My left knee's been bothering me lately -- it's been pretty painful, I couldn't walk without limping, and the whole left leg feels swollen and inert if I sit in one place too long -- so spurred by a suggestion from my co-worker Sonja, I made an appointment on Friday with physiotherapist's office for today. Sonja found the place through a web search, looking for relief for her own knee problems, and I just made my own appointment for the same day. My appointment was for 1 o'clock and hers for 3, so we figured we'd have lunch in between appointments.
The lunch was also part of the reason I made the appointment: Liz (The Liz Connection, at datigz.blogspot.com), knowing of my quest to find matzo-ball soup in Tokyo, had told that a Jewish-style deli had opened near Shirokane-Takenawa station -- theoretically, very close to the physiotherapy office, and that was enough to seal the deal.
It took some time to find the office: it was actually in an apartment (albeit a modern one) nearer to Hiroo station than to Shirokane-Takenawa, a place I had trouble locating at first. The practice is run by an Australian couple, who have two exam tables separated by a curtain in their small living room. Not a great deal of audio privacy, I'm afraid.
The wife looked at my leg and knee, and after some poking, prodding, and having me stand barefoot in front of her, told me that I have very flat feet, causing me to walk in a way that strains the muscles on one side of my leg enough to pull the knee joint out of true -- which explains the popping sound I can hear when it suddenly snaps back into place.
Her solution was to sell me a pair of shoe inserts with very high arches -- high enough so I feel like I'm walking pigeon-toed, a feeling the therapist assured me would go away eventually as I got used to the inserts. For the moment, she suggested that I use the inserts only a couple of hours a day until they became comfortable. The therapist gave me some deep-tissue massage on the calf muscles and instructions for some stretching exercises to loosen the leg muscles and keep them from pulling my knee joint out of whack. We'll see how well it works.
The overlapping timing didn't work out, so Sonja and I wound up having a late lunch, after her appointment, by which time I had finally located the deli: David's Deli is the name of the place, and as advertised, they had matzo-ball soup. Middle Eastern/Israeli-style food, including falafel, couscous, and other such dishes. I'm definitely coming back.