How the X10 works with your body in overcoming the major challenges in knee rehabilitation
The major challenges facing recovering knee patients and their therapists are:
- Scar tissue
- Loss of range of motion at both ends (extension & flexion)
- Loss of voluntary muscle activation that may lead to atrophy and loss of strength.
Ironically, the fluid generated by the blood loss and damaged tissue during surgery is at the core of all five problems. It is the fluid that causes: swelling—the fluid pushes on the pressure receptors in your knee, your brain interprets this pressure as pain; the fluid contains chemicals that promote the formation of scar tissue. As little as one fluid ounce of liquid in your knee can completely immobilize it, preventing you from bending or straightening your knee. This same fluid inactivates the nerves, from your brain, that tell your muscles what to do—the fluid makes you lose control of your leg muscles.
In the earliest stages of rehab, the most important thing the X10 does is to quickly get the fluid out, because this improves everything else. There are a variety of ways, the X10 does this, but basically, it begins by flexing your leg just a little bit, and it does this over and over squeezing out tiny amounts, but as the fluid leaves, the X10 can flex your leg more. Pretty soon you will probably increase your range of motion a process repeated over and over. Many people wonder, where does the fluid go. The fluid is captured by the lymph system, as you move your leg muscles, their contractions pump the fluid up the body where it is dumped into the blood, goes to kidneys and out the body. This mechanism is one reason you should start exercising with the X10 in your first-week post-surgery. That probably sounds horrible, but the X10 is designed to work below your pain threshold…so it does hurt. We also start with your calf muscle because that was not involved in the surgery but it is particularly effective at pumping the lymph fluid up the body. This is the first major way your body and X10 work together—they get the fluid out—fast.
With the fluid gone you should have a great range of motion; far less pain (X10 users are reported to use fewer opiates); scar tissue formation has likely been completely disrupted before it can form fibers (so you most likely will not need additional procedures) and now you can focus on the other major issue—getting your strength back. Unlike manual physical therapy, which is based upon pain tolerance, the X10 is based upon pain avoidance, and because it does not hurt to use it, most people use it multiple times a day allowing them to quickly regain strength. If your body tells you it hurts, back off.
The truth is that with repeated daily use, you don’t need to grimace. Just go to the edge where it is starting to feel pinched or stretched AND DON’T push ahead. Most of our patient love using the machine. Unlike average physical therapy patients, our patients don’t have a 50% strength deficit at one month or a 30% strength deficit for a year or more. Most of our patients have all their pre-surgical surgical strength back in a month. This is particularly true of those who heeded our advice and did pre-surgical strengthening. Many of these patients exceed their pre-surgical strength at one-month post-surgery.
So you have a choice, you can do it the slow old fashioned way with excruciating pain and highly variable results or you can use the X10, and get back to living—while your peers are likely still on drugs in the nursing center.