Knee Pain? How a Few Shots and the Ongoing Support of Her Doctor Let Kate Powerlift Into Her 70s!
At 70 years old, most people are not still participating in rigorous activities. But most people are not like Kate Walker, the powerlifter. She holds numerous World Records and American Records in Power Lifting in her age group. In fact, at the International Competition in Malta last year, Kate claimed three World Records.
"In the early 2000s, I was told that I needed to stop dancing and probably build up the muscles in my legs. I took that to a whole new level." Did she ever!!
After her performance at the World Competition this year, she now holds the American Record for bench press and the American and World Records for deadlifting.
As you can imagine, however, these world record competitions can take a toll on the body. Kate has had some recurring knee issues. Specifically, she has arthritis in her knees. Lifting weights puts a lot of stress on her knees.
From time to time her arthritic knees cause her pain and affect her training and competing. So, periodically during these flare-ups with her knees, she has seen Dr. Chris Farmer at Columbia Orthopaedic Group. He has treated her arthritic knees and kept her competing.
Dr. Farmer says, "She should probably quit competing because of her knees. But she has done so well despite her knees that it is hard to recommend that she stop."
He has prescribed different treatments at different times for her knees. He has recommended occasional periods of rest for her knees.
She has been prescribed various knee sleeves or braces to provide support to her knees and to help prevent injury.
He has also injected her knees with a visco supplement injection. In this type of injection, a gel-like substance containing sodium hyaluronate is injected into the joint. Sodium hyaluronate is normally found in the fluid in our joints. In arthritic knees, research has shown a decrease in the sodium hyaluronate in the joint fluid. So, the theory is that these injections will build up the concentration of sodium hyaluronate in the joint, and that will facilitate movement and decrease pain. Generally, this type of injection can be repeated when it wears off, provided there are at least six months between injections.
Another treatment she has received is a steroid injection. Arthritis leads to inflammation in the joint. The inflammation irritates the nerves and leads to pain in the inflamed joint. Steroids are a powerful anti-inflammatory medication that can be injected into the inflamed joint. Therefore, these injections have been used for many years in arthritic joints. The steroids help to decrease the inflammation and calm the irritated nerves. This usually results in a decrease in the pain of the arthritic joint.
"I'll know when it's time to be done, but that time hasn't come yet."
So, from time to time, Kate has needed Dr. Farmer's assistance for her knees. He has kept her training and competing through the years.
Kate was inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in November of 2015. She is the only powerlifter to receive that honor. She invited Dr. Farmer to sit at her table at that ceremony as a way of expressing her gratitude for his good care of her and for his understanding of her competitive goals.
In addition to the Hall of Fame, Kate has also been named the Show Me State Games Female Athlete of the Year. In 2011, she received the Gladys Stankowski Sportswoman of the Year Award. She holds so many records, they are too numerous to count.
Kate competes in state, national, and international powerlifting competitions conducted by the American Drug-Free Powerlifting Federation as well as USA Powerlifting. Her next competition is in August at Nationals. Next year, she will compete in France at the International competition. She follows up regularly with Dr. Farmer to see that everything is well. "He's so dedicated, and that's very important to me."
Dr. Farmer specializes in nonsurgical Sports Medicine. He is a member of the American College of Sports Medicine, the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, and the American Academy of Family Physicians.
For an appointment with Dr. Farmer, call (573) 876-8141.And for more specific information about Dr. Farmer, please visit his page.