, do you also have another plan on managing pain. With supplements it can be easy to put all of your eggs in one basket and rely on them to bring you pain relief.

There are absolutely some supplements that can help to reduce inflammation and stiffness in your hip joint. But you have to pair them with other strategies such as food and exercise above.

Oftentimes I hear people starting supplements and being disappointed when they aren’t working. But they also might not be employing other pain relieving strategies. 

So if you are taking supplements, the question remains, how are you supplementing the supplements? 

To be fair, certain supplements like turmeric (my favorite brand here), fish oil, and vitamin D can be beneficial for osteoarthritis pain. They can provide a degree of relief that can make exercising easier and help you feel more motivated.

You can watch a video here with more information on supplements.

4. Stretching is not the answer for stiff hips

Hip stiffness typically happens for a couple of reasons: 

  1. Muscle tightness secondary to weakness. Muscles tighten up for stability as they are not getting it from strength.
  2. Irritation due to increased pain. Tightening muscles can be an action to protect the joint.
  3. The less you use the joint, the tighter the muscles can become.

One of the common misconceptions for tight muscles is to stretch them. Think about it though, if the muscle is tight for a reason, the muscle will likely revert back to the same tightness once stretching is stopped or shortly after.

When looking at osteoarthritis of the hip joint, it is so important to find ways to improve mobility-but stretching likely isn’t the best way.

When improving mobility, I encourage dynamic movement. Getting your hip joint to move through different ranges of motion while building strength and confidence will help to produce long term results.

The idea is to contract the muscles then allow them to relax. 

Here is a full, follow along workout to improve hip flexibility with almost NO stretching! Give it a try and see how you feel! 

5. Take care of your feet

Your feet are the first connection to the ground that you have with each step. It is incredibly important to keep happy and supported. 

If your feet and ankles become unhappy, then it alters the way you move. It can cause your calf muscles to become tight, your steps to become shorter, and your walking pattern to change that all can actually contribute to more hip pain.

So how do you take care of your feet? It all starts with good shoes. One of my favorite brands is KURU, based in here in Salt Lake City. I have many clients with osteoarthritis of the hip joint that have loved these shoes. They have a special KURUSole that is made primarily for those with arthritis and other medical conditions. 

I have three pairs of their shoes and love them. You can learn more about the shoes here.

If your feet are supported, they will help to absorb some of the shock so your hips aren’t taking more than they are prepared for.

6. find support

For many of these changes, it requires a degree of dedication and commitment to avoid hip replacement surgery, i.e committing to changes to your eating habits and increasing exercise.

It can be hard to do this alone. It can be hard to keep going when you feel like no one understands you pain.

It can be helpful to find support from family, friends, or even strangers going through the same thing you are! 

I recently hosted a group of people with diagnosed bone on bone knee osteoarthritis in a weekly support group. It was amazing the raw emotion we saw together, along with the amazing success stories, and hardships we helped each other through. 

The support group is still available to members of my signature online course the Arthritis Adventure Blueprint. 

Together, we can accomplish so much. You truly don’t have to be alone on this journey. It’s not a perfect journey and having a group or a person you can rely on during the bad days can truly help to bring long term pain relief.

7. Consistency is key

The only way you will be able. to find long term success and osteoarthritis pain relief is to be consistent. Without consistency, pain from osteoarthritis of the hip joint will continue. 

If you want to adventure and stay active, staying true to yourself and your goals is incredibly important. 

I often find that without accountability, many tend to give up right as they are on the cusp of amazing success. There are times when it is not easy to continue but you have to keep reminding yourself why you are doing this. 

What is one reason you want to avoid surgery and find pain relief. Does that mean you’ll be present for your grandkids? Be able to travel with your family? Actually enjoy your life the way you want to? 

This reason can keep you going.

It is so critical to get movement at least 3-5 days per week. To eat an anti-inflammatory diet and get adequate amounts of protein as often as possible. 

You absolutely can do this. AND if you want a little extra help getting starting on an arthritis friendly workout plan, I have a free 4 day challenge that can help you kickstart your arthritis adventure! Sign up for this free workout challenge here.

