Heading for Knee Surgery
Emily, a 73-year old woman, had been told a typical story. Her age, knee pain, swelling and an x-ray of age-related wear and tear meant osteoarthritis was causing her pain. A total knee replacement or partial knee replacement was the only solution.
But her story didn’t support what she’d been told. She was able to walk all day and work hard on her farm without issues only 18 months ago. She went on a skiing holiday and was stiff and sore in her back and legs as a result.
This didn’t settle and over six months she developed an increasing ache in her knees. She then developed sudden knee pain in her left knee which became severely painful and resolved without intervention. Then her right knee became severely painful and didn’t settle down.
Knee Pain may be Functional, not Anatomical
The medical interpretation of her knee pain causes was incorrect and her movement patterns illustrated this. She was compensating with her whole body by keeping her back straight, rolling her gait and avoiding using the painful leg.
Every movement was tensed beforehand for fear of what was coming. Over time she became stiffer in her back and weaker in her leg. This could explain a nerve irritation and referred knee pain. Emily was terrified at the thought of a knee replacement and scared to use her leg. As a result, her fitness and strength declined. She was stuck in a vicious cycle.
I helped Emily change the way she thought and moved. We worked on normal fluid movement, confident thinking and functional fitness. This resulted in less tension and stiffness, increased leg power and significant knee pain relief. Quickly, Emily got her life back.
Does Osteoarthritis ALWAYS Mean Knee Replacement?
Age-related degenerative change and osteoarthritis are commonly accepted as an inevitable cause of pain and suffering in later life. However, many people have age-related “wear and tear” and lead an active life without pain. Accepting a knee replacement as the only option means we don’t challenge the presentation.
An x-ray of Emily’s knee 18 months previously would have been the same, when she was fully active and pain-free. I challenged the factors known to influence pain, such as movement patterns, beliefs and anxiety. This saw an instant change in both her pain and movement. Then she had to learn to make the changes stick. Which took a little extra time.
I challenged the interpretation of her presentation and took the time to listen to Emily’s story. This meant she made great progress in a short period of time. From CHALLENGE comes CHANGE.
If you’d like to chat through your situation with me, please call on 01392 949032 and I’d be delighted to set you on a different path.