Following your referral, you will meet with an exercise physiologist who will assess the best path of exercise for your individual needs, and will prescribe the right course for you.
An exercise physiologist is an accredited exercise professional who is qualified to work with people suffering from chronic pain and illness, and to prescribe exercise for the prevention and management of chronic disease and injuries.
Where there are insufficient exercise physiologists to meet the demand of the program, including but not limited to regional Australia, then physiotherapists will perform the pre- and post-exercise assessments. Call 1800 011 041 for more information.
The Joint Movement isn’t just about getting you onto a course. It’s about educating you so you can continue to do the exercises at home, safely and with confidence. You can even link them to your other daily activities if you don’t have time to do a full class twice a week. But, just because the 20 prescribed classes come to an end, it doesn’t mean you can’t do more classes. Indeed, many people keep going to the classes well beyond their prescription – it not only keeps them active, but many people really enjoy the social side that the small-group classes offer.
Your GP is well placed to assess your needs and abilities for referral to The Joint Movement program. You may also qualify for a rebate through Medicare if you get a referral through your GP.
If you are a seasoned gym-goer, then you should keep going to the gym. The Joint Movement was set up to help those with less confidence exercising, and to ensure that you do the best possible exercise for your condition, led by exercise professionals who are trained in running classes for people with arthritis. And, because The Joint Movement offers group classes, there is a social benefit of meeting other people with a similar condition, too.
The Joint Movement exercise session fees are determined by the class leader. Costs will, therefore, inevitably vary between providers. Medicare rebates may be available for patients with a chronic condition who are referred under the General Practitioner Management Plan. Private Health Insurance companies may also offer rebates for this program. Contact your provider to check your entitlements.
For your appointment with the exercise physiologist, you should wear comfortable clothes as you will be required to do some gentle, simple exercises to help with your assessment. For the exercise classes, wear comfortable clothes that you can easily move in, and trainers, if you are doing the strength training exercise classes. If you are doing the warm water exercise classes, you will need to wear a swimsuit.
The Joint Movement is purposefully designed as a small-group exercise program because the benefits of exercising in a group go beyond the physical health gains. The group environment provides support, social interaction and motivation to continue exercising, all from other people who have a similar condition to yours. If you are still nervous, speak with your class leader beforehand. You can always watch a class first, before participating, to help you feel more comfortable about the environment. Just remember: the program is designed for people who don’t exercise, and who are in the class with you because they have a similar condition to yours, and so the chances are there will be others feeling just as nervous as you.