Disclaimer: This post is for general informational purposes only. It should not be used to self-diagnose and it is not a substitute for a medical exam, cure, treatment, diagnosis, and prescription or recommendation. It does not create a doctor-patient relationship between Dr. Kuhn and you. You should not make any change in your health regimen or diet before first consulting a physician and obtaining a medical exam, diagnosis, and recommendation. Move Well Age Well, LLC and Dr. Alyssa Kuhn, PT, DPT are not liable or responsible for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis or any conclusions drawn, services or product you obtain through this video or site.

arthritis adventure blueprint

The Arthritis Adventure Blueprint

Dr. Alyssa Kuhn’s signature program to help you go from hopeless to hopeful with osteoarthritis. You will learn the secrets to arthritis pain relief that actually work- including exercise, diet, and other ways to control inflammation! Say goodbye to short term pain relief, it’s time to make it last.

good exercises for hip arthritis relief

15 POWERFUL exercises for hip arthritis so you can stay active!

When it comes to finding pain relief, exercises for hip arthritis can be extremely powerful. Exercises can help to improve flexibility, stiffness, pain, and strength! There are specific exercises that will be better than others when it comes to being nice to your hip joints. You want to make sure you are not making your pain worse by doing the wrong exercises. Let’s look at the 15 greatest exercises you should be doing including squats, lunges, stepping in different directions and more.

As a physical therapist and arthritis specialist, I primarily see people who are dealing with hip and knee osteoarthritis pain. I have noticed that hips can be a little more sensitive than knees so it’s important to feed them the right movements. 

If you spend time doing the wrong movements, you can actually increase your pain because your joint becomes angrier. My goal is to show you exercises for hip arthritis that make pain better, not worse.

Some movements may be painful but they don’t all have to be. It is important that you find the right exercises that feel good to you.

This list of exercises for hip arthritis may not all feel great to you and that is okay. Choose at least 4-5 that you can consistently do to decrease your pain.

Sign up for the FREE WEBCLASS Wednesday October 20th at 6pm MST to learn how to keep adventuring with hip osteoarthritis. 

15 powerful exercises for hip arthritis relief

Researchers have found that exercise can be very powerful when it comes to reducing pain and improving function. It is common to think that exercise makes osteoarthritis worse because of the myth around “wear and tear”. But that is just not true. 

Understand more about how exercise benefits arthritic joints by reading this article here.

You can also find arthritis friendly follow along videos to help guide you through many of these exercises in my signature online program, the Arthritis Adventure Blueprint.

Exercise 1: Hip Circles

This first exercise is especially helpful if you are currently experiencing hip pain. Small, gentle, and circular motions can help to relax the muscles around the joint. This relaxation can reduce your pain.

You may need to hang onto something like a kitchen counter when doing this if you have difficulty with your balance. Complete 20-30 seconds each side, making your circles as large as is comfortable. You can also reverse directions. Complete 2-3 times each day as long as it feels good.

Exercise 2: isometric hip flexion

Again, this exercise can be helpful if you are currently experiencing hip pain, especially in the front of your hip. This will also reduce a tightness feeling in the front of your hip as well, in your hip flexor. I have found this to be much more effective than stretching to relieve tightness.

Meet your leg and hand with about 50% of your max effort when trying this. This should not increase pain. 

The idea of isometric exercises is to contract the muscle then allow it to relax, which helps to release tension. Complete 5-10 reps on the most painful side. You can also complete on the other side if tightness is felt there too.

This can be a tool you can also use at night if you are experiencing pain.

Exercise 3: Hip Swings

These hip swings can help with improving mobility in your hip, especially in a backwards direction. Start small with these swings then increase distance as you are able to.

Many times, moving your leg backwards may be painful so this exercise can be very helpful for your hip joint to feel more comfortable in this position.

Complete for 20-30 seconds on each side, using support of a chair or counter on the same side that is swinging. Repeat 2-3 times as long as it feels good to you.

Exercise 4: Lateral kicks

Lateral hip movements can also be limited and painful in some people. It is important to work to maintain that movement though as it is not one you likely do during the day very often. It is imperative that you practice this movement to keep or improve your mobility.

