The Runner With Knee Pain

Image by skeeze from Pixabay

Imagine you had just decided to turn your life around, become more active and lose some weight. You’re smart, so you set the goal to lose the weight not just by changing your eating habits, but by getting into better shape. While it  took you a long time to make that decision, you’re finally there, motivated and excited.

You start walking or running on a treadmill, but then all of a sudden instead of continuing to progress toward a goal that will make you feel better about yourself, you develop significant knee pain. This happens to many people who try to get in shape after years of inactivity.

Not only does your knee pain stop you from exercising, but the resulting disappointment makes you feel bad about yourself again and triggers your bad eating habits. What seems like an attainable goal is now out of reach again as you start gaining, rather than losing weight.

Ugh. Now you’ve lost even the mobility you used to have and need just in your activities of daily living. You’re actually going in the opposite direction from your goal. As you gain the weight back, you create increased pressure on the knee, and you’re in a vicious cycle worse than before you began.

This is the typical story of the knee patients we see in the clinic. Previously active and athletic individuals end up hurting themselves playing certain sports or working out in the gym. Some of the damage is not preventable even if they’re careful, because it comes from age-related wear and tear.

For example, the other day I had an extremely avid runner who thoroughly enjoyed running every day, especially in the wonderful spring and fall we have in Arizona. But she came to see me because she had developed knee pain that made it difficult for her even to walk up a flight of stairs, much less run. It’s impossible to describe what a sense of loss she felt, even though she was totally healthy except for her knee pain.

We ordered some imaging and realized she had mild to moderate degeneration in the ligaments and tendons surrounding the knee. Guided by imaging, we were able to do a single cortisone injection into her knee, making sure we were able to hit the exact part of the knee joint that was the source of her pain. Using ultrasound, as we do, allows us to be more accurate and raises our success rate.

Within literally minutes, this woman was able to leave our clinic almost totally pain free. The immediate relief came from the local anaesthetic we gave the knee, but within a few days the steroid injection began to work its anti-inflammatory magic. We then used our ARP wave therapy to help her quickly activate and engage the muscles she would need to protect the knee in the future. The ARP wave therapy makes the muscles stronger much faster than under ordinary circumstances, and with strengthened muscles around her knee joint she is able to go back to the running she loves.

This is why I do what I do. When I am able to help people like her, I remember why I became a doctor.

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