#PTonICE Daily Show – Tuesday, July 4th, 2023 – Let freedom reign for our patients with osteoarthritis

In today’s episode of the PT on ICE Daily Show, Extremity Management division leader Lindsey Hughey discusses how to empower patients with osteoarthritis by shifting their mindset and behaviors. She emphasizes the importance of treating patients with MEDS (mindfulness, exercise, diet, and sleep) to combat systemic inflammation. Take a listen or check out the episode transcription below.

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Good morning, PT on Ice Daily Show. How’s it going? Welcome to the PT on Ice clinical podcast. Today is clinical Tuesday. I am so pumped to be with you all. I’m Dr. Lindsay Huey. I guess that would help if I actually introduced myself. Today, I am going to chat with you about how we let freedom reign in our patients with osteoarthritis. Last clinical Tuesday, I hopped on here and I wrapped on the underlying battle of systemic inflammation that we are fighting with these folks with hip and knee away and the importance of treating them with MEDS, which stands for mindfulness, exercise, diet and sleep. Check in for more information there from last week on what MEDS and how we can unpack that and prescribe it for our patients. This week, this clinical Tuesday, we’re going to dive a little deeper into the trenches of battle by really discussing how we can impact our folks with osteoarthritis. Whether it’s the shoulder, hip, knee, hip and knee are more common things we’ll treat from an extremity management perspective. But this battle involves a lot more than manual therapy and exercise. It actually involves less. Today, I will discuss how shifting our patient’s mindset and behaviors really helps fight that underlying systemic inflammation battle that our patients have. But before I tell you and dive in a little bit about that, I’d love to share with you some courses extremity management has coming up. So our next upcoming course is July 15th, 16th. So in a couple of weeks, we’ll be in Holmes Beach, Florida. I’ve hopped on a couple Tuesdays and just let you all know what beautiful beach that is. It still ranks the top beach I’ve been to so far. Crystal blue water, I’ll be with Melissa Reed out there. There’s lots of spots left. So join us if you want to do some summer extremity management learning. And then July 26, 23, I’ll be in Simi Valley, that course is now to 15. There’s probably only three to five spots left. So if you’re on the fence, definitely sign up for that course. And then onward Madison is July 29th and 30th. So lots of opportunities to hop in in July. And then in August, we are going to be in Rochester Hills, Michigan, and then the 12th and 13th. And then August 19th, 20th, we will be in Fremont, Nebraska. So be on the lookout if you’re on the fence for signing in just because these courses are starting to fill up. And then other courses in the beginning of fall in September and October. We hope to see you out there. All right, let’s dive into the topic at hand. So last week, we really last Tuesday established that hip and knee osteoarthritis is becoming one of the leading causes of global disability. So worldwide, this is affecting our society. And there are so many challenging aspects of treating these folks. The battle is not just in modulating their pain. It’s not just an increasing range of motion and addressing strength deficits, you know, in their hip and in their knee. And it’s not just about prescribing meds. And I really made a solid case for that last week. That mindfulness, exercise, diet and sleep. It’s really about confronting the uncomfortable conversations. It’s about challenging and changing thoughts and beliefs with these folks and some of their daily living behaviors. I think this is our hardest job as physical therapists, whether you’re in outpatient or home care, even acute care. But it’s our hardest job and our greatest opportunity with these folks to really address how they think about their body and then just daily behaviors. These conversations that I’m going to bring up, they are really uncomfortable. Addressing harmful thoughts and beliefs, behaviors, we know humans, we are kind of entrenched in our beliefs and our behaviors and it is really hard if we can reflect on our own challenges. It can be so uncomfortable. And so I acknowledge that this is very uncomfortable, not only as the provider, but for the patient. So some thoughts that we really need to start addressing. And I alluded to this last week a little bit, but the patient that thinks and says to you that first visit, I have bad knees, my dad had bad knees, my great grandfather had bad knees or I have bad hips, right? My great grandmother had bad hips. So it’s just inevitable, right? That I’m going to have bad hips. You are not your ailment or your pain is one of the first things that we have to establish and break down with our patients. The thoughts of this is just inevitable, this is my path, right? To be in pain, which leads to disability and dysfunction. These thoughts take a human’s mindset captive. It takes captive their whole way of living and being. If you think about some of these patients and they don’t just often just have osteoarthritis, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, they might even have heart disease or history of MI, stroke, these are unhealthy systems. Every thought and decision and behavior starts to be planned around their pain experience. Going out with family or friends is planned around pain. How long does it take me to get to the front door if we’re thinking about going out to