Knee Pain Relief: a book, a class and an imagery exercise.
I visualise my knee pain as a sea urchin. It is a spiky living thing that takes me by surprise. The poison from its spines spreads down my shin and up to my thigh. To help get rid of it I see myself walking into the sea. I see myself in knee deep cool ocean water with the sun glinting on the gentle waves, reflecting the blue sky above. I smell the salt air and hear the seagulls screech above me. I am bathed in cool healing water that ebbs and flows around me. As I breathe I see the ocean breathe with me to take away my pain. With every out breath it sends it away on fast currents - far out to sea. On every in breath it washes and cools and calms me, shrinking that sea urchin. l breathe my discomfort away with my exhale and watch as my sea urchin shrinks with my inhale. And I know that this will pass. “no winter lasts forever no spring skips its turn.”
The picture above is a mid journey (AI) depiction of this imagery exercise. No I don't know what the weird bobbly sea weed is doing in the picture, it was less creepy than the one below though (take a closer look at the woman's face)..
Anyway. I know my process sounds kooky but I also know that pain is created in and maintained by the brain and all of its marvellous neural networks. So, along with massaging and rolling; strengthening and mobilising; using a TENS machine; applying deep heat and getting enough sleep, I also train my brain. Imagery really works for me but I understand that it isn’t for everyone.
A book that does have something for everyone, is the new handbook out by the marvellous people of NOIgroup it has two titles and covers. I have Epiphaknee but it is also called the Knee Osteoarthritis Handbook. If you have problems with your knees I recommend that you work your way through this book. It emphasises three critical ingredients to managing knee OA which are: increasing activity, improving knowledge and decreasing inflammation. This last point is a really good one. Osteoarthritis is a process of systemic inflammation. Some things that increase inflammation are stress; pre existing health conditions; coming down with an illness; not having enough sleep; alcohol and processed foods. We can decrease inflammation through exercising, eating lots of vegetables and whole foods; through positive social interaction; our hobbies; spending time in nature and sleep.
Epiphaknee also teaches pain science and knee anatomy in a very accessible way. Here’s a photo of a neat excerpt about our chondrocytes:
And. While you wait for your new book to arrive here is my Connective Tissues of the Knee class for you to watch. It's a reminder that it is impossible for our knee joints to ever be “bone on bone” thanks to all of the tissues that support, cushion and mobilise our knees.