Osteoarthritis: Just Another Challenge
This blog is an attempt at persuading our readers that the treatments advocated by Dr. Nels Carlson (OHSU Spine Center 503-418-9888) and Beyond The Clinic (physical therapy in the home, office, or wherever 503-496-0385) are safe, effective and an excellent path back to a life worth living. (Please check with your medical professional before engaging in an exercise routine. This blog is not a medical advice column.)
Starting to exercise after years of inactivity was difficult. At every stage of the process, I was supported by Sue, my wife and exercise partner, and by Aaron, my physical therapist from Beyond The Clinic. In the beginning, climbing a few sets of stairs at the high school stadium required huge effort and always created substantial discomfort.
Aaron advised the Rainville stretch for decompressing the spine to relieve the discomfort of descending stairs. Incredibly, it worked like a key to a treasure chest. As strength increased, my routine evolved from decompressing every two sets to every ten sets of stairs. Instead of climbing 5 to 10 sets in a workout, I now routinely climb 30 to 50 sets in a 60 to 90 minute workout. (One set is 28 stairs up and 28 stairs down or a gain in elevation of 14 feet per set for a total of 540 ft.)
Increasing strength and endurance from stair climbing occurred as Aaron organized stretching and strengthening exercises in a daily workout of shoulders hips and back. He helped problem solve knotty problems as well as plan for upcoming events requiring physical exertion.
To be honest, before Dr. Carlson & Aaron, Sue & I planned a mostly sedentary visit to Glacier National Park. Rich would sit, read and enjoy the views while Sue shopped, made new friends and did some solitary hikes. What happened instead still dazzles us. In an incredible six day visit (September 2011) to this gorgeous national park, we hiked/climbed 16.5 miles with an elevation gain of nearly 1700 feet! It was an experience of a lifetime which would not have happened without the treatments advocated and encouragement offered by Dr. Carlson and Aaron.
I will not offer you false hope about our treatments or accomplishments. Although I’m not cured and there is no cure for osteoarthritis, Sue and I have regained a life worth living by exercising and being physically active. We are enormously grateful for the advice and care of Dr. Carlson and Aaron. We highly recommend the treatment they advocate for osteoarthritis.