The fantastic bit is having the exercises on my phone here at home

Maria Larmer, 53 from St Albans has suffered from Knee Osteoarthritis for years. She shares how Connect Health’s Facebook Live sessions have helped her manage her pain throughout lockdown.

When lockdown struck, the language school where I worked as an English teacher closed so I moved my work online as much as I could, which has exacerbated a sedentary lifestyle.

It felt like it was getting harder to move from my chair due to the pain in my knee and I was actually becoming quite unstable walking to and from the shop.

Then I found out about the Facebook Live exercise sessions. I started off with the knee exercises, then moved to other parts of the body and I found that everything I did, indicated I was stiff in that area, so I continued with them every second day.

The stairs one was particularly good for my leg as I wasn’t coming down the stairs properly – I think one of my knees was going inwards in a protective way. So I brought my phone onto the stairs with me and did the exercise and it helped me to go straighter.

The fantastic bit is having the exercises on my phone here at home. It’s great to go to physio sessions in clinic but trying to remember the exercises when I got home was a problem.

The best thing was the fact that it was a new experience. It felt like I had an official physio in my home. The physios also focused on education which was really good. I learnt a lot and it helped my understanding of what was happening with each exercise, why you have to do the exercises slowly and the motto “control and challenge” stuck with me. It’s given me the incentive to push myself further.

Tom, the physio was very reassuring and extremely empathetic, not patronising in any way.

What’s been very important is being able to record and play back the recordings for future use in case I have any flare ups. I’ve been recommending the video sessions to family and friends.

Without these exercises, I would have had more pain and less mobility.

I started increasing my activity and I’ve even introduced exercises into the English classes I teach online and added some squats at breaks.

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