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Reduce the Risk of Injury through Body Conditioning Exercises

By Anna Steele

Our rehabilitation “guru” Anna Steele, whose YouTube videos on knee rehabilitation during the pandemic went viral with almost 10,000 views, writes about the importance the right varied exercises, which when combined with Frequency Specific Microcurrent (FSM), accelerate recovery from injury.

General Observations and the Goals of Exercise

Being a physiotherapist for over 20 years and specialising in several fields over the years, through postgraduate courses as well as through work experience, I have strengthened my conclusion that prophylactic and body conditioning exercises help achieve muscular balance which contribute to a healthy life. Importantly, this helps sustain one from injuries, as well as speeds the recovery process when needed.

I see this problem in my patients who become injured by doing one type of sport or repetitive movements, or from not moving very much at all such as from sitting in front of computer for hours.

People often believe that doing one form of activity like running or weightlifting at the gym, even every day, is healthy and are very surprised and disappointed should they injure themselves. They are even more surprised when during assessment I ask them to simply lift one leg 10 times up with a straight knee in a lying down position. Many of them, including runners, rugby players as well as weight-lifters will struggle with this task.

People are very keen to get fit and generally understand the importance of active living but often are lacking the knowledge of what activities are good for them and how to evolve and improve safely without obtaining injuries. Their enthusiasm in following social media fitness influencers is encouraging, but sadly in some cases does not end well.

After recovery from their injury I try to educate my patients of the importance of the right exercises that will balance, condition, strengthen and make them more agile and flexible. Most importantly, by doing these exercises regularly, re-injury can be mitigated. My patients take home their individual exercise programme carefully designed for them.

My goal is, that my patients can happily and safely return to their favourite activities whether it be gardening, sport, or simply reduce back pains when working with computers.

YouTube Knee Rehabilitation Videos

I am flattered that my 3 short knee rehabilitation videos, posted by Sutherland House Natural Health Centre Clinic on the YouTube platform during the pandemic have received nearly 10.000 views.

I created these videos following my own skiing injury, in February 2020 shortly before the pandemic started. The injury involved an 80% rupturing of my right Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL), Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL) as well as a cracked medial meniscus. My right knee did not have any stability at all, no extension, very limited flexion, no weight bearing and I was in a lot of pain.

The first knee surgeon wanted to operate straight away. However, being a physiotherapist who knows that knee surgery in many cases should be the last option not the first. I went to see another knee surgeon — Mr Sam Church at the Fortius Clinic. Together we decided to undergo a programme of conservative physiotherapy treatment and rehabilitation in preference to surgery, which was always an option if the physiotherapy wasn’t successful. I invested in a hip to ankle knee brace that I wore 24/7 for over 3 months. It was quite a challenge, but it paid in the end. The exercises are demonstrated and videoed in three stages as I was going through my own struggles in the videos on our website and YouTube.

Thank you to all the YouTube viewers for your comments on my videos, and for your inquiries.

Frequency Specific Microcurrent (FSM)

When I made the videos, the world had just been hit by COVID-19 and the UK went in to the first long lockdown. All physio clinics including Sutherland House were closed.

I used one of our modalities that we are famous for at Sutherland House, Frequency Specific Microcurrent (FSM), together with the specific exercises. Being a practitioner, I was able to treat myself at home.

Sutherland House Natural Health Centre is the first clinic in London and one of the few in the UK using this incredible life changing modality. In just a few words the FSM machine increases the cellular energy, decreases inflammation and regenerate the injured tissue, in order to speeds up the healing process and repairing of tissue. It worked on me, and it works on my patients too!

Thanks to FSM, combined with the specific exercises, the pain in my injured knee decreased from 10/10 to 0/10 very soon after treatment commenced. I was able to exercise pain free and without painkillers. I also slept well at night with a knee brace. I had energy to go through the day with little or no swelling in the knee joint. 

It was clear to me that FSM and specific exercises work in tandem to accelerate rehabilitation. The exercises strengthened my muscles and stabilised my knee while FSM reduced pain, decreased inflammation and slowly repaired my injured tissues.

It wasn’t easy and it wasn’t quick. It took many hours of exercises … but finely after 2 and half years I can run again, cycle again, am pain free and can do all the activities that I was doing before I had that injury. I am glad that I didn’t have the surgery, as every surgery will create more trauma to start with and the healing process therefore might take even longer.

A few weeks ago, (three years to the week after the accident) I went skiing again! My skiing performance was as good as before the injury, therefore I can confidently say that I have made a full recovery. Thank you FSM!!

Plans for the Future

I am minded to do a final video where I will share the results of my recovery, together with knee conditioning exercises that I still use.

Although, I have made an incredible recovery, I am aware that it is important to maintain the strength of my muscles. I still have do body conditioning exercises to support the knee and my overall strength levels. So I do my exercises, which also keep me fit and healthy.

As I said at the start, I have strengthened my conclusion that body conditioning exercises contribute to muscular balance, a healthy life, and serve as both a prevention to injury as well as an accelerator to the recovery process when needed. This knowledge I am passionate about and I love to share this with my patients.

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