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Press Release:

 

Doctor Uses Engineering To Treat Arthritis

South Dennis, Massachusetts - Osteoarthritis, also known as wear and tear arthritis, is often caused by unbalanced transfer of body weight across the joint.  As a result, one area of the joint is required to take more of its share of the body weight. The uneven load distribution leads to breakdown of the cartilage in the over-loaded area of the joint.  The cartilage breakdown is what causes the joint pain known as osteoarthritis.

“This is a biomechanical problem and therefore requires a biomechanical solution”, says Dr Jeffrey P Davies, physician and biomechanical engineer at St Luke’s Health Alliance in South Dennis.  The 12 years Dr Davies spent conducting research at the Orthopedic Biomechanics Laboratory at Mass General Hospital and the five years he has spent as a family physician has inspired Dr Davies to research how biomechanical imbalances in joints lead to cartilage overload.

Dr Davies explains, “The cartilage overload sets off the viscous cycle that over-time ultimately leads to joint destruction.  “It has always been my belief that if we can correct the biomechanical problems of the joint early on we can prevent the cartilage break-down that ultimately leads to joint destruction.”

 “What is fascinating to me is that by making slight changes to the loading patterns of the ankle joint through the use of relatively simple foot orthotics, I can significantly affect the loading patterns of the knee, hip and low back,” says Dr Davies. “By correcting these imbalances we are relieving pain and this, to me, is very, very exciting.”

Dr Davies does caution that the pain relief is often not immediate. Dr Davies explains, “The biomechanical problems have developed over a long period of time.  The body adapts to these biomechanical imbalances by lengthening and shortening ligaments and tendons, and by reshaping the bone. Simply putting a foot orthotic into the shoe does not immediately correct the problem.  However once the biomechanics are corrected, the body will, over time, re-adapt to the now corrected alignment.   The goal is to provide more uniform load transfer across the joint, less overload on the cartilage, less pain and ultimately preserved joint function. This technology gives us the opportunity to help many patients that, up to now, have thought that the only solution to their joint pain was to take acetaminophen and/or anti-inflammatory medication, limit their activity and wait until they were old enough for a total joint replacement.”

S.C is one such patient helped by this new technology.  S.C. explains, “When I went to my primary care doctor with my knee pain he told me I had early osteoarthritis.  He actually told me that arthritis was something that I would have to learn to live with; it was part of getting old. He suggested that I begin taking regular daily doses of pain medicine.   I heard about the work Dr Davies was a doing through a friend. The analysis that Dr Davies performed was fascinating.  After Dr. Davies reviewed the results of the analysis with me, I understood what was causing my pain. It made perfect sense.  Dr Davies explained the treatment plan which consisted of foot orthotics, exercises and natural supplements.  After just a few weeks I am now more active and almost pain free. I feel grateful that I have taken action to relieve my pain rather than becoming a victim to it.”

Contact

Jeffrey P. Davies, D.O.

Email: DocDavies@ArchAtomics.com



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