If you follow our feed on Facebook, you probably enjoyed (or got sick of) seeing a strong contingent of the BJC team running amuck down in Melbourne for the Australian Rheumatology Conference.
4 days of lectures, meetings, presentations, brunches, and more! All done in the interest of improving our rheumatology knowledge, and ultimately the care we offer our patients. Although there will be more videos and blogs to come, while its fresh in my brain I thought I'd share with you some of my top take homes.
- Exercise for bones...SO GOOD!!
There were some fantastic sessions encouraging exercise in order to increase bone strength and reduce risk of fracture . This was music to my ears, as although this idea is certainly not new, it is encouraging to hear more evidence supporting the use of specific, resistance based and often high velocity exercise to help those with poor bone health. Walking and running alone will NOT be enough to reduce fracture risk and make lasting changes to bone structure and integrity. Us EP's and Physio's need to keep assisting our clients build up to a point where they can deadlift, perform step ups and practice movements in different directions and at different speeds in order to make positive changes to bone density.
- Let's keep focusing on function, not just pain
One of my favourite lectures was delivered by Paediatric Rheumatologist David Sherri, who works at the Children's Hospital in Philadelphia. He delivered some inspiring messages relating to complex and chronic pain, perhaps my favourite being a great reminder that it is function that often improves before pain. He was adamant in wishing it could be the other way around.. as we all do! But based on his case studies and experiences, he has empowered countless young individuals to regain their mobility and independance by using a combination of movement, education and cognitive re-training. A great reminder for our team.
- We are very lucky at BJC
Sometimes I forget how lucky I am to work as part of a multi-disciplinary group, all working within the field of rheumatology. Speaking to a number of the attendees, it became obvious that to be part of a team where we are all encouraged to contribute our skills in ways which help our clients achieve their health goals is an awesome and rare thing. It was great to speak to rheumatology nurses, physiotherapists and rheumatologists and share our challenges and experiences in trying to deliver the best service to our clients.
So apologies if you are getting sick of all things Melbourne, but we will continue to share some of the great knowledge and moments captured in the days and weeks to come. Rest assured that we will be doing our best to keep delivering health care of the highest quality, with the ARA conference providing us with plenty of inspiration.
Until next time!