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  1. #91
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    Some ups, some downs but your spirit is strong thats whats important
    The person who never made a mistake never made anything

    Cheers
    Ray

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  3. #92
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    Spent the morning at one of the Curtin Uni Physiotherapy research labs as part of a research project. The researcher is a relative by marriage and is doing a PhD on arthritic knees of which I have at least one.

    It all started with a hundred question questionnaire and then they stuck a couple of dozen sensors on my legs, boots (yes I wore my trusty steel cap bunnies) and hips and had to do a bunch of movements, sitting and standing, stairs, walking, balancing on each leg, bending knees this way and that, all in front of bunch of cameras arranged 360 around the lab and crossing over large pressure pads in the floor.

    The sensors generated a stick figure character on a big video screen like they do for assessing sports people. Some sensors recorded body functions as well. Then there was an hour long interview about pain levels etc. All very interesting and I learned a few things about what may be going on but nothing was done about treatment or pain management suggestions as that had to be kept out of the picture for the research to work properly. That comes tomorrow when I see the same Physio in the clinical situation.

    I also have 8 sensors still stuck to my legs and they stay on till I have done my exercises/movements (same as above) 3 more times during the rest of the day.
    One sensor stays on for a week.

    It all sounds very promising so lets see what comes up.

  4. #93
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    An interesting update.

    The initial research testing indicated that there was probably nothing wrong with the knee structures but that I probably experienced some sort of inflammatory event which lead to an incorrect (hop-along) gait which compounded the inflammation. The surrounding muscles/tendons have not being used correctly or the last 4 months and have thus weakened so much that when I go to use then correctly they all hurt.

    Short story is I have had to relearn how to walk properly!

    During my physio visits the Physio sets me walking, stair climbing, and doing various repetitive exercises until its too painful or I get too exhausted to continue. Then we discuss how much things hurt! and I get set a series of half a dozen stretching and repetitive exercises do do every day during the next week.

    The exercises ranged from just repeatedly getting up off a chair 30 times without using hands arms in the first week, to an exercise called a "Wall Sit" 4 x 30s this week - this really burns your thigh muscles. The most reassuring part is now knowing that I won't be doing damage by pushing the exercise.

    In addition to the above, there are 5 stairs between the computer and the family room that leads to the back of the house and shed. With the knee being so painful I was reduced to negotiating these in a hop along style and as little as possible. Now I'm forcing myself to take these normally and as often as I can so am typically going up and down these steps 2 dozen times a day so that means I'm doing ~120 steps a day. By the end of the day the last few steps are pretty painful but I force myself to do them.

    The net effect after 3 weeks is I can now walk 2km and stand for 2-3 hours without pain killers. The last 500 or so meters of the walk is painful (so I had to stop myself from reverting to hop along walking) but once again knowing I am not really hurting anything enables me to push through.

    Last Thursday I decided that seeing as spring has sort of arrived I should switch from walking the dogs in my old Blunnies to my Brooks Beast cross training joggers. In late autumn/winter/early spring I walk the dogs in boots because part of the area I walk the dogs is water logged. Anyway I drag out the joggers and decide they are well past their use by date and go off to buy some new ones - this time I decide my idea of jogging was a distant dream so I decide to get some Brooks walkers. As soon as put them on my knee and ankles felt slightly better.

    I should add that as I have flat feet both the Blunnies and the Joggers have orthotic supports (been wearing orthotics since 1996) but both shoes and boots are now probably so old and unsupportive that the orthotics can't do much. When I walked the dogs in the old Blunnies last autumn and proceeded to kick a tennis ball around a wet park that this almost certainly triggered an inflammatory response from my knee - I remember it hurt pretty badly during and afterwards. Continuing to wear the old bunnings for 12 hours a day hasn't helped.

    So, I think I found a contributory cause of the inflammation and that is after inflaming the knee my old joggers and the Blunnies were just not able to provide the proper support I needed for my feet.

    So I have been wearing the new shoes around and after 3 days have noticed a marked improvement. Yesterday I walked 3.5 km (no painkillers, although the last km was pretty sore) and stood up for about 4 hours. I remained sore all day and last night but this morning I was OK and did a 2km walk with no pain at all. I've also found it a bit easier to do the other exercises in the new shoes.

    I'm a bit sad about the old Blunnies but will still be able to wear them sometimes like when welding. I suppose a new pair may be in order sometime but might have to find something more supportive. I do have a really supportive pair of rugged Rossi hiking boots that I could wear as I have a second pair of lighter weight hiking boots that are very supportive.

    Lesson here is - sore knees? check your footwear !

  5. #94
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    Very insightful post, I too notice a difference with general agility depending on which shoes/boots i am wearing at the time
    The person who never made a mistake never made anything

    Cheers
    Ray

  6. #95
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    Custom orthotic inserts should fix your knee problems, I had to stop walking until I accepted I had to pay out some money to get a real fix even though I was already using off the shelf orthotics. My problem is that I have never worn shoes while I could avoid it and my feet had shifted off the centreline of my leg, my ankles and knees copped a hiding until I saw a podiatrist and had them design some inserts for my shoes. For me it was an interesting experience as it is mechanical design and I like that sort of stuff.
    CHRIS

  7. #96
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    Jun 2005
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    Townsville. Tropical Nth Qld.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobL View Post

    I'm a bit sad about the old Blunnies but will still be able to wear them sometimes like when welding. I suppose a new pair may be in order sometime but might have to find something more supportive. I do have a really supportive pair of rugged Rossi hiking boots that I could wear as I have a second pair of lighter weight hiking boots that are very supportive.

    Lesson here is - sore knees? check your footwear !
    Bob, when you go shopping for your new boots, find a place that sells "Steel Blue". I, like you have feet issues and wear orthotics and Steel Blue have been the best fit and support I have found of all of the brands. One thing I have found is don't skimp on footwear, as in my case this affects my knees, my hips, my back and the tendon on the outside of my legs from my knee up and over my hip.
    Rgds,
    Crocy.

  8. #97
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    Perth
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Parks View Post
    Custom orthotic inserts should fix your knee problems, I had to stop walking until I accepted I had to pay out some money to get a real fix even though I was already using off the shelf orthotics. My problem is that I have never worn shoes while I could avoid it and my feet had shifted off the centreline of my leg, my ankles and knees copped a hiding until I saw a podiatrist and had them design some inserts for my shoes. For me it was an interesting experience as it is mechanical design and I like that sort of stuff.
    The orthotics I have used for 15 years are from Footlogics and were recommended to me by a sports podiatrist for shin/ankle/foot pain.
    He suggested I try commercially available ones before getting custom made ones and the commercial seemed to work just fine.
    SWMBO has a completely different foot problem and her podiatrist recommended she do the same.
    The thing is orthotics are not much use if the rest of the footwear provides insufficient support and womens shoes are notorious for insufficient support so she has used it as an excuse to buy a new shoe wardrobe. Actually she has been pretty sensible and only bought 3 pairs of shoes!

  9. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobL View Post
    The orthotics I have used for 15 years are from Footlogics and were recommended to me by a sports podiatrist for shin/ankle/foot pain.
    He suggested I try commercially available ones before getting custom made ones and the commercial seemed to work just fine.
    SWMBO has a completely different foot problem and her podiatrist recommended she do the same.
    The thing is orthotics are not much use if the rest of the footwear provides insufficient support and womens shoes are notorious for insufficient support so she has used it as an excuse to buy a new shoe wardrobe. Actually she has been pretty sensible and only bought 3 pairs of shoes!
    So custom orthotics definitely won't work in your case? My generic orthotics were similarly recommended by professionals at least 10 years ago and I was warned then of impending knee issues as I got older, prophetically as it turned out.
    CHRIS

  10. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Parks View Post
    So custom orthotics definitely won't work in your case? My generic orthotics were similarly recommended by professionals at least 10 years ago and I was warned then of impending knee issues as I got older, prophetically as it turned out.
    I will definitely check with the podiatrist whether I now need custom orthotics.

    At work I always wore quality joggers (Brooks Beast) with podiatrist recommended generic orthotics and replaced the shoes every year and the orthotics every second year. I was walking up to 10 km a day often walking to work with these joggers and had no knee problems. I replaced the joggers and orthotics regularly because they just wore out but also because I had to look half reasonable in front of the students, staff, public etc. In winter I wore Blunnies (also with orthotics) to walk the dogs because of the waterlogged ground around the river. In my shed I wore the joggers or the blunnies especially when doing metal work. Just lounging around the house I used to wear thongs (Ugg boots in winter) but I could tell they were no good for me so ~10 years ago I switched to generic Crocs, which are not much better.

    Since I retired 6 years ago I usually wore the same type of joggers, mainly to walk the dogs, but also elsewhere like socially, and often in the shed. When doing metal work in my shed and at the mens sheds I usually wore the Blunstones.

    Being a cheapskate, except for a new pair of joggers I bought 4 years ago, only because one of the dogs chewed the sides out of one of the shoes, I have not bought any shoes since I retired.

    The 4 year old joggers looked decidedly "manky" but as reasonable looks were not longer required I kept wearing them. The soles were worn way beyond usual, parts of the soles and lining were missing, and some had been reglued back into place with superglue, and there were cm size holes in the sides. I should have taken photos of the shoes but they already disposed of. My Blunnies are now 6 years old and being slip-ons and given how much i wear them they also have lost a fair bit of support and are not really the ideal shoes for walking anyway. When footwear is in this bad a shape whereby it has lost almost any form of support, orthotics won't help.

    I need to find something more supportive to wear around the house than the crocs. SWMBO and the podiatrist recommend Birkenstocks but I need to look a bit closer at whats available.

  11. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Croc View Post
    Bob, when you go shopping for your new boots, find a place that sells "Steel Blue". I, like you have feet issues and wear orthotics and Steel Blue have been the best fit and support I have found of all of the brands. One thing I have found is don't skimp on footwear, as in my case this affects my knees, my hips, my back and the tendon on the outside of my legs from my knee up and over my hip..
    Thanks Croc, I will definitely look at these as I do need to get new boots. My problem is I like "slip ons" but these lose their support over time and I need to resign myself to getting/using lace ups.

  12. #101
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    I found the Steel Blue the best boot to wear. I was walking in a warehouse continually for 10 hour shifts and they were great. A podiatrist pulled one apart to show me what is under the liner and I was totally surprised at the design.
    CHRIS

  13. #102
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    The knee is progressing slowly.
    I have been doing about an hour of knee trembling stretching and muscle strength exercises a day and the physio is pleased with the the improved range of flex and weight I can support.
    The Physio has now given me a set of much harder exercises but I now only need to do them every other day.

    The improvements that can be pointed to are;
    - the last time I took a painkiller for the knee was 10 days ago - before that I was taking one about every 2/3 days.
    - I can now kneel solely on the bung knee for about 15 seconds, ie not supporting any of my weight with my other knee. At my worst I could not even bend the knee enough to get into a kneeling down position. The means I can now access the space under the kitchen floor which is my main stash of goodies outside the shed.
    - I can do a 3/4 squat and hold for about 5 seconds - its painful but mainly muscle rather than joint pain - that's now become one of my new exercises.
    - I have been averaging about 60 stairs/steps a day - these get harder as I get more tired during the day.
    - I can walk 3+km at a time, and can stand in the shed for up to 4 hours without a rest. The standing is quite variable - sometimes it's as short as 20 minutes, usually its about 2.5 hours but I have been able to make 5, 4 hour stretches in the last week.

    Doc is really impressed with what the Physio has done with my knee and is considering referring other patients with knee problems to her.

    The recent blood tests for sarcoidosis are mostly positive. Of the 8 immune system markers I usually have 5-6 markers out of whack but the last blood test shows only one is out. Kidney (mal)function is about the same - at least it's not getting any worse. I've lost a further 5kg since my last diabetes review, perhaps consequently blood pressure is consistently down.

  14. #103
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    That's really good news and encouraging, your quality of life is on the up and up
    The person who never made a mistake never made anything

    Cheers
    Ray

  15. #104
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    Perth
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    Started going downhill in Nov and Dec. Tired irritable, sore joints, weak muscles etc knee started to get sore and weak again. It finally got to the point where I had to stop the physio exercises and dog walks shortened considerably. Just before Xmas had a PET scan and blood tests. Pet scan was normal.

    Nothing happened over Xmas and new year. Slept a lot and listened to a few audiobooks. After new year went down south with the van - lost of sleeping and a few short dog walks. While I was there the Sarcoidosis specialist called to say come and see him ASAP. Turns out I have high Calcium levels in my blood that need immediate attention. Its not dangerous yet but its trending upwards so he put me on cortisone again. Dr Google indicates I have the all the symptoms for Ca overload.

    It looks like it could all be related to the seasons. Sarcoidosis makes it's own Vitamin D which together with extra sunlight in summer makes the skin make more Vitamin D and the two sources combine to extract more Ca from food. You can't reduce the amount of food with Ca in it otherwise the body extracts Ca from your bones but you can control your sunlight exposure. So now I have to walk the dogs very early in the morning and wear sunscreen. Looking back on past Ca blood test data the same thing happened last summer but we didn't link it to sunlight.

    I've now been a week on cortisone. It's different compared to last time I took it, less of a booster so not so much energy. I'm still quite weak, and have more of the munchies, but the knee pain has almost gone which is really good. Pity I don't have a lot of energy otherwise I'd be taking longer dog walks. As soon as I am up for it I will restart the Physio Exercises.

  16. #105
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    In some ways it's good to hear what the problem is and what is causing it.
    In others it's a bit of a bummer.

    best wishes to getting the condition under control -- dressing like a desert nomad might be the go for keeping the sun at bay.
    regards from Canada

    ian

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