I’m falling apart…now what?

So, I was diagnosed with Osteoarthritis in my left knee a few weeks ago and it appears I’m starting to get it in my right knee also.  I went to the physical therapist on Wednesday who gave me a few exercises to do.  She also pointed out that my left arch is collapsing and suggested to buy some padding for my shoes.  My left hamstring is also really tight.

Looking back, I’m sure I had all of these issues growing up.  I just never realized when I asked others if their knees hurt or feet hurt that the type of pain I was experiencing was different.  What I learned on Wednesday sure explains a lot of what I’ve experienced over the years.

Thankfully I haven’t experienced any extreme pain or limitations at this point.

My physical therapist also suggested that I avoid doing lunges and squats.  My orthopedist said that I do not have any restrictions and I can do whatever I want as long as I can manage the pain.  He did mention that the more I do now the quicker things will progress however the outcome will be the same (possibly cortisone shots and surgery down the road).

It’s a conflicting situation to be in.  Do I continue to do what I want to do now and possibly face shots/surgery in a shorter period of time or do I give up some of my goals now and put off shots/surgery?

I keep trying to figure out how to come up with a good workout routine that will allow me to meet some goals I have had for a couple of years yet will allow me to take care of my joints.  After thinking about it, lunges and squats have never bothered me.  The less I focus on the lower body the more I notice having pain.  It seems like exercise is something that does help me and I need to find a balance between babying my knee and continuing to exercise.

I am going to continue with what was my daily routine of working out a few months ago even though it includes lunges, running, and squats (even though my PT would not be thrilled with that idea, my orthopedist has not give me any restrictions).  I am not even at the point where I have to take painkillers before every single workout even though it has been suggested by my orthopedist to do.  I think once I meet a few goals that I have been wanting to meet that I will be satisfied with modifying my workouts this fall and I wont be tempted to keep trying at a point in my life when my knee might have more issues.

Of course I plan on listening to my body.  If for some reason my knees just seem to give me a lot of problems I will simply avoid those specific lunges or squats that day.  No reason to push myself to the point where I fall apart even more.

So, this summer will be the time to meet some goals I have put off for a couple of years and to close that chapter.  I have promised myself I will listen to my body and I will know my limitations.

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