Bloomington / Normal, IL

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Improve Health for People With Joint Pain


Submitted by OSF Healthcare

It’s no secret that too much weight can impact a person’s health, cause severe joint pain in the knees and hips, and may eventually lead to joint replacement surgery.

In a collaborative effort across several departments, OSF HealthCare St. Joseph Medical Center developed a program, OSF Healthy Joints, for people living with joint pain and obesity. The goal of the program is to improve an individual’s health and reduce the risk of complications related to joint replacement surgery. An added benefit of the program is reduced weight and associated joint pain.

“OSF Healthy Joints is a strategic program developed to help people lose weight and get healthy prior to a joint replacement surgery,” said Exercise Physiologist Matt Hanks, MS, NSCA, CPT. “Studies show that going into surgery with a healthy body weight decreases the risk of complications and improves recovery time.”

Participants in the 20-week program work through four “Principles of Success” that include components of physical therapy and exercise physiology, behavioral health, and the Health Management Resources (HMR) meal replacement program. HMR has been ranked as the Number 1 Best Fast Weight Loss Diet by U.S. News & World Report three years in a row.

The four principles of success include:

  • Embrace movement — OSF HealthCare therapists and exercise physiologists will help to identify imbalances in the body and address any pain and problems. The program also uses the new Method CRA assessment to determine a person’s prime, anaerobic, and peak heart rate zones. The heart rate zones help identify the ideal exercise intensity of an individual where fat is used as its primary fuel source. Exercising “smart” not “hard” is critical to improve weight loss outcomes. The movement team will also develop a personalized program to meet each individual’s unique physical needs.
  • Eat with a purpose — Using the scientifically proven HMR weight-loss program, this principle incorporates two phases. Phase 1 introduces participants to the HMR meal-replacement program and related support and education. Phase 2 expands on their nutritional options, and introduces them to nutritional programs available through the Center for Healthy Lifestyles. They work with team members from the OSF Weight Management Center and the Center for Healthy Lifestyles.
  • Redefine perceptions — Working with Behavioral Health, participants begin to learn to change their relationship with food through personal evaluation, group education, and support sessions.
  • Engage the family — Working with members of all the supporting teams, participants, and their family embrace the lifestyle change through education, commitment, and involvement.

The journey

A patient navigator from the Center for Healthy Lifestyles is there to guide participants and their family through the entire circle of care provided through the OSF Healthy Joints program.

“The health journey of our patients from diagnosis to recovery is important to us,” Hanks said. “The OSF Healthy Joints program provides a comprehensive approach to weight loss so our patients can experience improved outcomes.” 

The OSF Healthy Joints program is offered through the Center for Healthy Lifestyles in conjunction with the OSF Weight Management Center at OSF HealthCare St. Joseph Medical Center in Bloomington. To learn more, call 309-661-5151. Individuals can get a referral from their OSF HealthCare provider by requesting services through the OSF Weight Management Center and noting “Healthy Joints” in the comments.