My colleagues at Nashville Neuromuscular Center were invaluable in giving me an accurate postural assessment and great soft tissue massage which helped greatly to alleviate the pain when it became too much. It was my associate at NNC who confirmed my suspicions that I had an anatomical leg length discrepancy -one leg is longer than the other- *( I will discuss anatomical vs functional leg length imbalances elsewhere in this blog. It's quite a controversial topic among bodyworkers) But this condition was unquestionably confirmed by an xray of my full standing posture. And when I put a lift on my shoes, my gait improved to the point that I no longer waddled like a duck and some of the pain in my left leg was reduced. Thank you Bethann Easterly and Paul St. John! But leveling my pelvis was not the answer to all the resulting compensations that were now causing me trouble.
So I knuckled down and worked all the traditional exercises in my clinical repertoire to strengthen glutes, quads, hams, calves and abs to improve the strength, position and support of my knees. When I was not making significant improvement, I reached out and took the advice of other trainers and physical therapists, and worked their prescribed programs. To my great surprise and dismay, things did not get better. The weight continued to pile on as I became more fearful of trying any form of cardio or lower body strengthening.
I had all but stopped giving exercise protocols to my clients because I was unable to demonstrate them myself and I’ve always held myself to the standard that I will not ask my clients to do anything I cannot do. Plus I was no longer confident that my knee protocols were going to provide the results they were paying me for.
When I finally hit myself over the head with the realization that I always start my clients out with small movements. I call it "oiling the joints." Restoring the ability to move and allowing a person the chance to perceive correct movement is the first step. Only then can one progress. I had to act on that knowledge myself. No one could to do it for me. And thus I finally set about treating myself as I would a client with these same challenges and utilizing a blended menu of subtle movement combining techniques from Feldenkrais, Chek, Hannah, McGill, and others. I am using this blog to journal my experience toward my goal of avoiding total knee replacement surgery.
Rather than take away from information on Posture Fitness in general, I have created a page specifically for this issue.