A patient’s story of recovery with knee osteoarthritis

I was told by a physiotherapist, almost five years ago, that both my knees were ‘knackered’ and that they needed replacing. Feeling neither physically or mentally ready for surgery, I tried many therapies and remedies; some of which helped for a time. However, after recently being diagnosed with advanced osteoarthritis and feeling frustrated and depressed by high pain levels, loss of mobility, having to use either crutches or a walker, I was fortunate to meet a new physiotherapist. What a revelation!! He has been instrumental in changing my life!

After observation and conversation (I came in on crutches dragging my right leg) he explained that I had overloaded my knees and that they were not damaged beyond repaid. I had formed the habit of guarding and tensing my knees which was a hindrance to recovery. He taught me to visualise moving and walking freely to encourgae healing. He also gave me some simple but effective exercises. He explained the value of the ‘all round approach’ to improvement i.e. sensible diet including anti-inflammatory foods, good sleeping habits, relaxation, stress reduction and the power of visualisation.

I needed to change the way I was thinking and consequently moving. It took me a while to reprogramme my brain but I have persisted and changing the way I think is changing the way I feel. The pain is less an mobility is improving.

Of course I still have arthritis but it is no longer my master. By adopting new habits and having faith in the exercises, my muscles are stronger and I am no longer dragging my leg, Recovery isn’t a straight line but knee surgery can wait. I feel like my physio has opened a window in my life and let the sun in. I will be forever grateful

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