Take another look at physiotherapy

I was diagnosed with chronic advanced osteoarthritis (RA ruled out) in multiple joints about a year ago. My surgeons suggestions, that I have a staged replacement schedule, first my hips followed by my knees. This was a little overwhelming and I cancelled my first hip replacement to give myself more time to adjust and see if I could stabilise my condition and symptoms. The question neither my GP or surgeon could answer well enough to my satisfaction was how a hip that was so damaged could on certain days feel completely better. I asked how could that be? They mentioned flare ups being normal and that just made me question more, how can structural damage be offset? Confused doesn't do my feelings justice. My physiotherapy started during Covid, so virtual attendance delivered via a private health plan that stated I wasn't covered for arthritis. My experience was chronically poor, most of the exercises made my symptoms worse and the nice therapist pretty indifferent to what worked and didn't. It just felt like a tick box exercise. I turned to online physiotherapy and found some wonderful help from Bob and Brad videos. One day they did a podcast with a physiotherapist they described as a master practitioner, Rick Olderman. He has a different approach to PT that focuses on the whole system, biomechanics, tissue and nerves. The focus shifts from a particular joint or specific diagnosis to the whole skeleton and all it's muscles, tendons and related connections that influence a joint or condition directly and indirectly. It identifies imbalance and poor function that can be resolved to take dangerous pressure off joints and provide alternative positive support. It reminds the body how it should work compared to the habits that have become normal due to pain avoidance. Rick talks about chronic pain making us change how we move, we compensate developing abnormal movement patterns without realising what we are doing. How we sit, stand, walk and sleep all adding up. Muscles compensating, joints taking weight instead of muscles and so on. I'm only just at the start of my journey with his approach but my first exercise, a slow and gentle somatic sequence, actually straightened my lower left leg. Something my surgeon said was twisted as a consequence of damage in the kneecap due to chronic arthritis. For the first time in years I walked up steps using my right knee completely pain free! My second exercise has made walking much easier. There is more to do. Now I am able to move without pain, I need to strengthen to maintain the improvement but I am a lot further away from the dreaded schedule of replacement and maybe I can put them off indefinitely? I'll keep you all posted as I progress but wanted to encourage others not to give up on physiotherapy until you've exhausted your options, if like me you don't relish the thought of artificial joints. Just because one or two physiotherapists don't help you, there are numerous approaches out there and it's worth shopping around to find one that could help. Good luck!