The Mighty Logo

How I Took Walking for Granted

Walking is an everyday task. We learn it when we are around 1-2 years old. Half the time it’s muscle memory.

I have rheumatoid arthritis. A year ago I was having trouble with my knee. It pops out of place when I walk and it always hurts. Then I started to have problems with just walking. I was limping and then it got so bad I was dragging my left leg around.

My rheumatologist referred me to an orthopedic doctor, who was finally able to tell me what was happening after months and months of pain. I have patellofemoral pain syndrome with hip weakness, which means the cartilage under my kneecap is damaged. Every time I walk, my kneecap would hit the thin damaged part of the cartilage and cause horrible pain. Because of the pain, I started limping, which caused my hip to have no strength.

I did six months of physical therapy which helped tremendously, but three months later the pain came back and I’m having trouble walking again. I don’t want to have to rely on my walker or crutch. I want to walk as well as I can.

I have to remind myself every time I take a step that it’s heel-foot-toe, that I need to lift my knee up and let my arms move side-to-side naturally. Every morning before I get out of bed I do stretches to strengthen my knee and hip. Basically, I have to teach myself how to walk again every day.

Before all of this, I took walking for granted. And I will never again.

Getty image by Andrey Popov.

Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home