Overview of joint protection
- Maureen R Gecht-Silver, OTD, MPH, OTR/L
Maureen R Gecht-Silver, OTD, MPH, OTR/L
- Director of Patient Education
- University of Illinois at Chicago
- Alison M Duncombe, PT, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT
Alison M Duncombe, PT, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT
- Outpatient Supervisor
- University of Illinois Medical Center at Chicago
Patients with unstable or painful joints may have a limited understanding of activities that increase the risk of further joint damage or that promote inflammation. This topic will review the concept of joint protection and will suggest approaches to evaluation and interventions that may promote joint health.
Specific applications of joint protection to particular sites are presented separately. (See "Joint protection program for the upper limb" and "Joint protection program for the lower limb" and "Joint protection program for the neck".)
What is joint protection? — Joint protection is a process that includes the following two major components [1,2]:
●Individualized assessment of a patient’s activities to ascertain the potential to contribute to worsening pain, inflammation, instability, and/or deformity of an already abnormal joint
●Creation of a program to increase a patient’s functional ability that includes altered work methods, behavioral modifications, and good body mechanics and that is supplemented, if necessary, with splints, braces, or adaptive equipment designed to minimize further joint damage
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- What is joint protection?
- What is ergonomics?
- Who benefits from joint protection?
- Efficacy of joint protection and energy conservation
- THE PRINCIPLES OF JOINT PROTECTION
- Respect pain
- - The two-hour pain rule
- - Factors affecting activity-related joint pain
- Distribute the load
- Avoid prolonged immobility
- Reduce excess body weight
- Use good posture and body mechanics
- - Spine
- - Peripheral joints
- Use the minimum necessary force
- - Adaptive devices and splints
- Simplify work by using efficiency principles
- - Planning
- - Organizing
- - Resting
- - Using a computer workstation
- Remain active
- - Type of exercise
- FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT JOINT PROTECTION
- Who teaches joint protection or joint care?
- Is there a role for personal trainers?
- What constitutes quality joint care education?
- When should a patient be referred to occupational and/or physical therapy?
- What interventions maintain joint alignment and stability?
- - Braces
- - Splints
- - Potential adverse effects of a splint or brace
- INFORMATION FOR PATIENTS
- SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS