You wake up in the morning with a slight ache in your knee. After shaking your leg, rubbing it with your hands, and bending it up and down a couple of times that slight ache goes away.
The initial steps from your bed to the bathroom give you some discomfort, you may even limp somewhat, but it’s not too bad.
You use the toilet and notice that getting up from the toilet is not painful, but it is more difficult than usual. You then stand to brush your teeth and then you go into the shower. You are very careful while in the shower because you are less confident with your knee since this ache started to occur.
Going downstairs to eat breakfast and drink your coffee should be exciting but the thought of going down the stairs is no longer automatic, it takes some more thought than usual. You just don’t want that slight ache to turn into anything else.
Careful becomes your middle name. You are constantly processing your every move trying to avoid the ache, so you rest your knee a lot.
Eventually that slight ache goes away and you couldn’t be happier.
It’s now time to get back to your Zumba class.
You’re able to go 2 weeks without any pain. That 3rd week of class the ache is back, but it’s more intense than just the “normal” small ache you had before.
You decide this time you are going to the doctor.
Finally you get an appointment and he/she spends less than 5 minutes with you. The doctor tells you “it’s probably some arthritis” and then you get a prescription for some pain medication and anti-inflammatory.
You’re excited because you want to get back to class.
The medication helps and you go back to class the following week.
Now you have to take your medication either before every class or after every class.
This seems normal to you because at least you get to still attend class.
6 Months goes by just like this and finally you go back to the doctor and tell him, “my knee ache is getting worse and it’s more constant now.”
The doctor decides to give you an injection, and you agree because surely that will take it away. He or she tells you that this will take care of it and sends you on your way.
Another 3 months go by and although the pain is better since the injection, it’s not gone. You go back to the doctor, AGAIN.
You get an X-ray and an MRI on your knee another 2 weeks later and “it doesn’t show anything.” There is no evidence of any trauma or damage to the knee. The doctor finally recommends Physical Therapy to you.
After almost a year of being in pain it is finally getting treated in Physical Therapy.
You start to tell me the whole history behind your knee pain and you say, “At first it was just a normal pain…”
Let me tell you that no pain is “normal.” Pain can be common especially if there is direct trauma, or some kind of accident, or after a surgical procedure, but understand that pain is not normal.
What we perceive to be “nothing” often blows up into something. We all play the waiting game because we think it will get better and since we don’t put a timeframe for things to get better it starts to cascade into something else.
So knee pain is never normal.
If you’re struggling with daily aches or pains its best to take care of it now, but in the end prevention is better than cure. Even if you aren’t experiencing knee pain, why not prevent it from even happening?
Until next time,