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I have mentioned in past blogs that my right knee is weaker than my left one. It doesn't hurt all the time, but if I move it in the wrong way it is sore for several days. I particularly notice the soreness when DD and I do exercises that involve lunges. My right knee does not like lunges or pliés.
SS has started his first physical therapy internship. When he was home for Christmas, I asked why my knee was that way. He got a mad scientist gleam in his eye and had me stretch out on the floor. He twisted and turned my leg. He did strength tests. He told me that my right knee cap slips out of the groove when I put it in certain positions. He promised to look up the exercises I needed to do to strengthen the muscles that hold my kneecap in place.
He mailed me nine exercises. The muscle and ligament that support the knee cap also attach to the hip joint, so I am doing quadriceps strengthening and stretching plus iliotibial band and hip adductor strengthening.
In the past when injuries or disease got so painful that surgery was required, physical therapy was prescribed to aid recovery. Then orthopedists began prescribing PT before surgery. Some patients improved so much that surgery became unnecessary. The momentum for the future is that physical therapists would become primary care physicians for muscular skeletal problems. People like me who have a minor problem will use PT to solve it early rather than waiting until pain is acute.
Think of the way dental treatment has changed in the last 60 years. In my grandparents' day tooth decay and gum disease were normal. If someone lived long enough, a dentist pulled all their teeth and built dentures for them. Now children and adults go in for preventive dentistry once or twice a year. Decay and gum disease are stopped before they do damage. Hardly anyone needs dentures any more. PTs can imagine a day when joint pain is dealt with early and routinely, and surgeries are limited to repairing broken bones and other accident related injuries. I guess I'm a guinea pig for the new ideal.
SS says the hospital where he is working has a lunch special for employees: meat and vegetables for $2.50. He said, "I can't buy groceries and cook for myself for that price. The food is really good too." He is eating like an O and thinking preventive health care. I couldn't be more pleased. Now, I'm going to go do my exercises before I go to bed.
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