During her 22-year career, world-class speed skater Nathalie Lambert had to cope with more than just rigorous training and stiff competition - she was also fighting a battle against osteoarthritis (OA).
Nathalie's problems with OA started early. Her doctor warned her that she was at risk of OA because of the way her knees were shaped. The heavy dry-land and weight training she did for her speed skating made her knee problems worse, and in her late 20s, she was diagnosed with OA.
Nathalie retired from speed skating in 1997 after breaking her ankle. While the ankle was healing, she couldn't exercise and lost a great deal of muscle mass and strength. It was then, she says, that her knee problems became worse.
Although having OA did not come as a surprise, Nathalie says that she had no idea what the consequences would be. She knew the disease would affect her skating career, and she had to change the way she was training in the last 5 or 6 years of her career because of the OA. But she wasn't prepared for the pain that would wake her up at night, the stiffness she would feel after sitting for a long time, or the trouble she'd have playing with her daughters because she couldn't kneel down.
But Nathalie hasn't let OA slow her down! Thanks to finding a treatment that works for her, Nathalie enjoys walking, using the elliptical trainer, and her new passion - dancing. She also enjoys promoting fitness through her role as Director of Corporate Sales and Communication at a downtown Montreal health club.
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