I approached Rebekah to ask for some input and guidance regarding a chronic pain issue with my knees. I have experienced consistent pain in both knees for more than a decade. The pain could not be attributed to an acute injury. Eventually, as I reached adulthood, the issue couldn’t be explained by “growing pains” either. I went to Rebekah when my doctor advised me to lose weight and strengthen my leg muscles to see if that solved the problem. I didn’t know how I could possibly lose weight and strengthen anything when it hurt to squat, or take the stairs, or even walk depending on how much pain I was in that day.
Rebekah provided reassurance, which was something I certainly needed after struggling for so long. First, we discussed chronic pain and the physical and psychological effects it can have. Knowing that research supported some of the experiences I had – like increasing sensitivity in the affected regions – help validate some of my feelings. I wasn’t overreacting. It wasn’t just all in my head like some professionals had indicated.
Second, Rebekah showed me that I could exercise, lose weight, and strengthen my leg muscles without risking additional pain or injury. I had dealt with the pain for so long that to me, it was easier to just sit and avoiding working out at all. Rebekah showed me ways I could work out and not cause further damage, and she did so without having a precise diagnosis (because at that point, I still had no diagnosis beyond “it hurts and it shouldn’t”).
I was able to begin a workout routine that benefited my body without aggravating the existing issue. That led to losing weight and increased muscle tone. I actually got quite a few compliments about the size of my quads! After that improvement, I was able to go back to my doctor and demonstrate that I had done as she had recommended but was still in pain. That started me down the path to getting tests and an eventual diagnosis of arthritis. I have since worked with other therapists to develop a consistent routine to minimize my pain and increase my function.
Rebekah encouraged me to work out, even when I didn’t want to and it didn’t seem like it would help. Doing as she recommended led to a major improvement in my health and pain level.
– Sarah M. James, MPA