Staying on the Move
When it comes to taking care of her health, Alice Kolb, age 59, has a simple goal—to keep moving. “I had great role models. I learned from the best,” Alice says. “Both my parents walked, golfed, cut wood and exercised.”
Alice keeps moving by walking four miles with her dog Charley every morning. She also gardens and mows three yards with a push mower. And that’s not all.
Alice never thought she’d try CrossFit, much less become a Boot Camp and Level 1 instructor, but now she teaches classes several times a week.
“It is a blessing to move like I do at my age and I never want to lose that,” says Alice. “I want to keep moving so that when I am a senior, I can be independent.”
But then, Alice began to have horrible ankle pain. She didn’t want to slow down, but when the pain persisted, she went to see her family doctor. Her doctor referred her to sports medicine specialist Joseph Medellin, M.D.
Dr. Medellin ordered an MRI, which indicated Alice had arthritis in her ankle. To combat the pain and protect Alice’s ankle joint, he prescribed a medication and instructed Alice to wear a brace. Because Dr. Medellin knew Alice was a fitness instructor, he felt comfortable giving her specific exercises to do at home as well, rather than sending her to physical therapy.
“I exercised my ankle at home and was finally able to walk without pain or a brace,” Alice says. At her follow-up appointment, Alice let Dr. Medellin know her ankle felt great, but now her left knee was giving her problems.
“My knee was swollen and made me feel insecure walking,” says Alice. “I could hardly get around the block with Charley due to the pain.” After Alice received an X-ray of her knee, Dr. Medellin was able to spot the source of Alice’s pain. Not only did she have osteoarthritis, her knee joint pressed bone against bone with every step.
Rather than rush to surgical options or medication, Dr. Medellin recommended knee injections to naturally stimulate healing and reduce inflammation. The injected fluid can work as a joint lubricant and serve as a shock absorber. Alice was willing to give it a try. Between appointments, Alice kept in contact with Dr. Medellin by using MyChart, an online health care management tool. Alice says, “I am very happy Jackson has someone like Dr. Medellin. He made me feel comfortable with getting the injections, and I could always send him my questions. I felt well supported to maintain my mobility.”
After a series of weekly injections, Alice was able to move freely and feel secure doing it. Athletic trainer Ryan Rompola provided her with stretches to complete at home for continued flexibility and strength. Now, Alice says, “My knee is golden. Being able to move is quite a blessing.”
Alice and her “golden knee” frequently take 31,000 steps a day. She mows the lawn, walks and golfs, in addition to teaching and participating in exercise classes.