Use a wall for this one to keep yourself upright. Only go out as far as is comfortable to start. If your hip doesn’t move very much, that’s okay. There is room for improvement!

Complete 10-30 reps on each side, about 2-3 times per day as long as it does not increase pain significantly.

Exercise 5: TRX hip hinge

These suspension straps can be magical when it comes to relieving arthritis pain. This is why they made the list for the most powerful exercises for hip arthritis!

The hip hinge is arguably one of the most vital exercises if you are dealing with arthritic hips. It is both a mobility and beginner level strengthening exercise, especially if your hips flare easily.

You can get a set of these suspension straps here for less than $75 which honestly is a steal because they are amazing. You can see other exercises that you can use these straps for here.

Complete 10-20 of these hips hinges for 2-3 sets. Focus on squeezing your glutes at the top. You may also feel a stretch in the back of your legs as you bend forward and that’s okay!

Exercise 6: trx squat

Another exercise using the suspension straps is the squat. Squats can be commonly painful but adding support makes them so much easier to do! 

I have people that haven’t been able to squat in years finally feel confident again because of these straps.

Squats pack so many benefits including strengthening of lots of different muscles at once. You have to be able to squat to complete daily tasks so it’s time to become great at them. Here are some other squat modifications you can also try.

Try 8-12 squats for 2-3 sets. Go down only as far as is comfortable for you. You may be surprised how good they feel!

Exercise 7: hip bridge

Hip bridges help to build the back of your legs and your glutes. They can also help you get more range of motion in your hips. 

If you have a hard time getting up and down from the floor, this exercise can also be done on a bed or a couch. Keep in mind, the firmer the surface, the better.

The goal is to lift your hips as high as you can, comfortably. Think about pushing through your heels. Try to complete 8-15 reps of these, holding a couple of seconds at the top. 2-3 sets would be optimal.

Exercise 8: Calf raises

Your calf muscles can become tight, especially if you have found yourself beginning to limp. The idea with these raises is to contract and relax the muscle. Simply stretching will likely not get you very far.

This is a pretty simple exercise but is important to add to your routine. The good thing with this one is it rarely aggravates the hip. It can help also prevent foot and ankle problems down the road too.

Try to complete 20 reps of these calf raises, or until your calves reach fatigue. I recommend holding onto something for support so you can get higher on your toes.

Exercise 9: power push ups

You may be asking why did an upper body exercise make the exercises for hip arthritis list. But this exercise can be extremely effective in building core stability and helping to stretch the fronts of your hips

Many of the people I work with, love this exercise because it typically feels good! In order to find hip arthritis pain relief, your whole body needs to be moving optimally, not just your painful hip!

Upper body exercises are often overlooked with lower body arthritis but I would work on complete 10-20 of these, for at least 2 sets.

Exercise 10: TRX staggered squat

This exercise can be a little deceiving, as it is harder than it appears. This single leg squat variation uses the straps again. Starting without the straps can be pain provoking.

The idea is to see if each side is as strong as the other. If there is a clear difference, you have to work. to close the gap. When you have gaps in strength, it can lead to limping, more pain, and more stress to your joints.

Complete 5-8 each side and compare your strength. Complete 2-3 sets as able. This one can cause muscle soreness which is totally normal but please be aware. 

Exercise 11: hip thrust

This is a version of the earlier hip hinge but now weights are added for extra difficulty. Choose a dumbbelll or a kettlebell between 5-10lbs to start. Adding weight increases the amount of power required to stand up tall.

Make sure to master the bodyweight version of this first. You should not feel this much in your back if you are leading with your hips. Focus on squeezing your hips at the tip.

Complete 10-20 of these. If 20 feels pretty easy, gradually increase the weight. Try for 2-3 sets as long as it feels good to you.

Exercise 12: Kettlebell deadlift

The deadlift is one exercise you should put priority on mastering. I usually don’t introduce this exercise until the above exercises are mastered.

You can use a kettlebell or two dumbbells when trying this. Start on the lower end of the weight and work your way up. This is extremely beneficial to build hip strength necessary to support the joint.

