Achy , creaky , sore , stiff . Just a typical morning of this fitness professional. It might surprise you that I have arthritis, but I have had it in my knees since I was in my mid-twenties. Most likely cause is, although I was overweight till I was 18, I was an active overweight, playing man hunt ,doing marching band and always enjoying a good game of soccer tennis ( to which I was never any good haha) . As I got older , as I started doing more races , ramping up my activity level, coupled with about a 6 month span of having to pump the brakes of a jeep with broken anti-lock brake system, my knee arthritis progressively got worse. For those of you unfamiliar , I had to continuously pump the breaks with my right leg, a step above cutting a hole in the floor and using the Flintstone braking method. So yes as years have passed, I did start to feel it more and more in my knees. I used to take Ibuprofen every night for a year or two before I went to bed, that helped. But that certainly is not healthy or sustainable long term solution. So I had a couple options, I could either cut back on my exercises, take ibuprofen every night till I die( or die from taking Ibprophen every night) , or I could figure it out .
I figured it out .Countless research , always reading and talking to people who deal with arthritis has helped me formulate MY PLAN. Now there isn’t any dosing recommendations in this article other than what is on the label. None of these are substance that you can over dose on. For example , the turmeric, I started sprinkling it on everything I ate , which did nothing for me , then I started taking one pill and saw no difference after two weeks , so I added another one , and in times of extreme discomfort , added another one. That’s what helps me .So there is no right or wrong answer , it will just depend on your body and your activity level. Play around with it .
So what is Turmeric? It is a wonderful spice traditionally used in Chinese and Indian medicine. It has amazing health benefits from curing illness to preventing cancer but it has properties that block inflammatory responses that come with having arthritis. The best part , its inexpensive . Being that it’s a spice you can’t really overdo it and hurt yourself(unless you do suffer from heart burn), so depending on the severity of your arthritis you can play around with how much you take. But don’t just rush to sprinkle it on everything you eat, you can take it in pill form. *
Did you know not only is fish good for your heart , it’s good for your joints as well . I don’t eat a ton of fish , so I supplement with fish oil . Its big selling point ? it can help with joint pain and tenderness, especially if you walk like the tin man in the morning . It is that heart healthy benefit, the increase blood flow, which include to your joints, that improves joint fluidity , making mornings a lot easier. **
Now, I have been taking Glucosamine chondroitin since I was in my early 20’s. I guess you can say that was my “ gateway drug “ into joint supplements . But more specifically , Osteo Bi flex. has been really helping me as of late . What make it so special It’s not just the glucosamine chondroitin , it is a combination of wonderful NATURAL supplements such as , bosewelia extract , manganese , collagen and sodium( that’s on top of the glucosamine chondroitin). So what ? what does any of that even do ?You’re just throwing big words at me , Ken.Glucosamine is a compound found naturally in the body, a part of a compound needed in the formation and repair of cartilage and other body tissues. Similarly to Glucosamine , chondroitin is also found naturally in the body , in your cartilage and bones . Studies have shown when used with glucosamine , it can help cartilage retain water , retain joint fluidity and MAY reverse cartilage damage. Bosewelia extract is a natural anti inflammatory , which can help ease inflammation cause by arthritis . Manganese is not only another anti-inflammatory , it also helps with bone health in conjunction with other minerals . I discuss the impact of collagen and sodium later on in this article.
Speaking of Collagen, a lot of people look at me funny when I say I take a collagen supplement ” Ken you take collagen? isn’t that for your hair, skin and nails, “are a you a pretty boy ?”’ No, But taking collagen has been shown to be of benefit for those with arthritis. As we age,are body starts de creasing the amount of collagen it produces. Studies have shown the supplemented collagen can help build upon what cartilage you have left in your knees. This has also been shown to help reduce inflammation in the knee joints. And side bonus I do have great hair and skin 😉
There is no time of year that my joints feel better than the summer. Could it be that summer glow, the warmth , the sun , the beach ?. A lot of it has to with ocean. I can’t go to the beach without swimming or floating the ocean. But how does that help my joints? A lot of it has to do with bathing in salt water. The saline like solution that is the ocean has been shown to reduce inflammation in your joints.
But how do I mimic that in the winter. Epsom salt bath! Again It is the that salt helps reduce inflammation. For best results add 2 to 3 cups of it to your bath , depending on tub size . To add to that relief effect , add a cup or two of Apple cider vinegar ( Braggs ,from the mother )Mineral deficiencies in your body can make arthritis worse. So soaking in ACV helps you absorb key elements such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus. My problem ? I don’t take as many epsom salt baths in the winter , as I do ocean baths in the summer
So not only do I supplement , I wear a knee compression sleeve during cardio vascular activities , mainly running. So for me I have a right knee that is WAY MORE arthritic then my left . Now in that situation it can subconsciously throw off my walking/ running gate pattern when its inflamed. But I have found wearing a knee compression sleeve on my right knee helps . I know what you’re thinking “ What’s a tight fitting piece of cloth going to do for me?” Plenty ! The compress sleeve not only helps to keep the joint warm , but it also helps to increase the circulation and reduce inflammation . So having a compression sleeve on one or both of your knees or, an elbow sleeve on can greatly improve your exercise experience . ***
All of the above can HELP , but none of it will help if you’re not regularly exercising and eating right( yes eating does effect inflammation in your joints). One of the biggest ways to make your arthritis worse is inactivity and bad eating.
This is what works for me . Just adding m one or two of these may lead to great results and pain free movement. It all depends on you , and your activity level and dosing . Arthritis … yeah it’s a pain in the ass , but it doesn’t have to stop you from living a full active life !.
*Tumeric has been shown not to interact well with those taking blood thinners increasing the production of stomach acid
** Fish Oil is NOT recommended for those on high blood pressure medications such as captopril (Capoten), enalapril(Vasotec), losartan (Cozaar), valsartan (Diovan), diltiazem (Cardizem), amlodipine (Norvasc), hydrochlorothiazide (HydroDIURIL), furosemide(Lasix), and others.Medicines that slow blood clotting such as aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), dalteparin (Fragmin), dipyridamole (Persantine), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, ticlopidine (Ticlid), warfarin (Coumadin), and others. Birth Control pills , and Orlistat (Xenical, Alli)
*** Links to Tommy Copper Knee sleeves Men’s knee