Sandra asked me if she had to give up playing tennis. After all she was pushing 60 and had been having aches and pains, mainly in the right knee. This had made playing a lot less enjoyable. And her playing partner teased her with her upcoming milestone: she was turning 60 in two weeks. She was even considering a knee replacement.
“So”, I asked her, “how old is your other knee?”. For a moment she was at a loss for words, which is rare for her. “You’re right” she said. “My left knee is just as old”. “And yet you don’t have any trouble with the left knee” I replied.
Giving up playing tennis
I have known Sandra for years and I knew giving up tennis would be very hard for her. But what concerned me more was that she told me she also felt restricted in other daily activities. Such as getting on the floor to play with her young grandson. So that is when I suggested she come in and have her posture evaluated.
After having a look at her posture, taking some pictures and seeing her move, I was happy to reassure her. “It’s not your age”, I said. “It’s your posture!” I explained to her that the way her knee was aligned, or in fact misaligned, with her hip, caused too much stress on one side of the knee, causing the pain.
Exercises to improve your posture
“So, what’s the solution?” she asked. “I’ll try anything to avoid a knee replacement”. So, I gave her five exercises to do. These exercises are targeted at her posture, not her pain. Furthermore, they focus on the body as a whole, not just the knee. After these exercises she looked at me, hesitantly, and then said, “my knee pain is gone!”. After checking that she would be able to do these exercises at home, she was off with a renewed vigor in her step.
The body renews itself
“I’ll tell you a little secret” I said as she was leaving, looking visibly relieved. “Your skeleton renews itself every 10 years. So, you are never 60 years old. But if you keep copying the old patterns to the new skeleton, you keep having the same issues. Keep feeling your body healthy patterns of movement and you’ll still be playing tennis when you’re 100 years old!”