Start with 8-10 reps. The back of your legs may become sore because they don’t get worked much during the day but that should dissipate the more familiar you come with the exercise.

Exercise 13: Single leg deadlift

Maintaining and improving your balance is crucial to finding hip arthritis pain relief. If your balance feels off, it is definitely something you should be working on. Pain can delay your balance but you can train it just like you can train your muscles.

This exercise is an advanced balance exercise so if it is difficult when first trying, that. isnormal. You can find others in this video here.

Try to complete 8-10 each side. Take your opposite leg back as far as is comfortable for you. Complete 2-3 sets. Again you want to make sure both sides are relatively even. If not, you need to focus on closing the gap.

Exercise 14: Wall sit and press

Your core in incredibly important for life in general but particularly for hip arthritis. Your hips are closely connected to your spine. Your core muscles help to support that to prevent further back pain and other hip issues.

If you have noticed an onset of back pain with your hip arthritis, your core could need some work. If you haven’t, working on your core will only help you in the future.

This exercise doesn’t usually flare up hip pain and can help you contract those deep core muscles. You can add weight for more challenge. 

The idea is to keep your spine in contact with the wall as you move your arms. Being able to keep your core stable and not arch your back especially as your arms go overhead can be a challenge. You are resisting the extension your back wants to go into. 

Try for 10-20 reps of this, pressing up and out is 1 rep. complete 2-3 sets as feels comfortable. 

Exercise 15: balance pass

This is one of my all time favorite balance exercises. It can be helpful for varying degrees of arthritis in hip, knee, low back, and more. This exercise looks easier than it is (like most balance exercises!). 

Start with a lighter weight because the heavier the weight, the harder the exercise. The idea is your hip muscles will kick in to keep you upright. They also have to continue to work throughout the duration of the exercise. 

Try to pass the dumbbell back and forth for at least 30 seconds standing on one foot or with a kickstand using your back leg. Complete 2-3 times on each side.

Conclusion

The best course of action if you have hip osteoarthritis is to choose a few of these exercises to complete every day (or every other day if necessary). The magic is in the consistency. 

If you are just starting out with movement, start with three days per week and work your way up. If you are just looking to incorporate some new movements, you can add these to your current routine.

One of the biggest triggers of hip arthritis pain is repetition. This is why you may experience more pain after walking a certain distance. Adding variety and mixing up your routine can be one of the best ways to take care of your arthritic hip.

If you are looking for a way to stay accountable with your movement, head over to the 4 day Kickstart Your Arthritis Adventure Challenge. It’s totally free and you’ll get four follow along workouts with me to improve your stamina, strength, and pain levels! 

Disclaimer: This post is for general informational purposes only. It should not be used to self-diagnose and it is not a substitute for a medical exam, cure, treatment, diagnosis, and prescription or recommendation. It does not create a doctor-patient relationship between Dr. Kuhn and you. You should not make any change in your health regimen or diet before first consulting a physician and obtaining a medical exam, diagnosis, and recommendation. Move Well Age Well, LLC and Dr. Alyssa Kuhn, PT, DPT are not liable or responsible for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis or any conclusions drawn, services or product you obtain through this video or site.

how to treat menopausal arthritis

How to treat menopausal arthritis so you can live an active life! 2 things you must do for relief

Did you know that menopause can actually increase joint pain, leading to something called menopausal arthritis?! It’s a real thing that can make moving around let alone exercising very difficult. Estrogen loss can impact cartilage and joint health as well as inflammation in your body. There are actually natural remedies to treat arthritis caused by menopause! Learn how to identify symptoms and what to do about it below.

Arthritis on top of menopause, you've got to be kidding!

Unfortunately, it is common to have joint pain accompanying menopause whether you are peri- post- or somewhere in between. There are a few reasons for this which you will be able to see below. 

One caveat I do want to mention first is that there is hope even if you have menopausal arthritis. There is hope for pain relief and better movement. There is hope for an active life. 

For example, one woman I recently met was dealing with joint pain from bone on bone knee arthritis that escalated once she passed menopause. She was able to find hope for her condition even though surgery was the only option she was told about. 

