It’s a “Mental” Pandemic Game Now…


Have you been hoping that once everything goes back to normal, then your pain, stiffness or arthritis will also magically get normal? Well that’s what I heard from one of my clients this week.

Connie said that because she was working from home, she explained to herself in her mind, that her knees would be just fine because she was not “on the go” like before traveling, running around to meetings, etc. Also especially because she had worked with us for a long time, and had seen much improvement in March before the pandemic that she can ride this out and everything will be normal – after all it’s just going to be another 3-4 weeks of not going to PT.

Well much to her dismay, she reached out to us after 9 weeks of not doing anything, (despite saying on our phone calls that she needs to get back to doing her knee, core and leg strengthening). She was back in pain on her arthritic knee… and her good knee (where she had the knee replacement surgery 2 years back) had also begun getting stiff. She was so confused and trying to make sense of it all.

See Connie and I had been in touch over the phone over the past 2 months. I tried explaining to her, that she made a lot of progress December – March, but if she does not keep that up, she is going to have setbacks, and she will have to start from scratch. She said she’ll try to do her exercises…but she was NOT open to doing Virtual telehealth PT because she does not feel like doing it.

When she called us this week, hesitantly, she agreed that she was hoping to do the exercises, but just like before, she is better off when she sees me, because she gets them done with me. If we leave it to her own accord, she is NOT accountable. She agreed that setting up the weekly visits helped her get them done plus she also got to do them correctly. On top of that, we were able to keep challenging her by making the exercises more difficult which enabled her to make further progress so she didn’t suffer like she did now.

She is now seeing us via telehealth Online PT, and we have begun doing the weight-bearing, eccentric strengthening exercises. I’m also showing her some ways to improve her range of motion in the arthritic knee, what to do, and not to do to keep the inflammation off, and also some core re-strengthening with new exercises because her old exercises were not working because she has lost core and glut strength again after 8 weeks. She feels like she has some control back in her life…and she does not feel mentally distressed. She feels positive that she is again committing time weekly to maintain the health of her knees, and also PREVENT things from getting worse. She loves the term ” prevention is better than cure’.

Connie was seeing us before the pandemic for stiffness and pain in her knees, because of severe arthritis. One of her knees is curved into a deformity called genu valgum, because the inner part of cartilage in her inner knee is thinning and degenerating. As in the picture below. She has a knee replacement on one side, and does not want to have another surgery/ knee replacement on the other knee anytime soon.

Knee X-Ray

If you feel this pandemic is playing a “mental game” in your reasoning… that your body will just heal on its own, or just maintain its status for the next 8 weeks, think again.

A lot of my patients are now reaching out suffering from stiffness, aches and pain…from being quarantined and having to sit more, exercise less, not having the same routine. As a PT we have the expertise to know that if you have something degenerative like arthritis, it’s not just going away. It will just get worse with time, and if you don’t do maintenance and progress work, then other areas of your body impacted by that arthritic joint, will begin to hurt/ get stiff/ache.

We can see the setbacks coming from miles away when we know the “root cause of your problem”… As I say “use this time to prevent the problem from getting worse, use the time to maintain the health of your knees, back, neck….because otherwise the cure for the symptoms coming back or getting worse, or even a new problem erupting is going to cost you more in time, emotions (frustration, guilt, shame, irritability, family and work life) and money.”

If you’re silently suffering at home, hoping your problem will magically go away, give us a call at 202 670 8874. I’m here to have a free phone chat and help you.

Or email us at Reach out to us… or simply inquire here for a free telephone consultation.

Whatever you do – don’t try to figure out your pain on your own – and don’t just throw pills, ice, or heat at it. This could lead to more problems down the line and if you let it get bad enough – you’ll be forced to have to go to Urgent Care or the ER – two places you DON’T want to be in right now.

Let us help you!

Call us at 202-670-8874 or click the link below.

Trupti Mehta, PT, MS, OCS

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