Monday, May 10, 2010


After years of avoiding it, I’ve finally started doing my physio exercises regularly. Before I knew I had arthritis I was very good at doing the physio programmes I was given (for injuries to my neck and hand) but something went wrong when it came to the arthritis programmes.

I had a bad experience with physio early on after my diagnosis. The exercises I was given took me over two hours to do each day because there were so many, and so many repetitions of each. I was given written descriptions and diagrams but no demonstration or explanation so I wasn’t sure I was doing them correctly.

My pain got worse each time I did them and lost range of movement. The physio-therapist was testing my strength each week and that went down dramatically. Eventually, I just stopped going to see her.

Since then, I’ve been given two new physio programmes by the hospital which I have ignored. Finally, I decided something had to change and started doing them.

Surprisingly, I’ve actually really enjoyed doing them. They only take about an hour all up and I can do them while watching TV. I feel like they’re helping both my joints and my fitness. Again, there were only written instructions and diagrams but they were much clearer than the last lot and there were warnings about stopping as soon as it becomes painful. In a couple of places, there were too many repetitions listed and things became too painful to continue. I had one day of not being able to turn my head after doing too many neck stretches but I cut the numbers down and things are now going well.

I was thinking about that first physio-therapist the other day. At first I was kind of annoyed about the whole thing. I had an argument in my head with her (which was interesting since I can’t remember her name or what she looked like.) Then I stopped and thought about my part in the whole thing.

At no point did she hold a gun to my head and say: “Do these exercises or I will shoot!” (imagine this said in a vague accent that comes not from any country but from daytime-soap-opera-land.)

I knew those exercises were doing damage but I kept doing them. I knew I didn’t know how to do them properly but I didn’t ask, and I knew there were too many repetitions but I didn’t adjust the numbers.

I was just as much, if not more to blame for the damage the exercises did to my joints. Often, I think that I have to defer to anyone in a medical profession simply because they are in the medical profession. I forget that they are still human and above all that they are not psychic. If something is wrong, I need to tell them, ask questions or talk through the problems with them. Otherwise they can’t do anything about it and neither can I.

Little Miss Autoimmune


  1. I always have arguments in my head with people!
    It's hard to find a good physio. Most of the ones I went to when I used to play basketball were really bad. Finally I found an awesome one, then I stopped playing basketball.

  2. Cool you found a good physio finally but shame it came a bit late :-)
    The last guy I saw was pretty good, but I think I was a bit rude to him (unintentionally of course.)
    That's funny that you do the argument in the head thing to :) I get really into them until I realise I'm talking to myself.