Orthotics you can touch

rahm Zentrum für Gesundheit, Bergneustadt/Germany

From Bauerfeind Life Magazin

In short

  • At rahm medical supply retailer, patients can try out the CoxaTrain hip brace for two weeks to familiarize themselves with its stabilizing and pain-alleviating effects during everyday activities. According to expert orthotist Tobias Kautz’ initial experience, this significantly increases compliance.
  • Osteoarthritis patient Hans-Peter Schneider was won over by the benefits of the hip brace during the test phase: “The CoxaTrain supports my back and provides me with stability during hiking. This really helps me stay active.”

rahm medical retailer offers patients with osteoarthritis of the hip a trial period of two weeks, allowing them to get to know the effects of the CoxaTrain and to become familiarized with the brace during everyday activities. This is the perfect offer for Hans-Peter Schneider to find out whether the brace can help his “bad hip” after revision surgery and whether wearing it will be worth it for him.

The incline outside rahm medical supply retailer in Bergneustadt serves a test area for Tobias Kautz and Hans-Peter Schneider to explore the effects of the brace during movement. 

Trial weeks offered once a year, presentations given to self-help groups, extensive information posted on social media – in order to break down some of the stigma associated with using braces and establishing as a possible component of osteoarthritis therapy, rahm believes in education and active communication with the patient communities. In almost 50 branches located throughout North Rhine-Westphalia and even Rhineland-Palatinate, patients are offered a comprehensive treatment concept with an extensive portfolio of medical aids for non-binding testing.

“The CoxaTrain helps me stay active. I would recommend it to anyone suffering from osteoarthritis of the hip.”

Hans-Peter Schneider, osteoarthritis patient

“As a specialist osteoarthritis center, our mission is to individually address patients’ needs,” says Tobias Kautz, expert orthotist at the Bergneustadt location. “Some primarily want to alleviate severe discomfort, others want to stay able to work and delay joint replacement surgery, others again don’t want to go without their exercise.” This is important to know so we can work out which brace they would tolerate to reach their goal and what they can cope with during everyday activities. The CoxaTrain hip brace has impressed him in this respect. “It addresses the concept of osteoarthritis and hip braces in a whole new way. For a long time, there was little choice besides the heavy anti-luxation braces that are still fresh in the minds of many patients and physicians. But the ­CoxaTrain is lightweight, it’s easy to put on, and can even be worn under clothing,” explains Tobias Kautz. Despite its light weight, the brace provides the hip with stability and guidance. It exerts its relieving effect during walking, when the integrated pads provide a massage to relax the muscles carrying out movements. 

Practical experience helps patients and physicians

One of the first patients the medical retailer treated with the CoxaTrain is Hans-Peter Schneider. Since the mid 90s, the 65-year-old has been suffering from osteoarthritis of the hip, accompanied by knee and back pain – symptoms commonly reported by patients and physicians. He has been living with hip endoprostheses on both sides for over 15 years. On the left side, the joint replacement went without a hitch, but the right side is causing him trouble. The endoprosthesis has become loose, and even revision surgery did not result in the desired success. He is experiencing discomfort and is being treated by a pain therapist, because of other indications, too. But this active pensioner is looking ahead and is open to new opportunities to keep active. He is out and about in the Oberbergische Land region with his hiking group every week, and he works on mobility with osteoarthritis exercises. During one of the self-help group sessions, he heard a presentation given by rahm about orthopedic aids used in osteoarthritis therapy. He was able to look at sample products provided by different manufacturers and visited the Bergneustadt branch shortly after for a consultation. He was very happy to accept rahm’s offer to test the CoxaTrain for two weeks during everyday activities. “I thought that was great! I’ve been prescribed various things before, but I don’t want anything I can’t get on with. It might be expensive, and then it just lies around,” says Hans-Peter Schneider. He realized that the brace actually obstructed him during exercise, but when doing household activities, going shopping or hiking, it provides him with stability and helps him feel less pain after strenuous tasks. “The CoxaTrain particularly supports my back, where I really notice my problems. I found that out after a while when I was active.” 

With these experiences and a written recommendation issued by rahm, he went to see his orthopedist so that he could decide whether the CoxaTrain would be a good addition to his treatment plan. Hans-Peter Schneider was given a prescription – knowing full well that he would wear the brace, and it would help him stay active.

Breaking down stigma, strengthening compliance

Feedback relating to the trial offer tells Tobias Kautz and his colleagues that the additional effort is worth it. “Trying the product out breaks down some of the stigma. When patients wear the CoxaTrain during everyday activities, they notice that it works, better and better as time goes on,” he reports. “Of course, there are other measures for this complex condition, and the patient still has to put in a lot of work. But in 14 days, they can get a good idea as to whether the brace alleviates pain during everyday tasks to keep them active.” 

Tobias Kautz is an expert orthotist at German medical retailer rahm.

A good network in the region

Mr. Kautz, how does rahm provide information about osteoarthritis and orthopedic services? 

In this region, we have a good network of general physicians, orthopedists, therapists and self-help groups that we communicate with. We also organize targeted information events for physicians and therapists. We visit self-help groups, introduce topics and products, and hand out flyers. Of course, rahm is
also active online and in social media.  

How do patients find you? 

A key event is our osteoarthritis week, which we organize at least once a year. Interested customers can make an appointment to learn more about medical products, to touch them and try them out. Many people read about this in the newspaper or visit us based on a recommendation.

Why should patients trial braces like the CoxaTrain? 

You have to feel orthopedic product and test it during everyday activities. That’s why testing them is part of our service. This is particularly helpful for new products, where experiences are still being gathered on all sides. The first positive feedback encourages us to continue, allowing patients to benefit from the advantages of this brace and tell others about it. 

Images: Michael Bause

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