Let me tell you a story about Richard… Richard is a 57 year old business owner from Cirencester, who has 2 grandchildren and loves nothing more than exploring the great outdoors with his 3 dogs in his spare time visiting new places – his favourite place is Cirencester Park!
In his mid-40’s Richard damaged his knees climbing a lot of steep hills. He wasn’t alarmed at first, but when his knees didn’t seem to get any better, he found him self restricted by the pain which meant he couldn’t get outside of a weekend to walk the hills with his dogs like he once did.
At first he went to see his Doctor to see what could be done – they just prescribed him some pain medication and a few weeks of rest.
A month on, and there was still no improvement, so Richard booked another appointment with his Doctor, who again advised more rest and to avoid walking for more than 10 minutes at a time for at least a few more weeks.
But his knees didn’t improve.
Richard was still restricted by the pain, so much so that even walking around the house was becoming difficult to do.
A few months passed and he was beginning to wonder if his knee pain would ever heal, especially as the Doctor’s recommendations didn’t seem to be helping.
He’d had enough and went back to his GP one more time, raising his concerns that something must be able to be done to make life easier as he wasn’t able to even walk 10 minutes down the road with his dogs without being in some kind of pain and having to turn back…
He was told his knee cartilage had been damaged from all of the steep hill climbing he’d been doing for years, and that if moving around the house is hard to do, then maybe he should consider moving from a two storey house, to a bungalow.
Can you imagine being told that you might have to consider giving up your home and moving somewhere else as a solution to your knee pain and discomfort?!…
Richard didn’t want to even look into doing that without exploring every other option available to him…
He’d had Physiotherapy once before but was sceptical as the exercises didn’t seem to make much improvement, but when he decided to give Physio another go, we helped show him that life really is possible without the curse of annoying knee pain that can rob you of your independence…
How? I’ll get onto that in a bit.
But first let me tell you that Richard isn’t the only patient we’ve seen who has been told to consider moving to a bungalow after being in pain…
It’s a common concern for people who have suffered with bad knees for a while.
People get scared that they’ll lose all strength, grip and mobility, mix that together with pain and fatigue, and it becomes increasingly difficult to live independently at home – and who wants that? No one!
But do you really have to do something as major as re-locate to another home with no stairs?
Nope! In fact, if you’ve been led to believe that’s your only solution then you could be missing out on getting back to living the life you deserve.
If you don’t use your knees, then eventually they’ll become weak and lose strength, and worse can end up causing you problems further down the line – moving to a home with no stairs will mean you’ll be using your knees a lot less!
Knees are made to bend. They’re designed to help us walk, kneel down, bend to help us grab objects, walk up and down the stairs – not to stay still and be rested all day!
(Which is what a lot of people are told to do!)
So how did we help Richard get back to living an active life where he could return to taking his dogs out for long walks in the countryside?
We helped him get moving!
But we didn’t just give him any old exercises to get on with… We designed a programme specific to him and his needs.
We started slow, with gentle walking and strengthening exercises, building him up to using the stairs, and walking further for longer, and a combination of Physiotherapy hands on techniques and massage to ease the pain.
So, although it may feel like knee pain is something you’ll have to learn to live with and might not be able to be as active as you once were – that’s not always the case. Don’t just accept rest and taking painkillers as your only solution.