eat or going to the movies? Can I actually make that distance? Or will I be in too much pain to even enjoy the dinner or the movie? Or I cannot do this because it hurts. Or I can’t go to that family gathering because it hurts. Or because my knees or my hips are bad. Pain, OA, osteoarthritis starts to become the patient’s identity. How they do everything in life is surrounded by this. This is all super uncomfortable and enslaving for your patient. If we’re honest and we even think deeper about this, it starts to become the normal. So this discomfort, right? This pain starts to actually become the patient’s comfort. It’s how they do life. It starts to become their identity. I need you to start as clinicians and this charges to myself as well to start thinking about how we can help our patients do less harmful mindset. Do less thoughts about how much they’re in pain and how much their knees are bad. How can we help shift their mindset to be healthier? To be more productive? Can we shift and say my knees have an opportunity to be stronger? Or yes, my knees hurt but I’m on the path to recovery. Yes, my hip hurts and it’s limiting how I can walk right now. But I know with doing my program from Alex Drumano, our MMOA faculty, I know I’m going to be able to walk a little bit longer every day. Helping patients shift how they think right away is a must. If we cannot shift how they frame their pain experience, how they frame their range of motion deficits, how it impacts their life and amount of walking, we will never make an impact here, right? We can have the best manual therapy, the best exercise dosage prescription and it won’t make an impact if they don’t believe it can help. If they are telling themselves every morning they wake up, my knees suck, I don’t want to get out of bed, my hip hurts, I don’t want to do this today, they’re not going to be successful. And so we have to give them little phrases to help them keep going, right? Yeah, it hurts right now but here’s what I can do to help that, right? And it seems small but if we’re not addressing this at all, we’re really doing harm. We’re not doing enough and so we need to implore less harmful thought patterns in our patients to help make an impact, to help really make our exercise and manual therapy be worthwhile. So I just want you to pause and think about what are some things or reframes I can start giving my patient in their mindset. Doesn’t just stop though with our mindset shifts, right? It’s not just thinking that influences our beliefs about our body. We also have to shift some of our daily behaviors and here’s where it gets really tough. Folks with OA have a lot of comfortable behaviors that are quite destructive. And addressing these conversations by the way are nuanced and we have to do it in a loving way and of course we first have to build rapport with our patients before we start diving in to behavior shifts. And so it won’t be our first conversation with our patient but it has to be a conversation that happens in our bout of care and it has to be ongoing. And it’s behaviors regarding eating and exercise habits. They have to be addressed. It becomes really comfortable that person that’s in pain, right? That’s coming to see you maybe three days a week, right? They worked out with you for an hour. It’s a lot more comfortable to sit around and watch shows. It’s all day. It’s a lot more comfortable after a big meal, after dinner, to turn on Netflix and binge watch Netflix, right? Two or three episodes. If you’re a big Ted Lasso fan it’s really hard not to just watch the whole season in one bout. It’s really hard if it’s in your process and family process to have dessert after every meal that you have, especially dinner, right? And then compound that with Netflix and sitting. Extra calorie consumption kind of goes under the radar with these folks. The eating piece and our behaviors around eating have to be addressed. And you know, the Netflix, the eating, this might not be your patient specific thing that they need to worry about doing less of, but I’ll tell you in a lot of our folks with me and HIPAA, there is some very familiar trends surrounding our eating and our extra calorie consumption. Things that bring us comfort like Netflix, like that extra helping of food or dessert. We have to acknowledge that this is so complex and hard. These things are often tied to family, right? They’re tied to connection and community and identity, especially if that’s the time where you all kind of get together, right? You share a meal, you share dessert, and then you go watch your shows. Let’s all come together and rewrite some of the ways we gather and do our meal time together or handle stress, right? Some of us are stress eaters. Sub that extra helping or that extra Netflix episode with taking a walk after dinner with your family. Or maybe instead of that dessert, right? You’re already feeling full, but somehow you think there’s a little bit more room for that dessert. Go for a walk with your family, right? Or go for a bike ride, right? These kind of behaviors help get that food moving and processed better, and then it subs those extra calories or it subs that extra sedentary time where you’re just sitting. How about some of our folks with HIPAA and NEOA that are retired, right? Where they’re watching their shows throughout the day, right? They love watching Price is Right. Yes, Bob Barker is better, but Drew Carey is doing his best, right? But these kind of behaviors, maybe it’s a midday walk, right? Or suggesting they walk their dog midday. I know these HIPAA close to home, folks, and I’m going to tell you a