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The PEAK online programme for Knee Osteoarthritis by Nadia Reuter

Updated: Aug 7, 2020

Tele-rehabilitation is the new buzzword on the block! Putting it plainly, tele-rehab is the delivery of rehabilitation services over telecommunication networks and the internet. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, physiotherapists across the globe are being stretched and challenged to adapt to this new way of offering services to patients. The University of Melbourne are forging the tele-rehab path and have recently devised the Physiotherapy Exercise and physical Activity for Knee osteoarthritis (PEAK) programme.

This research-driven programme typically runs over a period of three months, and incorporates education, strengthening exercise and physical activity. The programme has been specifically designed to allow consultations to be implemented over a video conferencing platform, such as Zoom. These sessions are supplemented by a collection of useful patient resources, including exercise booklets, educational information and a website of exercise video clips, which have all been provided by the University of Melbourne.

The PEAK programme was designed specifically for patients diagnosed with knee osteoarthritis and reporting the following symptoms:

- History of knee pain for more than three months

- Knee pain on most days of the past month

- Average pain score of at least 4/11 on a numeric pain rating scale during walking over the previous week

- Difficulty walking and climbing stairs

If you are experiencing these symptoms, this programme may be the right option for you! With the choice of having “face-to-face” sessions at the Debbie Cameron Physiotherapy Rooms in Gillitts or Hillcrest, or remaining in the comfort of your own home and meeting virtually over Zoom, this programme caters for everyone’s individual needs and preferences.

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a complex active process (one which is often oversimplified), that can improve with the appropriate intervention. It is important to understand that there are numerous structures within the knee joint - namely the bone, synovium, ligaments, and/or muscles - that may be contributing to the pain associated with OA, rather than from the degenerated cartilage itself. It is commonly known and understood that these structures respond well to physiotherapy intervention.

As physiotherapists, we aim to at deal with pain and its consequences, within a safe environment. Further, it is an absolute priority that any feelings of fear or anxiety about ‘joint damage’ are addressed, particularly the expectation that exercise may lead to worsened damage.

For more information speak to Nadia, Kay, Lisa or Debbie at Debbie Cameron Physiotherapy on 031 765 8898.

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