Dr. Tony Rocklin is a licensed physical therapist with almost 20 years of clinical experience, specializing in orthopedic and sports medicine with a specific focus in the treatment of hip pathologies. He is a leading voice for the adoption of best practices in the conservative treatment of hip osteoarthritis, speaking for options that lead away from the use of prescription drugs and NSAIDs and lead to better patient outcomes and lower healthcare costs.
There are millions of individuals suffering from some amount of pain and personal disability related to hip osteoarthritis – more than 1 in 5 of us will have it at some point during our lifetimes. Increasing obesity rates plus the aging of our populations are contributing to grow the size of this problem. The majority of these individuals with hip OA who see an orthopedic surgeon are told that they have a problem, but they are not yet bad enough for hip replacement. The most common treatment at that point is the use of prescription drugs and NSAIDs to manage the pain. Those who are overweight or obese are advised to exercise more and lose weight.
This approach fails to address the key issue of what causes the pain: the inflammation and increasing tightness of the joint capsule, the deep connective tissue that surrounds the hip joint, which results in restricting normal movement of the hip, and increased pressure in the joint. As a result, as the osteoarthritis progresses, patients experience more pain and increasingly move less. That increased inactivity exposes them to comorbidities including depression, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, stroke and cancer – plus the possibility of addiction to the painkillers they are using.
Dr. Rocklin advocates for a more effective approach with physical therapy, using a combination of manual therapy and therapeutic exercise proven effective in relieving pain and improving mobility. With treatment for the symptoms of hip OA, patients can keep moving, avoid other comorbidities and be in better shape going into the hip surgery when they do have it. Earlier this year, he did a presentation on this subject at OPTA 2016 in Portland OR, and in June will be presenting at COPA Practice Growth in London (June 15-16, booth 620, COPA Practice Growth show guide, more details on this year’s COPA here).
The biggest challenge on the horizon is educating orthopedic surgeons, primary-care providers and the patients themselves that there is an alternative to prescription drugs and NSAIDs and that – although we can’t cure the disease – we can treat the symptoms. Dr. Rocklin speaks on this challenge and physical therapy as the more effective approach at various venues; more details on Tony Rocklin, including his biography, speaking schedule and contact details can be found here: www.hiptrac.com/dr-tony-rocklin