It suddenly occurred to me one day that I have been telling you that Duane does a lot of his physical therapy on machines, but never explained what they were. All of his exercises are designed to help him bend his knees past 90 degrees and to straighten his knees to 180 degrees. He pretty much goes through his routine with very little help. His therapist makes sure he’s doing the exercises correctly, and occasionally adjusts some piece of equipment. When he arrives, he warms up on this machine, pushing the peddles back and forth.
Next is this one, called the Total Gym. This allows him to vary the deepness of his bends.
More bending, but against the pull, for stretching thigh muscles.
After that he goes to the parallel bars which he uses for balance. He stretches his calves on an incline board, and goes up and down steps. After that is a series of leg stretching exercises lying on the table. He hates this one, but it’s making his legs straighter. After this one he sits on the edge of the table. The therapist sits on the floor. He bends his knee as far as he can, which is not far after stretching it out. The therapist gently encourages his knee to bend farther and farther. It usually makes him sweat and wish he had taken more pain medicine.
After all of that he climbs on the bicycle for 5 minutes. This is the one that gave him trouble last week. His left knee just couldn’t go the distance. Today he had no trouble completing the 5 minutes.
After 1 1/2 hours of this he sits on the table, back to the wall and gets ice on his knees for 10 minutes before we leave.
The main reason that he has to do all of this stretching is because he hasn’t straightened his legs in years. At first it was because no one does unless they work out or do yoga regularly, and then because his knees hurt. But of course, his knees hurt more because he wasn’t stretching. A word to the wise—stretch now and you won’t have to pay so much later.
More pix next time, but not of him.
Louise and Duane