Sounds unlikely doesn’t it, but a new therapy is being used instead of knee surgery by thousands, and their insurance companies are happy to pay for it. I reported on this a few months ago when I was investigating dealing with knee pain in my knees, and although no one who knows me would imagine I have anything in common with a Triathlete, it seems that I do.
My many years as a health writer has led me to investigate various therapies and lower back pain meant I was even more curious about a therapy many athletes have turned to instead of surgery. If you are fond of sports, and noticing the strain, you could do worse than follow the example of Tim Morgan.
He was an athlete whose knee problems caused him to give up but who now is a successful Triathlete. Injury can come in many ways and in Tim’s case, after actively participating in sports such as kick boxing, he twisted his knee when slipping and falling out of a bath would you believe? He had an ACL anterior cruciate ligament tear and after surgery and physiotherapy was still in pain and not able to get back to training.
What are the options?
The traditional remedy to sports pain or injury is a hot bath and aspirin, but Tim realized that wasn’t the answer and so started to research other options and cane across Apos – a revolutionary new, non-invasive, therapy that had impressive results. As we age we do notice osteoarthritis related knee and hip pain but those playing/participating in sport are also vulnerable, particularly after injury. It doesn’t matter if you are a professional sportsman or Sunday footballer, you don’t want to slow down or be less mobile or active than you were. Apos figures are impressive: 86% report a reduction in pain and 88% experience improved mobility.
Unlike many alternative options, this one is backed by many of the UK’s leading medical insurers. In the UK 90,000 knee replacements are carried out every year and the cost of surgery – and the frequent call backs for further treatment – are vastly more expensive than this simple remedial option. In Tim‘s case he lost 4 stone after being unable to train and now does Triathlons! At the age of 44 he has achieved his fastest time for swim, run and bike ride in training. Prior to Apos he also had an ulcer as an allergic reaction to the anti inflammatory drugs he was taking to deal with the pain.
That also inspired him to look at how to maintain training with no medical relief. In his case he started to notice a difference at the assessment when he put on the shoes as he got up and started walking around and realized he was without pain. The consultation with the physiotherapist also suggested he needed to change his posture and after a couple of weeks he noticed getting out of bed with no shoes on he could put feet on floor and get up without pain. After second consultation he was actively encouraged to do more so started training again for a 10k race and triathlon. He now trains 3 days a week and competes competitively.
How does it work?
The problem with conventional treatment is rooted in the fact that, human nature being what it is, after surgery the majority do not do the exercises necessary to fully help the knee function optimally. again. Compliance is low so the Israeli surgeon wanted to find a better way and talked to a physiotherapist as to why it was happening.
Together they devised a boot so that instead of surgery and follow up exercise, what that involves is that for around ten months you spend an hour a day wearing them. They have two adjustable pods in the soles that are integrated into the soles to help strengthen the muscles around the knee in the same way that exercise would. These can be changed at each consultation as your muscles strengthen and your movement is freer. Compliance is not an issue as you just wear the boots for an hour a day, sitting and walking, and for most people that is easy.
It’s not rocket science but so blindingly obvious you wonder no one thought of it before. The success of this potentially life-changing new approach stems from a better understanding of joint pain and problems. Osteoarthritis is not just about simple wear and tear and degradation of cartilage cushioning the joints. There is now clear evidence that biomechanics, muscles and nerves all play an important part of the disease process. Professor Oliver Pearce, an eminent orthopaedic surgeon says:
“This instinctively makes sense. Muscles support and protect the joint, so if there is any weakness or asymmetry in the way those muscles are working, there can be extra pressure on the joint.”
What is involved?
AposTherapy® analyses how you walk after a computerised gait analysis to check step length, load distribution, walking speed and gait. Then it helps to correct the way you move by changing the distribution of weight as you walk and by retraining the muscles to adopt the best walking pattern to rebalance and give you back control over your pain so you can move freely.
The pods are individually calibrated to create a subtle imbalance when you walk that forces the brain to think about an action it normally performs automatically. The exact positioning of the pods reduces the load away from the painful area(s) of the joint, while their convex shape introduces mild, comfortable instability that stimulates the muscles to adopt a correct walking pattern. This instability prompts a number of signals between the brain and muscles to action lots of minor corrections and adjustments to restore perfect balance. This process of feedback and adjustment also re-educates the muscles and promotes an optimal gait at all times.
Want to try it?
No therapy works for everyone, and this is no exception as your physical issues may not be able to be helped. However, there is an opportunity to try it, as they have a free no-obligation consultation with a chartered Physiotherapist at Apos clinics around the UK to see if you are suitable. Call 0800 909 8009 to find your nearest clinic or visit the website at www.apostherapy.co.uk