Little changes altogether make big improvements.

When a client has knee pain it often can be the symptom of something else.

But when that knee is swollen & sore, giving way regularly and stopping the client from being able to do any proper exercise at all for months, then I knew I needed to focus this treatment on the knee.

The treatment plan started with reducing the swelling and keeping it down. Regular lymph drainage massage was done (every other day) – this included the client resting his leg as high as I could get on the couch; I improvised by using my stool to get a high enough angle for gravity to help me and then encouraging the fluid to drain from the knee. The results weren’t evident immediately, but after 3 treatments we started to see real results. The swelling was reducing meaning more mobility was able to be achieved & the soreness was going.

Next we focussed on getting the client to gently stretch the muscles that come into the knee. This had to be done in such a manner as to not aggravate it and required some control from the client who wanted to start putting load through it, to which I had to explain that we need to activate those muscles again and build them up slowly.

After a period of time with no soreness, no swelling and stretching going well, we introduced strength work back. Increasing the load slowly and carefully – ensuring we never put the knee through more than it couldn’t take.

This all took time. And probably a lot more patience on the clients part. But I am pleased to report that the client returned to competitive squash last night & won his match. I’m keen to hear how the knee feels today but to hear the client was back on court and winning again is brilliant news.

So what have we learned – injuries are cruel, physically and mentally cruel. Rehab has to be fun and not boring. Spending 1 hour in the gym 4 times a week was not what my client wanted me to say, but gentle squash & racketball knock ups (recreating the load the knee will have to experience but without the force of a competitive match) was. I did have to get him into the gym though. I introduced him to the importance of core work and also warming up and cooling down. Next step? Well; remember I said knee pain is usually the symptom of something else? I’m hoping the client returns so I can start to look more closely at the feet and hips. This is important – we need to make sure ‘the knee’ doesn’t happen again!

With this client I have clearly seen that little changes altogether make big improvements, but there is more to come. Watch this space!

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