Move better – dealing with knee pain whilst chased by the Beast from Poltergeist II

Technically the physiotherapist has not said that I can go back to spin classes yet, strictly speaking he said this week that I could use a stationary bike at around 60 Revolutions Per Minute (RPM) with low resistance (about 5 on the exercise bike they have on their premises). For about 6 minutes!

However the week previously he’d said I could do some bike with low resistance, so I took this as a green light to go back to spinning – admittedly with zero resistance and a broad interpretation of “sprint”. I am spending half of the class watching my knee and occasionally stopping to check that it is nearly straight on the downstroke, but is mostly feel good to be doing something again.


(Photo from Christine Hennessey)

Apart from the pain and the annoyance of having runner’s knee – or to give it the proper name tracking problems of the patella femoral joint (with a couple of additional complications), the bit that I am struggling with most is having patience and knowing my limitations.

Not doing anything isn’t an option, I get bored and cranky, plus the level of pain increased when I stopped doing everything for a month. So I do little bits, well I mean to do little bits but end up doing more and then regretting it.

poltergeist II

(Photo of Reverend Henry Kane in ‘Poltergeist 2’ – he is very very creepy)

For example the other day I wanted a walk, some creepy guy walking behind me inspired me to pick up my pace and soon I was stomping along – until a couple of stabs of pain made me reassess the wisdom of this. The following day my knee swelled up so I am limping again, pacing away from the creepy guy felt good at the time but next time I will stop and wait for him to pass me instead.

I think the best slogan for me right now isn’t “move more” it is “move better” – which is a challenge and might even teach me some patience!

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