Chuck Perry loves fly fishing and hiking. He enjoys all of the beautiful sites these activities take him, especially throughout Central Oregon. He loves that he can get outside and enjoy nature while getting a workout doing some of his favorite activities. Yet, his ability to fly fish and hike came to an abrupt halt several years ago because of severe osteoarthritis pain in his knee.

“It felt like I was stabbed with a knife in my knee whenever I used it,” said Chuck Perry of Sisters.

Chuck had osteoarthritis, a common, long-term, chronic condition that is without a cure and affects approximately 27 million Americans. While most common in adults over 65, osteoarthritis can can happen at any age.

Chuck had enough. After years of trying to get better on his own, he was ready to investigate surgical options so he could start enjoying the sports he loved so dearly. He visited an orthopedic surgeon and was told that surgery was not the best option for his case. Instead, he was referred to Step & Spine Physical Therapist, Seth Wilkie for treatment.

“It is widely believed that osteoarthritis is caused by wear and tear,” said Wilkie. “This is a misnomer and completely false. Competitive runners have, on average, the same cartilage loss as someone who doesn’t exercise. The issue is more complex than just stating that the issues are caused by overuse. They are actually often caused by improper use. Physical therapy helps address this,” Wilkie added.

“I was surprised by how the different parts of the body are interrelated,” said Perry. “Seth showed me how my back and even my ankle affected my knee. We began addressing and strengthening the different parts of my body to reduce knee pain,” added Perry.

Physical therapy can make significant improvements in osteoarthritis symptoms by diagnosing and treating conditions that limit mobility while teaching proper techniques for safe and effective exercise. A physical therapist can also recommend different treatment options to relieve stress and provide support, such as bracing and kineseo taping. The purpose of the treatments utilized in physical therapy are to achieve optimal physical function, which helps minimize pain and swelling.

Chuck can attest to this.

“I am impressed with how physical therapy has helped me become pain-free. I am back to fly fishing, hiking, and softball. Seth Wilkie is a quality person. I really enjoyed my time with him and highly recommend him.”

If you are ready to get back to enjoying the activities you love, there is no need for a physician referral. Choose the Step & Spine Physical Therapy location that works best for you and give them a call to find out how they can help you.

What is Osteoarthritis?

The end of each bone is covered by cartilage. Cartilage minimizes friction and provides cushioning for our bones. When osteoarthritis (OA) occurs, the cartilage breaks down, which causes pain, swelling and can make it difficult to move the joint affected. Over time, cartilage continues to break down and eventually bones rub together, leading to further joint damage and causing significant pain. The most common areas of concern include the knees, hip, lower back, neck and the small joints in the fingers, thumb and big toe. Since it affects the joints, it affects mobility, causing pain and limiting one’s ability to participate in sports and other activities. The most effective treatment for OA is physical therapy because it teaches how to move safely and effectively while addressing any underlying conditions that may attribute to OA.