A family friend, and our son’s football coach, Simon, tells me about how his new role in the family cleaning business is helping to decrease pain in his knees.
Simon says “I’m a 48 year old man with the knees of an 80 year old, according to my consultant!
From my school days I was a gifted sportsman and played several sports at a high standard, but football was my passion and I usually trained 3 times a week and played 3 gruelling games every weekend until the time I was 16 and signed my first contract. I was a goalkeeper so running wasn’t an issue for my legs and joints but the constant impact damage from opposition players and the ground was.
Repeated medial ligament and cartilage damage put paid to any ideas I had of a future in professional sport and, in latter years a ruptured posterior cruciate ligament and the subsequent onset of arthritis have made even everyday activities such as getting out of bed and walking hard to do!!! I also managed to crack a patella by walking into a toilet but that’s another story!! Pain levels vary massively from day to day, some days are fine, others are hard to put one foot in front the other. I have had numerous keyhole surgeries to remove debris and in 2016 had an osteotomy to realign my right knee to relieve the symptoms of the arthritis and prolong the need for a replacement.
The rest of my life has always been made to fit around sport; work has tended to be sales or office jobs so that I am free to play, or nowadays coach, on a Saturday. All these jobs have involved being sat in offices, meetings or cars for vast chunks of the day and the end result has been aching and sore knees by the time I get home. I have seen several physiotherapists over the years and they all give you a variation of the same exercises to do and, whilst I initially heed their advice, after a couple of months of no improvement I lose the will to continue. I don’t want to end up in a wheelchair but that did seem the most likely conclusion.
However, there is light at the end of the tunnel! My wife has a thriving local cleaning firm and at Christmas she asked me to come on board and join the family business. I was reticent at first; I’ve seen how hard they work and I didn’t think my knees could stand the pressure! It is still early days, but I’ve clocked up over 50 hours of cleaning in two weeks. It’s back-breaking, manual labour at its finest. You sweat a lot, bend a lot, twist a lot, expel a lot of energy and by the end of the day you are exhausted. But the positive effects on my knees have been noticeable already. It’s not quite so hard to get out of bed and make those first steps, the stairs aren’t quite so daunting anymore and I even managed a jog (very slow one) onto the football pitch yesterday.”
Thanks very much Simon for that excellent advocation of keeping your joints moving to alleviate pain. Get the synovial fluid circulating!