lot of the behaviors I’m listing hit close to my direct family. I am sprinting away from metabolic disease. It runs on books, both my mom and my dad’s side. Diabetes, heart disease, cancer, hyperlipidemia, myocardial infarction, stroke. Whatever list that you’ve probably seen on your patient list, my family has it. And so I totally, I am listing out behaviors that I know my family and myself has taken part in. I’ve witnessed them firsthand, but I also know they can be changed gradually, and I also know the change is uncomfortable. I want to fight this battle of OA because it hits so close. It hits for me, it hits for my children and my surrounding aunts, uncles, grandmothers, right, that have passed because of this. So I don’t take the battle lightly bringing up this shift in beliefs and behavior. Think about this. And I know I touched on some hard ones, right? Everyone loves a little extra Netflix episode, dessert sometimes, that extra helping of food. It is comfortable. But no one says, I wish I hadn’t taken that walk last night after dinner. I wish I had had that second helping, second and third helping. I wish I had had that extra slice of apple pie. I wish I had stayed up till 1 a.m. watching Netflix. I wish I had binged, watched all my shows all day and sat in a chair for three hours. I wish I had had that another beer. No, people don’t really reflect and say that, right? They’re usually the next morning, oh, I wish I would have had that earlier. I wish I wouldn’t have had that extra helping. I didn’t really sleep well. I wish maybe I would have gone on a walk or that bike ride when my kid or grandkid asked me to do it. Instead, I just sat here and I watched these shows. No one says they wish they didn’t do that uncomfortable behavior. Uncomfortable shifts in mindset and behavior, they are always uncomfortable, especially when you’re making the decision, especially when you’re actually doing the thing, right? When you don’t really feel like taking a walk after a meal or going for a bike ride. But there is nothing more ironic, more peaceful than doing the thing that’s uncomfortable. While it may not feel great during you, if you can think about some uncomfortable decisions you’ve made and your patients, they will feel better after. They will be thankful after when they made these shifts in their mindset or in their behavior. There is so much reward in the discomfort. Of course, it’s delayed and that’s what’s hard about human nature, right? Our psychology wants comfort, especially when we’re in pain. But just think each day, the compound reward of making one to two uncomfortable decisions surrounding our mindset and surrounding our behavior around food and our eating behaviors. One less thought of my knees suck, I don’t want to get out of bed. One less helping of dessert or Netflix binge. Imagine that compounds day after day, 365 days and that becomes a year and then you do it again, right? 365 times two, right? And it patients start to see the healthy reward of these shifts in mindset and behavior. Let’s stop the acceleration of OA as one of the leading causes of disability worldwide. Let’s help our patients handle and battle this low grade systemic inflammation by leaning into the hard belief and behavior shifting conversation. We have to fight for our patients, our loved ones and ourselves to have these conversations because we’re not doing enough. It’s still going up the levels of disability, right? Lifespan is increasing, right? But our health span, the quality of life is not. These are hard and uncomfortable conversations, right? But discomfort tends to birth opportunity and change and really only always for the better. If you can think about most of the uncomfortable decisions that you’ve done in your life, if you can think about the yield, the reward, we can and we must start to battle beliefs and behaviors if we want to impact this space. One little mind shift and behavior shift at a time. Freedom comes in the form of less for our folks with hip and knee OA. Yes, our primary drug of choice is exercise for our folks with hip, knee, shoulder OA. But if we want to have the greatest impact, we need to deal environmental modulators to manage symptoms, to maximize fitness. We need to deal mindset and behavior shifts that change lives. It will be hard, it will be uncomfortable for both parties, clinician and patient. But along the way, we also deal encouragement. We deal hope. We deal laughter, right? We laugh in PT and we are a partnership and alliance as the patient negotiates these new mindsets and behaviors We’re there every step of the way when it’s hard. Free your patience. There is freedom in choosing less harmful mindsets and less harmful behaviors. New beliefs and behaviors are for sure uncomfortable. But help your patients think about their hip or their knees more positively or help them walk instead of that extra episode of Netflix. Show your patience there is freedom in discomfort. Show your patience there is freedom in the reframe in their mindset. Let freedom and independence reign for your patients through introducing them to healthier mindsets and behaviors. Help them indulge less in destructive thinking and behaviors. There is so much untapped potential in this space. I’m hitting the 20 minute mark I need to shut up. But I want to say a final thank you to our military and our vets who have fought and continue to fight for our nation’s independence. Happy Fourth of July. I’ll thank you for letting me rap on something I’m super passionate about. Happy Clinical Tuesday.

19:30 OUTRO
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