Little Gherkin and Knee Pain
At age 9, Little Gherkin was in very good health—eating right, limiting sugar, and exercising daily at soccer practice. One day while playing a soccer game, he was trying to steal the ball from his opponent when he fell and twisted his knee. The pain was excruciating. Even though he could walk short distances, using his sore leg during his daily activities soon became impossible. Little Gherkin’s mom made an appointment with the family’s physical therapist. The therapist reviewed his medical history, conducted a thorough examination, and consulted with Little Gherkin’s physician regarding the need for a series of X-rays to ensure no bones were broken in the fall.
Consultation with an orthopedic surgeon confirmed that there were no broken bones and no need for surgery. Little Gherkin’s physical therapist developed a program of strength training and functional exercises to increase his hip, knee, and ankle muscle strength and endurance. The physical therapist also recommended electrical stimulation of the knee to increase his quadriceps (thigh) muscle strength.
By following the physical therapist’s regimen, Little Gherkin decreased his knee pain, and his mobility improved dramatically. Regular ongoing strength-training knee exercises—and more skills training with his soccer ball —have helped Little Gherkin remain free of knee pain.