After going through my signature Arthritis Adventure Blueprint she is now able to JUMP! Take a look at this! 

natural remedies for menopausal arthritis

Menopause does not need to take away your active lifestyle. You just have to do the right things to keep your joints healthy even with lower estrogen levels. 

Menopause is a natural process most women endure and at least half of those women will experience joint aches and pains. These can commonly occur in your neck, shoulder, knees, hips, or hands. Let’s take a look at some of the symptoms.

Menopausal Arthritis Symptoms

Whether you are just starting menopause or are post-menopausal, there are a few symptoms that could point to arthritis pains caused by an estrogen depletion, although it can be hard to figure out if that is the sole cause. 

It is important to know that menopausal arthritis is a possibility, as many people believe something much more serious is going on. 

Identifying these symptoms of menopausal arthritis can help guide your treatment plan and know what questions to ask. 

The common symptoms include (but are not limited to): 

  • Joint stiffness, especially in the morning that resolves within 30 minutes of waking and movement
  • Fluctuating joint pain that simultaneously occurs with menopausal symptoms
  • Joint pain without any mechanism of injury
  • Feelings of muscle weakness 
  • Limited range of motion 
  • Nodules that begin to form on your hands 
  • Poor sleep due to joint aches and menopause
  • Joints that appear to be irritated easily

Most of these symptoms are common with osteoarthritis so it can be hard to differentiate if menopause is one of the causes. Here is an article describing what osteoarthritis feels like.

I have known a few ladies who had osteoarthritis before starting menopause and they noticed a significant increase in joint pain since going through it- primarily in the knees.

Each person’s experience may be a little different but these symptoms tend to be relatively consistent.

Let’s look at why estrogen depletion can lead to joint pain.

Estrogen's impact on joint pain

The research points to the fact that estrogen may be involved in contributing to joint pain and irritation with osteoarthritis. 

"There is increasing evidence that estrogens fulfill a relevant role in maintaining the homeostasis of articular tissues and, hence, of the joint itself. The dramatic rise in OA prevalence among postmenopausal women, which is associated with the presence of estrogen receptors (ERs) in joint tissues, suggests a link between OA and loss of ovarian function. This association indicates a potential protective role for estrogens against the development of OA"

(Roman-Blas et al. 2009)

Estrogen plays a vital role in many pathways of the body, joint health and inflammation being the top 2 that impact how your joints feel. 

Estrogen is thought to have anti-inflammatory properties so when it is depleted, it is likely that you will have more circulating inflammatory cells. With menopausal arthritis, these inflammatory cells nestle in parts of the joint they are not welcome to and can anger the joint.

Along with anti-inflammatory properties, estrogen is also a vital component of many processes in the body. Research shows that this likely includes maintaining homeostasis in the joint and thus promoting healthy parts of the joint which include cartilage. More on that here.

It has also been proposed here that lack of estrogen can heighten your pain experience, making you more sensitive to pain.

Regardless of the mechanism, there seems to be connection between osteoarthritis and menopause that can impact the way you move around. Let’s dive in on how to treat menopausal arthritis.

 

How to treat menopausal arthritis

There are two primary things that you can do to reduce menopausal arthritis symptoms including joint pain and stiffness. Reducing inflammation is a big component of finding osteoarthritis pain relief but there are two considerations you need to make when adding menopause to the mix.

 

1. Increase protein intake

Since estrogen declines during menopause, it can also lead to decreased muscle mass and bone strength. 

According to Douglas Paddon-Jones, PhD, a professor in the department of nutrition and metabolism at The University of Texas Medical Branch in Midlife Nutrition, women in midlife also should strive to eat protein during meals to promote muscle-protein synthesis, which is essential to the body’s ongoing growth, repair, and maintenance of skeletal muscle. 

Protein is extremely important to help maintain the muscle strength you have while also helping to build new muscle.

If you are under-eating protein, you may have faster muscle wasting which can begin to make even daily activities harder such as getting up and down from a chair. 

