ISSUE 144: Special Section

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Joints in Motion Program can Provide Patients Support, Accountability

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Physicians often see patients whose conditions cannot be treated with drugs or surgery. They have pain and other symptoms that often recur, and physical therapy is not always the answer. It is obvious that they need to make lifestyle changes that would promote better health, particularly better joint health.

A physician can suggest exercise and healthy eating, but many patients don’t know specific ways that they can incorporate those suggestions into their own lifestyle. A new program at Central Baptist Hospital, Joints in Motion, can create an individualized plan to get a patient moving, eating healthier and making other positive choices that will lead to better overall health.

This 12-week program is offered in partnership with Central Baptist HealthwoRx Fitness & Wellness Center at Lexington Green Mall, a full-service fitness center staffed by certified personal trainers and fitness practitioners, registered dietitians and nurse health educators.

Patients enrolled in Joints in Motion start with an initial overall health assessment with a registered dietitian and a certified exercise physiologist/fitness practitioner. These professionals will create a customized eating plan to help meet weight goals and an individualized exercise plan tailored to their abilities.

“The beauty of this program is that it is tailored to each individual,” said Dr. Mathew Nicholls, an orthopedic surgeon with Kentucky Orthopedic & Hand Surgeons who also serves as medical director of orthopedic services at Central Baptist Hospital. “This program can provide the extra support network, feedback and accountability that encourages patients to make lifestyle changes that can be difficult to make.”

Those enrolled in the program are asked to commit to exercise a minimum of three days a week. That exercise could be in the form of working out on fitness machines and using weights or taking a variety of group fitness classes offered at HealthwoRx. Patients may choose to participate in aquatic classes taught by a certified aquatic fitness instructor offered at an off-site location. Joints in Motion patients will meet with a fitness practitioner once a week to assess their progress.

After the initial assessment, patients will meet with the dietitian every two weeks to discuss dietary modifications that need to be made in order to achieve or maintain a healthy weight for joint health. The dietitian will help determine the recommended number of calories per day they need, create a customized eating plan and help them set measurable short- and long-term targeted goals.

At the midway point in the program (6–8 weeks) patients can meet with a physiatrist, who will design a treatment plan that will help alleviate pain and restore maximum function without surgery so that individuals can stay as active as possible regardless of age. The physiatrist, the fitness practitioner and the dietitian can each communicate with the patient’s physician at any point during the program at the patient’s request.

Joints in Motion, can create an individualized plan to get a patient moving, eating healthier and making other positive choices that will lead to better overall health.