Marie* started working with me back in December 2020. She was dealing with constant knee and hip pain due to osteoarthritis. Her favourite physical activity was square dancing but due to COVID19 restrictions she was no longer able to gather with her dance group nor complete the complex moves on her own.
We met over the phone and discussed possible alternatives. She was hesitant to try walking due to pain but recognized that since stopping square dancing her pain had increased.
As the conversation continued, I shared with her the influence moving has on joint lubrication. Whereby, when the muscles contract around her knees and hips, they signal the body to produce more fluid to allow the joints to move more smoothly. This fluid, synovial fluid, acts like WD-40 for the joints. Particularly with people who have osteoarthritis, this fluid is essential for the gliding and sliding when the cartilage (connective tissue on the ends of the bones) has been partly or fully deteriorated.
And on top of that, this synovial fluid is the prime way cartilage receives nourishment in the joint. There is no blood or nerve supply to cartilage
10 point for moving! 🙌🏻
At the end of our visit, we devised a plan of starting to walk in her home with a route around her house.
Remember, it is December in Alberta. She wasn't keen to walk outside!
Marie thought it might also be possible to turn on some square dancing music while walking and possibly try some of the steps on her own as well.
We followed up in the new year a couple times and Marie had been consistently walking most days of the week for at least 10 minutes. Marie slowly began to transition her walking outdoors as the sidewalks became less icy. Her goal was to be ready for the gardening season!
Over our multiple phone calls, Marie complained of some muscle tightness and I prescribed specific flexibility exercises to target her lower body muscles.
This past week I met with Marie again. She has committed to her walking routine and is now walking for 30 minutes outside six days per week! She faithfully does her stretching exercises and has decreased her lower body pain and tightness.
She now plans to get her bike in tip top shape to start riding her bike through the Spring and Summer!
I am fortunate to say that Marie's story is like many. I'm very fortunate to help people align their values and what is most important to them in the attempt to find an exercise plan that works.
Marie was very grateful and thanked me multiple times over the call. I take no credit for her success. She set a plan that was feasible and realistic for HER and did all the work to achieve it.
As another former patient said,
It does take work. But once you find out where you are starting from and what is possible, you too can build physical activity into your lifestyle!
Practice in Action:
What is one action you can do today to start or grow your exercise plan?
It only takes one step to begin. Marie did it and so can you!
Stay well and happy moving,
P.S., I'm off to some professional training this weekend. I can't wait to share more with you about what I learn! Stay tuned!
Missed my most recent newsletter? Don't worry, I've got your back. Find all my exclusive letters here on this blog. ~Lisa