There are also amazing benefits when it comes to protein and arthritis too, read more on that here. It has been found to be just as powerful as ibuprofen in certain circumstances! 

A typical baseline goal for protein intake is around 100 grams (talk to your doctor to make sure it is safe if you have any underlying health conditions). Many guidelines tend to only report the minimum values you need, which are usually not enough to support muscle growth. 

Eating protein does not mean you will look like Arnold Schwarzenegger overnight either. I wish it were that easy! Even to maintain small amounts of muscle, you need adequate protein.

2. You need resistance training

It is absolutely vital that if you are over 50, going through menopause (or past it) and dealing with joint pain- resistance training is a must. 

Resistance training, using weights when exercising has been shown to actually reduce the severity of menopause symptoms.

A randomized controlled trial in 2019 found that after 15 weeks of resistance training, hot flashes decreased in both severity and frequency for post-menopausal women.

Building strength is of the utmost importance to help with healthy body composition, weight loss, improved quality of life and joint support. Contrary to popular belief, strength training is one of the best things you can do for osteoarthritis too. Learn more about that here.

Resistance training has also been shown to improve bone health, as the risk for osteoporosis (weakening of the bones) also increases with menopause.

When you have arthritic joints on top of feeling fatigued and unmotivated from menopause, strength training can be scary, even impossible at times. that is why I created a 4 Day Kickstart Your Arthritis Adventure Challenge to show you exactly how to safely strength train with arthritis.

One of the biggest barriers people face is the fear that they will make their joints or the pain worse with exercise. With menopausal arthritis though, you cannot afford not to strength train. You have to build up the support around your joints to help absorb some of the stress from the weakened cartilage.

A good starting point is 3 days per week, with 5-8 strength training exercises. The weights don’t have to be heavy but they do need to feel challenging! Reaching muscle fatigue is how you build strength. The muscle breaks down and is repaired by the protein you are eating from number one 🙂

 

Hope for menopausal arthritis

There is absolutely hope for an active lifestyle even with a mix of arthritis and menopause. Taking action early can help decrease the severity of pain and the difficulty you may be facing with mobility. 

There are natural ways to find pain relief when looking at how to treat menopausal arthritis, you just have to know where to start! 

I want you to know that there is hope. The 4 Day Challenge is a great place to tart as you’ll get 4 arthritis friendly workouts totally free. Once you show yourself that movement is possible, you will unlock so many doors.

Don’t give up. You can absolutely do this.

Disclaimer: This post is for general informational purposes only. It should not be used to self-diagnose and it is not a substitute for a medical exam, cure, treatment, diagnosis, and prescription or recommendation. It does not create a doctor-patient relationship between Dr. Kuhn and you. You should not make any change in your health regimen or diet before first consulting a physician and obtaining a medical exam, diagnosis, and recommendation. Move Well Age Well, LLC and Dr. Alyssa Kuhn, PT, DPT are not liable or responsible for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis or any conclusions drawn, services or product you obtain through this video or site.

cash based physical therapy

Why Cash Based Physical Therapy is the NEW Wave of Physical Therapy in 2021

Cash based physical therapy is emerging as one of the best options you not only for rehabilitation from an injury but also to manage chronic conditions like osteoarthritis. This model operates outside of the insurance world. This allows for a completely different approach to your pain because we get it, pain can be scary. Having someone you can trust and easily access is so important to your long term success. Instead of just “fixing pain” and feeling like another name on someone’s schedule, in this cash based model you gain a friend that is there with you along your journey.

Let me tell you a story of the power of cash based physical therapy.

I had a client who had never really been in a consistent exercise routine. He started developing knee pain as well as disabling back spasms. He was recommended by a functional medicine doctor, a great option for medical care that truly helps to look at the full picture. He was tired of pain and wanted to do something about it.

I showed up at his house for our appointment and ended up showing up many more times. He was finally feeling pain relief and staying accountable because he knew I was coming. After each visit he would have workouts to complete with videos, instead of just a piece of paper of exercises.

He was doing so well and was not experiencing any pain! He was staying consistent with the workouts for the next 4-5 months. Then he sends me a message stating he had begun falling off of the wagon due to vacations and family visiting the previous weeks and wanted to get back on.

