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Physical Therapist using the GenuTrain method “My first recommendation: Stay active!”

Issue 01/2021

Kevin Wilk, DPT, FAPTA has published more than 170 scientific articles, written 10 textbooks – and treated some of the greatest American athletes. When it comes to knee therapy, especially for knee osteoarthritis, this in-demand physical therapist emphatically supports the philosophy of staying active.

Michael “Air” Jordan, Drew Brees, Tua Tagovailoa or football and baseball all-star Bo Jackson – after injuries, they all passed through the healing hands of Kevin Wilk. This charismatic physical therapist has been working in sports medicine for 37 years and is now one of the most famous physical therapists in the USA. At Champion Sports Medicine, a Select Medical Facility in Birmingham, Alabama, where Kevin Wilk works, another client base increasingly requires his services: patients with knee osteoarthritis. Whether they are retired golden-agers or active professionals, patients almost always ask the same question: What can I do to stay active? What can I do to relieve my pain and stop hurting?

Keys to pain reduction

“When it comes to knee osteoarthritis, the key to pain reduction lies in the biomechanics of the joint. It needs relief,” says Kevin Wilk. It is important for the patient to adapt their activity habits and avoid heavy strain and excessive weight bearing forces. Walking or cycling are better than sports involving excessive running and jumping. “Through strength training for the quadriceps, which act as muscular shock absorbers, and by wearing stabilizing braces, we can recover the stability of the knee. This also helps to reduce pain.” The goal is to normalize motion patterns once again. “As much as possible, to increase the level of activity.”

 

The pressure-relieving knee brace GenuTrain OA.

The GenuTrain OA promotes movement
and return to activity

For physical therapist Kevin Wilk, the patient’s symptoms determine treatment based on the severity of their knee osteoarthritis. Not their X-rays. “Those only rarely match the actual sensations.” He sees his primary task as identifying the patient’s individual level of activity and adapting this to their indication. In this way, progressive degenerative processes can be slowed down and negative consequences can be minimized. Dr. Wilk also recommends the GenuTrain product family. Above all, the relieving knee brace GenuTrain OA is an excellent tool for maintaining a healthy degree of movement for active patients: “The brace directs force away from the affected area of the knee towards less affected areas. The patient can individually adjust and adapt the intensity of the effect according to their needs.”

“Ease of wear” strips away prejudice

Functionality alone is not enough: comfort is a decisive factor for compliance. “If it’s gathering dust in the corner, that won’t help,” the pragmatist clarifies. “The beauty of the GenuTrain OA is its ‘ease of wear’.” Ease of wear is an important factor especially for American patients: The brace is light, flexible and doesn’t show under clothing. It doesn’t slip on the leg, the material is gentle on the skin and pleasant to wear. “It’s not large, bulky and heavy like other products on the market that no one wants to wear because they are associated with discomfort and pain.” This negative mental image often leads patients to reject braces altogether. But this can be changed. Even patients who are opposed to braces start to smile when they try on the GenuTrain OA, says Kevin Wilk: “A patient put on the support, walked a few steps and then immediately wanted a second one for his other knee,” recalls the physiotherapist. He reports, “Bauerfeind products are great, patients love them!”

Staying secure in active mode

The GenuTrain method of keeping the knee secure and protected during activity is a way of supplementing physical therapy. Kevin Wilk values the assistance provided by the GenuTrain OA as well as the GenuTrain and GenuTrain P3 in the form of reduced pain, relief and “ease of wear”. When using these knee supports, their proprioceptive properties are the main focus: “Our knee angle reproduction tests with post-operative anterior cruciate ligament patients have shown that proprioception improves significantly if they wear the GenuTrain. Studies on the effect of the GenuTrain P3 for patellofemoral problems have shown that stability in the knee is increased by improved proprioception. A better awareness of where the patient’s knee is in relationship to the hips and feet is essential to successful treatment and functional improvement. This persuasive and reliable evidence convinces me and is in line with my many years of experience.”

Exercising and trying out

The biggest danger among knee patients, particularly patients with osteoarthritis of the knee, is moving too little, neglecting the muscles, gaining weight and placing excessive strain on the knee. “That’s why my first recommendation is always: Stay active!” In order to find the necessary security in everyday routines, Kevin Wilk also recommends wearing the GenuTrain OA, GenuTrain and GenuTrain P3. “Do your exercises at home while wearing the braces, work out a bit, then go outside and try them out. Go for a walk, or bicycle ride or swim. Find out what helps you and makes you feel better. Motion is lotion for the joint.” There’s another point the renowned physical therapist wants to emphasize: “The GenuTrain products also do a really good job thanks to their compression effects: They reduce swelling, which would otherwise inhibit the muscles.” In the land of limitless possibilities, nothing should stand in the way of mobility.


Images: Bauerfeind, Champion Sports Medicine/Kevin Wilk PT DPT


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