Sunday, May 2, 2010

Physiotherapy Class

My first brush with physiotherapy was a little on the strange side, but the jury is happily still out.

Kaiser Permanente, my health provider this year (not sure how long that will last) bundled all their knee-challenged clients into a group and dealt with six of us en masse through an introductory educational/exercise class. I was pretty skeptical as to how all these people of different shapes, sizes and diagnoses could benefit from a blanket approach, but since the gist of the message seemed to be Strengthen Your Quads, and that's spot on for what I've read about Runner's Knee, then I don't mind playing nicely for a month or two and seeing what happens.

Photo thanks: Kings College London

I now have 3 fairly challenging exercises (including sitting on the wall and single-leg bridge, if you're interested) to repeat 20-40 times, every other day. Icing afterwards is mandatory, even if my knee doesn't feel inflamed. The plan is, this should yield some improvement in 2-3 months. What the heck, I can give that a shot, especially since I'm allowed to sneak in some short runs, as long as I stop when it starts to hurt.

Probably the best part of the class was the rather selfish satisfaction in seeing that, of the six of us, my "condition" is by far the least severe. I'm extremely lucky that, so far at least, my recalcitrant knee is not interrupting daily life. I can get up, down, or sideways without difficulty, and, within reason, I can still take a nice long walk without anxiety. I take great comfort that, being in vaguely reasonable shape to begin with, a single dodgy joint is not enough to bring everything to a grinding halt. And unless I get over-enthusiastic and trot too far, I'm free of the pain which my classmates were clearly enduring. That knowledge, if nothing else, should provide the motivation to stick to my exercise schedule.


  1. Excellent news! I read somewhere that we females tend to have quite good hamstrings, but wimpy quads. I seem to remember now having a recurrent knee problem when I first started running and Bill kept telling me to 'lift my knees' more when I ran. Since I practically come to a stop and crawl up hills, quad work probably wouldn't do me much harm either. Your stronger quads won't just protect your knee (but they would be worth it just for that, right?); they'll make you a better runner! I'm so pleased you've found something positive you can do about your injury!

  2. That's great!
    On a side note: I have Kaiser and am trying to decide if I want to keep them. The only thing I'm dissatisfied with is when I have to see 3 or 4 different "specialists" for an issue--which requires 4 separate appointments...I'd like to just go to one place for everything. But I guess we can't have everything we want, right?

  3. Asha, you've pretty much nailed it. Previously, I visited my Doctor once a year and that took care of everything I needed. With Kaiser, I'm jumping through hoops to even get a refill on birth control... :(


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