Blog 57 – Birthdays and Knee Pain

So I have just celebrated the biggest birthday of my life…39 years ago my poor mum was put through the mill for another time. After realising that she had finally reached perfection at the second attempt she quit having any more of us and my brother and I started planning how we were going to rule the world. 39? Why is that a big birthday? For me it’s the last year of my 30’s and despite the grey receding hairline I am refusing to acknowledge that I am getting any older!

A couple of weeks after a quick break to the Lake District for my big day was the weekend that sits high as the biggest weekend of the year for all chiropractors. The British Chiropractic Association Conference and Award Ceremony. Huge numbers of chiropractors were nominated for the various awards and my associate Jack had made it to the final 3 of Associate of the Year! Alas, under stiff competition from other keen chiropractors Jack didn’t get the top spot this year but did incredibly well as his story inspired a huge round of applause from his peers. A number of people have asked me if I won anything but sadly I think it could look a bit badly if I was nominated to win an award that I helped to create and then hosted…maybe in the future if I stop some of my dad jokes.

I was telling a patient today all about how pleased I was with the ice sculpture I had ordered for the ceremony when she politely put me back on track saying ‘yes Tim, that sounds wonderful…about my knee pain’. Ah yes. The patients was a early twenties female personal trainer and class instructor. Unsurprisingly, I treat many fitness trainers as they put their bodies through their paces every day. They are fit and strong but sometimes they just need a little bit of hands on help to take their pain away. This patient had a common complaint of pain around the front of her knee. She told me that her clients in her spin class noticed that her right knee was bending inwards and she wondered if it was related. It is very likely related to her symptoms. The common misconception in cases like this is that the patient has a weakness. But this doesn’t make sense as she trains everyday. What is more likely is that she has a problem that inhibits her muscles from working properly and allows her knee to bend inwards. We identified a number of inhibited muscles in her back, hip and leg and got to work with some great hands on techniques. After a short time we were able to make those muscles activate again and her one leg squat became pain free. Now a few exercises from our physiotherapists in combination with a couple more treatments to reinforce the work I have done and she will be ok to carry on keeping the rest of the world fit! Not all patients with this pain are this simple but many are. It’s amazing what you can do when you really start looking for the root cause of patients pain.

Personally I still need to conquer fitness. I am much better at helping people with their injuries than I am at going to the gym myself. I keep myself in check by eating healthy but I must do better with exercise. I started playing squash but the people I played with were too busy and it’s no good on your own. Maybe I will join the gym…or even start using the cross trainer that I have at home!

So lets all try and stay fit and active for our minds and bodies this winter. Feel free to ask me how my exercise is going when you see me maybe it will help motivate me to do more!