I saw him that week and now we are back on track! Could you do that with a traditional physical therapist? Likely not as most of the time, you have to see your family doctor first and go through the trouble of getting a new prescription.

I totally get it, the journey to pain relief is not easy. It can be hard to stay consistent. You need someone in your corner, keeping you on track. That is what we can offer, especially if you are dealing with a condition without a cure such as osteoarthritis.

Here are a few other accounts of how powerful cash based physical therapy can be!

“I feel like you actually care. Before I always went to different therapists in big clinics and never really got to know them. I feel like I wasn’t understood because I didn’t have enough time to tell my story. It felt like it was always just in and out. To me, it feels like we are friends!”

“I never really had luck going to physical therapy before. I mean it was okay and I would have some success but I never reached the full potential that I wanted to. There were many times when I would be with a new therapist during my appointments which was hard, re-explaining my story all the time. I know that I can just call or text you and you can get me right on the schedule!”

“I have never tried traditional therapy using my insurance but now that I know this is an option, I’m not sure I ever will. I love all of the videos you send me for exercises and that I can ask you questions at any time just by texting! It gives me so much more confidence and reassurance. Many times if I have questions I never have time to ask my doctor. Now, you make it so easy by answering all of my questions!”

These are actual patient testimonials after working with them in a cash based model.

So what are the benefits of cash based physical therapy?

This is a very common question when speaking with clients so I want to explain the benefits of seeking out a cash based physical therapy service over a traditional in-network insurance provider.

I have worked in corporate healthcare for years and it definitely has it’s time and place. This article is not to say that you should never use your health insurance again. Everyone’s situation is different. I just want to open your eyes to a fresh new perspective that is now emerging to the new normal. This model works particularly great for those who may not have seen success in a traditional physical therapy clinic or who wants continued accountability after the 4-8 weeks they spend in the traditional clinic.

Here at Keep the Adventure Alive, we are an out of network provider for all insurances meaning we do not bill your insurance company for our services and the fees are paid up front. This is actually becoming very common for both physical therapists and other health care professionals, and we would love to explain the great benefits of it.

Why it can trump insurance

1. It allows us to offer you a premium service. Without going through insurance we have less paperwork (meaning our head won’t be in the computer the entire session) and we are not dictated by how many visits your insurance deems as appropriate.

Let’s look at this example:

Do you have Amazon Prime? Why do you pay extra for Amazon Prime? You could purchase the same products through regular Amazon and just wait a few extra days for delivery compared to Prime. We purchase Prime because it’s a premium service which delivers our packages in two days along with having access to additional add-ons not included with normal Amazon orders. Most people would say they could never live without Prime. Amazon has provided a premium service worth the money.

A few other examples:

Do you pay for HBO or Netflix on top of your cable bill? You already have cable so why would you need to pay an additional monthly fee? Because they have much better content compared to regular TV. Again, it’s a luxury and we pay to have the premium service. 

What about the hair salon (maybe more for the ladies out there:)? Many times, we choose to go to the nicer salon that has more amenities, offers a more intimate service, and has a better atmosphere than a lower ticketed, walk in salon. Again, we choose to pay more for this service even though there are cheaper options because we want a premium experience.

Think of physical therapy this way too. If you pay cash, you are able to receive a premium service. Do you want the basic service or do you want the more intimate experience? Insurance will pay for the basic service. Your health is one of the most important things we have in this life. You are worth the premium experience. With cash based, we are able to take the time to learn about you and get you past just walking around your home. We want to get you back to mountain biking, hiking, walking- whatever your adventure is.

“But I pay into my insurance every month, I want to use it”

This is a fair point. Think about all of the other things you use insurance for. Doctor’s visits, trips to urgent care, wellness visits, unexpected broken bones, etc. Co-pays can end up being much more expensive than we anticipate and often times we get surprise bills at the end of traditional physical therapy because the insurance didn’t cover certain codes or treatments which can be very frustrating! Cash based physical therapy is always a flat fee, you know what you are paying with no surprise bills.

