Physical Therapy 101? :
Iím a sometimes road cyclist and just turned 70 last month. I live in southeastern PA. Last month I bought a new 2009 Trek 7100 hybrid and was fitted at a full-service bike shop.
Over the years Iíve had recurring pain in both knees, especially the left that go back to a cycling overuse episode in the late 1980s . Itís usually dull, achy stuff but itís enough to keep me out of the saddle for extended periods out of concern of making the situation worse. In late 2006 I started an at-home Schwinn 113 exercise bike program and gradually increased the resistance and duration. Trouble was (1) I rarely take rest days and (2) I was also increasing my daily walking routine (10,000+ steps). By the end of the year I passed the threshold and had to stand down due to the now familiar knee symptoms. Perhaps if I had paced myself better Ö perhaps indoor cycling one day Ö walking more the next Ö with intermittent rest days Ö I might have strengthened my knees successfully.
So I feel it may be time to have them looked at Ö and corrected Ö professionally.
Whatís the procedure here? Can I go directly to a physical therapist (PT)? Or must I: (1) go to my family doctor Ö (2) have him refer me to an orthopedist Ö (3) have him refer me to a physical therapist. Whatís the drill?
Iím hoping to get back in the saddle to enjoy some flat autumn (2008) (paved) rail-trail riding before winter sets in. Or am I realistically looking at essentially a winter rehab and back on the road in spring 2009? Gasp!