Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts has launched a pilot program to offer the AposTherapy device — an at-home treatment device designed to reduce pain and improve quality of life — to its members with knee and low back pain.

The pilot entails eligible members using AposTherapy in conjunction with physical therapy visits, and is intended to show AposTherapy treatment’s ability to prevent knee surgery and reduce lower back pain by improving members’ walking patterns.  

Developed by orthopedics and sports medicine professionals, the AposTherapy foot-worn device is FDA cleared for treating knee osteoarthritis and can help patients with other musculoskeletal conditions, such as hip and lower back pain. AposTherapy is designed to address the underlying causes of the pain by shifting pressure from the painful area of the knee and re-educating muscles for a healthier walking pattern, even when the device is not being worn. 

Participating Blue Cross members will wear the shoes for about an hour a day, while also attending several physical therapy sessions and using a gait mat to calibrate the shoes and provide clinical outcome data, a media release from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts explains.

“We know many of our members suffer with knee, hip and low back pain, and they want surgery to be a last resort,” says Bruce Nash, MD, chief physician executive at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, in the release.

“Clinical studies of the AposTherapy device have shown promising results, including significant pain relief, improved function and quality of life. Use of the device has also been shown to reduce the use of opioids and reduce the likelihood of surgery, so we want to give our members the opportunity to try it if they’re interested.”

The first step in treatment involves evaluating the member’s walk on a computerized gait analyzer. Specially trained physical therapists then attach the right-sized devices to the shoe in a personalized manner to re-align the patient’s knees, hips, and back.

“Apos Therapy doesn’t just treat the symptoms of pain, it treats the causes of pain – without painkillers or invasive procedures or requiring patients to change their daily routines,” states Dr Cliff Bleustein, global CEO and president of AposTherapy. “By improving body mechanics and muscular coordination, AposTherapy has been shown to relieve pain and improve daily function and quality of life.”

The program is available to members of the Blue Cross’s commercial, fully insured accounts. No prescription or prior authorization is required. Eligible members can visit a Professional Physical Therapy location to be evaluated and fitted for the AposTherapy device.

[Source(s): Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, PR Newswire]