2. You don’t need to see your physician first when you are working with someone in cash based physical therapy.

Look at these 2 scenarios.

Scenario 1: Say you are 55 and you start to gradually have knee pain after you walk or run a certain distance, without any injury. You are thinking about going to physical therapy but in order to get referred, you need to see your physician first.

  • For physician visits say your co-pay is $50. You can get in to see your physician in 2 weeks. So, you deal with this pain, it starts to get worse and you finally see the physician.
  • He recommends you get an x-ray- which costs $80 through your insurance. The image shows everything looks okay, but you might be having some arthritic changes.
  • Now you finally have a referral to physical therapy and your co pay is $45, to be paid at each visit. They want to see you 2 times per week for at least 8 weeks because that’s what your insurance covers. You now have to drive to clinic twice a week and pay almost $50 every time. 16 visits x $45 is $720. 
  • At the end of the 8 weeks you have a piece of paper of exercises that then collects dust on your kitchen table and your knee pain begins to come back 2 months later and you’ve spent $850.

Scenario 2: You gradually start to notice knee pain while you are walking or running a certain distance, without an injury.

  • You know a cash based physical therapist and don’t want to deal with getting a referral from a physician so you come see Alyssa who is a doctor of physical therapy.
  • She rules out all signs of serious injury or signs of any tears. She knows we can treat this conservatively i.e. with appropriate exercise, strengthening, and cleaning up some of your movement patterns. 
  • Alyssa sees you once per week for 5 weeks for $125/visit in your home and gives you exercises with video instruction for you to follow the rest of the week and she follows up with you a few days later to make sure you’re on track.
  • At the end of the 5 weeks, you now know what exercises you should continue to add to your routine and have the resources to make sure your knee pain doesn’t come back because you were very consistent with your training those 5 weeks. 
  • You’ve spent $625 and now are pain free. 

See the difference?

Other benefits of cash based physical therapy

We can address multiple issues you might be having at once, say for example you are having knee pain and start to have shoulder pain a few days later from carrying your grandchild all weekend long. Seeing a cash provider we can tackle both at once! Seeing a traditional physical therapist, you now have to see your physician again to get a referral for your shoulder now.

You have skin in the game. Let’s be real, motivation can be tough and consistency is one of the hardest parts of making changes to your pain. You have to be consistent. It is easy to slack off if you know you aren’t paying for something, or paying very little. There’s not much to lose. BUT if you are invested in something and you know the money is coming out of your pocket, you are much more inclined to actually do it.

For example, let’s look at Planet Fitness- $10/month versus a premium gym that charges $200/month. If you slack off a month or three at planet fitness you are only losing $30 so it’s not very motivating to go. But if you are paying $200 you know that you are going to make it at least a few times per week so you get your money’s worth! Guess who makes more progress?

Long term relationship with your physical therapist. Say you see Alyssa for knee pain related to arthritis and now that is under control. A few months later you end up hurting your ankle hiking. Instead of having to go to your physician you just text Alyssa and she comes to see you the next day, saying you don’t need an x-ray after doing some tests and gives you some exercises to do. Then a month later you trip over something in your kitchen and hit your shoulder on the door. You call Alyssa and she comes over, and helps you heal your shoulder for 3 visits. Easy peasy! 

I know that physical therapy does not work for everyone, it’s not perfect. There are a few reasons that you may have some control over, especially if you are dealing with osteoarthritis. Take a look at the video below:

Cash based physical therapy is an option for you if you have an injury or are tired of nagging aches and pains. We have worked with clients near Sandy, Utah with this model and our patients are nothing short of impressed with their results. We would love to finally get you to where you want to be.

If you are sick of dealing with joint pain or arthritis, Dr. Alyssa is here for you! You can learn more about our services and pricing HERE.

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Dr. Alyssa Kuhn is a doctor of physical therapy and arthritis specialist based in Sandy, UT. She is on a mission to help you find hope within arthritis and get your life back while breaking free from the pain without pain pills or surgeries. She has helped countless people across the country find relief from arthritis pain and stop wasting time and money on temporary or ineffective treatments. Join our FREE facebook community for more support and motivation!