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Revolutionize Your GLA:D Program with AxIT

Uncategorized Mar 12, 2023

Are you a practitioner providing GLA:D services? Since its development GLA:D has been shown to be effective in reducing pain, improving function, and increasing quality of life for people with hip and knee osteoarthritis. It has also been shown to reduce the need for surgery in some cases.

As part of the GLA:D program, several assessments are used to evaluate the patient's progress and guide the exercise program. These assessments include:

  1. Patient-reported outcomes: Patients complete a series of questionnaires to evaluate pain, function, and quality of life before and after the program. The questionnaires include the Knee injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS) or Hip disability and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (HOOS) and EQ-5D-5L.
  2. Physical performance tests: Patients undergo several physical performance tests to evaluate their functional ability and identify areas for improvement. These tests include the 30-second chair stand test, 40-meter fast-paced walk test, and single-leg stance test.
  3. Joint range of motion: The range of motion of the hip and knee joints is measured before and after the program to identify any limitations and track progress.

However whilst these assessments are useful to track the very basic progression of clients in these exercise programs there tends to be a lack of assessment and tracking of muscle strength in GLA:D participants which can be important. Also, these tests may not be appropriate for higher-performing individuals with joint osteoarthritis.

Why is muscle strength important for those suffering from knee and hip osteoarthritis?

Muscle strength is important for those suffering from knee and hip osteoarthritis because strong muscles can help to support the joints and take pressure off of the knee and hip joints. This can help to reduce pain and improve overall function of the joints. Strong muscles also play a role in maintaining proper alignment of the knee and hip joints, which can help to reduce the risk of developing osteoarthritis or slow the progression of the disease if it has already started. Additionally, strong muscles can help a person with knee or hip osteoarthritis to maintain a healthy weight, which can also help to reduce the strain on the joints. Exercise and physical activity are important for maintaining muscle strength, and a healthcare provider can help a person with knee or hip osteoarthritis to develop a safe and effective exercise plan.

How can you test if your osteoarthritic client has adequate knee or hip strength?

​​There are several ways to test if an osteoarthritic client has adequate knee or hip strength. One common method is to have the client perform a series of leg exercises, such as straight leg raises or leg presses, and measure the amount of weight or resistance they are able to lift. This can provide an indication of the strength of the knee or hip muscles. 

Another method is to use a smart dynamometer such as the AxIT Push-IT or Pull-IT, which is a device that measures the force generated by the muscles. The client can be asked to perform a series of leg exercises while the dynamometer measures the strength of their knee or hip muscles. AxIT devices then measure baseline muscle strength, identify imbalances, compare to evidence-based references, and automatically track progression over time.

What AxIT tests are most appropriate for assessing the progress of GLA:D clients?

Whilst AxIT provides the freedom to measure over 125+ different muscles and movements to set baselines, identify deficiencies and imbalances and track progression of your GLA:D program attendees, there are some likely go to tests you should be using. 

Knee Extension:

Knee extension strength is important for knee OA because it is one of the key factors that can influence the progression of the disease and the patient's functional ability. Knee osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition that affects the articular cartilage of the knee joint, leading to pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility.

In knee OA, weakness of the knee extensor muscles, including the quadriceps muscles, is common and can lead to a range of problems. Reduced muscle strength can increase the load on the knee joint, exacerbating the wear and tear on the cartilage and potentially accelerating the progression of the disease. Weakness can also impair the patient's ability to perform activities of daily living, such as climbing stairs, rising from a chair, and walking.

Strengthening the knee extensor muscles is therefore a key component of the management of knee OA. Exercise programs that target the quadriceps muscles have been shown to improve muscle strength, reduce pain and improve function in people with knee OA. Knee extension strength can be measured using a smart dynamometer such as the AxIT Pull-IT, and the results can guide the development of an exercise program tailored to the patient's needs.

Hip Abduction:

Hip abduction strength is important in people with hip osteoarthritis (OA) because it plays a critical role in maintaining stability and balance, and reducing pain in the hip joint.

Hip osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition that affects the articular cartilage of the hip joint, leading to pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility. One of the main risk factors for hip OA is a weak or unstable hip joint, which can contribute to increased stress on the joint, and ultimately lead to the development of OA.

Hip abduction is primarily performed by the lateral hip muscles such as the gluteus medius muscle. This muscle plays a crucial role in stabilizing the hip joint, preventing the femur from sliding too far forward, and maintaining proper alignment of the leg during weight-bearing activities.

A reduction in hip abduction strength can lead to an altered gait pattern, putting more stress on the hip joint and exacerbating pain and other symptoms of hip OA. Moreover, individuals with hip OA often develop compensatory movement patterns, such as leaning to one side or avoiding weight-bearing activities on the affected side, which can further weaken the hip abductor muscles and exacerbate the condition.

Similar to knee extension strength, this can be easily assess using a smart dynamometer like AxIT Push-IT, and the results can guide the management of GLA:D exercise programs tailored to the patient's needs.


Force Plate 30 Second Sit To Stand

The 30-second sit-to-stand test is an important functional assessment tool for individuals suffering from knee and hip osteoarthritis and is commonly performed as a baseline for GLA:D attendees. This test can help assess the lower body strength and endurance of an individual, which is crucial for maintaining mobility and independence in daily activities.

For individuals with knee and hip osteoarthritis, lower body strength and endurance can be compromised due to pain, stiffness, and weakness in the affected joints. The 30-second sit-to-stand test can help identify these impairments and track changes in functional ability over time.

When combined with the use of smart force plates such as AxIT Stomp-IT under the feet, information on the distribution of force through the left and right lower limb is also measurable to detect in the individual is loading more through one side than the other. Also, data on the amount of force the individual is able to generate and the rate of force production is measured which will usually improve and the individual becomes stronger and more confident in their movement.

It can also be used to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions, such as physical therapy or exercise programs, aimed at improving lower body strength and function.

Learn More

Are you a GLA:D accredited practitioner and want to learn more about muscle dynamometry, force plates, and whether AxIT is appropriate for use in your health and fitness business? Check out our free resources available for download or arrange a time to speak with one of our team to find out if AxIT is right for you.