Recovering Through Exercise

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We hear it all the time like it is playing on a never ending track, “Get healthy through diet and exercise”. It comes out of every doctor’s mouth when a patient is suffering from any number of ailments. Think that diet and exercise might be overrated? Then you would be wrong because it is the simplest and healthiest way to get your body back on track.

When you think of diet and exercise being utilized to treat sickness, you might automatically think of obesity related illnesses. The truth is that the effects of an appropriate diet and or exercise plan can be seen to treat ailments that one would not even suspect.

Back in September of 2012, I began feeling pain in my right knee after a particularly rough soccer season. The pain was mild and occasional at first but as time went on, the pain increased in intensity and duration. I remember that I was walking through the mall one day and after doing a fair amount of walking, my knee began to pain me with every step that I took. At first, I believed that the pain was just some mild inflammation and it would eventually subside but it just got worse. In January of 2013 I signed up for a month of hot yoga. I realized that there was a serious problem when I physically could not do some of the poses without suffering severe pain in my knee. I began to be concerned about ACL damage or menisus injury, which would likely need some sort of surgical correction.

After an X-ray, ultrasound and MRI, it was determined that there was a cyst in my knee. A cyst is a fluid filled sack that can consist of joint space fluid. This was likely brought on by injury during my competitive soccer season. It was a co-ed season and there is nothing that is quite as exciting as showing the boys that you can be just as aggressive as them. I remember taking a hit and being forced to the ground and the guy who did it came over to me and vigorously apologized to which I responded, “It’s fine. I’m not made of glass.” They think that us ladies are little dolls or something but as soon as you show them that you can push just as hard, its game on. Perhaps if I had kept my competitive nature in check, I would have avoided the knee injury in the first place but that is like trying ti turn off the sun. It can’t be done.

After discovering my diagnosis, I wanted to have a corticosteroid injection into the knee to reduce the inflammation. I had my doctor give me a referral for an orthopedic surgeon but the appointment wasn’t until 6 months into the future. I needed to deal with the pain but I didn’t know quite what to do. I discussed my concern with one of my friends who is a physiotherapist. He strongly advised against the injection or surgery and suggested some exercises. I proceeded to forget the specific exercises he had give me however this was around the time that I started getting serious about my training. So I worked the legs twice a day. At the end of each leg day, the knee would be sore but eventually the soreness went away. It got to the point that I didn’t even remember that I had pain in the knee and sometimes I even forget which knee the cyst was in. BAM! The power of exercise!

I cancelled my long awaited orthopedic surgeon appointment and avoided the use of medicines or surgery. People should consider this route before deciding to take all sorts of medication to “solve” their ailments. I am not anti-medication by any means, but when you can heal yourself naturally, I think that is the better option.

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