In collaboration with Dr. Jacklyn Brechter, the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program hosted a virtual 5-day exercise, wellness, and educational program for those in the community who suffer from chronic pain from knee and/or hip osteoarthritis (OA) called Osteoarthritis Boot Camp. Dr. Brechter was initially inspired by the sheer number of individuals with OA in the United States.  The lifetime risk of developing knee symptoms due to OA is 45% in the United States!  Also, there is no clear long term medical plan in the U.S. to manage this currently incurable disease process. Hence, the need for an Osteoarthritis Boot (or Booster) Camp (OABC).

Dr. Brechter designed the OABC using current literature and mindful practice. Student physical therapists were supervised and paired with persons with OA to determine if the booster idea could work.  Chapman DPT has been mindful that although our society is still in the pandemic, we can continue to practice physical therapy safely via tele-health while helping our community.  So, the OABC was hosted virtually and participants were able to attend in the comfort of their own home.

The OABC consisted of daily assessment (re-assessment), personalized sessions to target mobility or strength deficits identified, a group aerobics exercise session, and an information session. The DPT students facilitated the group exercises to incorporate yoga, Tai Chi and most importantly mindfulness.

Per Dr. Brechter, “with mindfulness, we can learn to identify how we trigger OA pain, and so learn what we can do to avoid those triggers and regain control of our life and health.”

Although this was our first OABC, 100% of the participants demonstrated improvement in the short time (5 days) we had with them.  Students were able to learn and grow, and we partnered with The School of Pharmacy faculty and the Marriage and Family Therapy program for their expertise.  Overall, OABC was a great success for all involved.