The knee is one of the remaining body parts so far where I have not undergone physical therapy. I've had physical therapy on my lower back (L4 and L5 lumbosacral area), right hand (de Quervain syndrome), left shoulder (arthroscopic surgery and rehabilitation) and right shoulder.
When I Feel Pain on the Knee
My activities nowadays don't involve a lot of running and jumping, so that's not where I experience pain. I do walk, almost everyday, but I don't feel knee pains from all that walking.
Some of my activities though involve climbing up and down an aluminum ladder. Majority of these activities revolve around gardening projects, setting up trellises, cutting, pruning, marcotting - that sort of activities.
A day or two after activities where I climb ladders, I feel knee pain - especially on the left. I feel it when I climb the stairs, sit down or rise up from the chair.
Medicine to Relieve the Knee Pain
Taking up the medicine Dyclofenac works wonders for me. I've used it for many years and is quite guaranteed to ease and relieve pain - especially joint pains. I don't use it very often though. I noticed that over-the-counter drugs like anti-inflammatory medicines like Mefenamic acid work too. But it isn't as quick-acting and long-lasting like Dyclofenac.
That said, I'd rather not depend on medicines to ease the knee pain. You never know how these drugs would affect the body, especially the kidneys, over the long term. No, if there are other non-medicine alternatives, I'd have that.
Problem with the Improvised Bolster at Home for Knee Therapy
And that's why I looked around for an effective knee exercise that worked for me. The way I performed it in the past was to fold my pillow and put it under the affected knee. I then performed the exercise as I lay in bed.
Sometimes though, I get very sleepy and it becomes a hassle to be picking the pillow from under the knee and then putting it under my head. I hate having too many pillows around me and so I really just use one.
Another thing is that when I need to shift the folded pillow to be used by the other knee, I have to really hold it steadily and then move it. Otherwise, the folded pillow just unfolds again.
Putting New Life on an Old Pool Noodle
So I searched around the house for material that could be used for a possible bolster alternative for my knee therapy. To achieve the height I needed, the bolster should be lightweight. Pillows wouldn't do as they'd be bulky and heavy to move around and position. Although I admit they're very comfortable to use.
Then I found an old pool noodle the kids used every time we went swimming when they were kids. This pool noodle isn't the usual two-inch diameter pool noodle made of light foam that we see during swim lessons.
(See Part 2 for the instructions on how to make a DIY Physical Therapy Bolster for Knee Pain)