Sunday, February 28, 2010

Aaron's Achy Knees

Aaron from Orlando Florida e-mailed me to tell me his story.

Aaron is a dedicated runner and it was killing him as only the very dedicated runners can sympathize with when he had to take 7 to 10 days off of running due to excessive knee joint pain.

He was told by his Doctor that he has degenerative knee joint problems causing his knee pain meaning the more use and stress he puts on his knees, the quicker they will deteriorate and greater the pain will be.

Aaron said he has tried everything,..knee braces, cortisone shots, elastic bands and even DMSO on his knees without any effect. He said the best thing he has previously tried was a product called Coats Aloe Whole Leaf Aloe Vera Liniment, available from, but even that was only hourly temporary relief.

Aaron is at his wits end and cannot fathom a life without running as he is only in his mid 40's. I told Aaron not to give up just yet, but to try pharmaceutical grade Glucosamine for 60 days before he runs the white flag of surrender up the flag pole. For the same price or even less than what you would pay for "off the shelf" joint supplements it seems like a no-brainer, especially for someone who can't live without running.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Excessive Weight Hurts Knees

In a previous post we talked about excessive weight being a factor that adversely effects knee joints causing pain, degradation of cushioning and connective tissue and limits mobility.

It was brought to my attention that excessive weight has much greater side effects on overall health and is a key risk factor for heart disease and adult onset diabetes.

We came across a great site on weight loss and controlling diabetes. Take a look yourself at

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Martin’s Knees

Martin had grown up playing soccer in Central America then working on fishing boats in the Gulf of Mexico based out of Pascagoula and Biloxi, Mississippi. Never sustaining any known mechanical damage to his knee joints, Martin just thought the pain in his knees was what came with middle age.

When I met Martin he was a 50 year old man who was experiencing knee pain to such a degree he was regulated to cheering on his 10 year old son kicking a soccer ball around in the back yard.

One day Martin was telling me about his bad knees. Our conversation probably went something like this; Martin – “My little boy is killing me. Wanting to play soccer in the backyard every day when I get home from work. It’s everything I can do to shuffle around. When I push off on one leg or the other my knees ache so bad I can only take a few minutes of it.” Me – “Man, that’s too bad. I used to have knee pain like that and I remember how it hurt.” Martin – “You don’t have pain in your knee joints anymore? What did you do?” Me – “I’m taking a Pharmaceutical grade Glucosamine supplement with an Omega -3 product. I do not have any more pain walking up or down steps or jumping of the 3 foot rock wall surrounding my back courtyard.”

Martin, like most people who are active, want to remain active and doing physical activities, wanted to try what I was using, so I helped him order the products and after one month I saw Martin again who told me “I am so happy with this product. My knee pain is essentially gone now. I can not only kick the soccer ball around with my son, I have also started running again as it used to bring me so much pleasure. Thanks for brining this product to my attention.”

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Nutritional Supplements for Joint Pain

Most of the Joint Supplements on the market today will contain some of all of the following ingredients: Glucosamine, Chondroitin, Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamin C, Manganese, Silicon and sometimes a “proprietary blend” of the manufacturers design. The following is a short description of each, except the proprietary blend cause it wouldn't be a proprietary blend if the Companies told us what it consisted off.

Glucosamine is an amino acid that the body produces naturally and is an ingredient used in the building and repair of cartilage.

Chondroitin is found in the cartilage, helpful for a healthy cartilage and is thought to help prevent or slow the deterioration of cartilage.

Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is sometimes thought to be a pain reliever but it really is an anti-inflammatory agent.

Hyaluronic acid is thought to be related to the production or retention of the natural fluid found in the joints.

Vitamin C, Manganese, and Silicon are thought by some to provide additional nutrients necessary for optimal joint health.

So do Joint Supplements actually work? I believe the answer is yes, but it is all in the quality of the product. I have taken many different versions of Off-The-Shelf Food Grade Joint Supplements over the years. Not just testing each for short periods of time, but taking a particular product for years – all with no positive results that I could feel.

I took Osteo BiFlex in it’s many different formulations. I took Flex-A-Min and I took Puritan’s Pride in a couple different formulations. I tried different brands and in separate bottles of Glucosamine HCI and Sulfate; Chondroitin; MSM, etc. No results I could feel, meaning I still had knee pain.

I started to believe that I had a mechanical injury type problem that could only be resolved with surgery.

Enter Dennis, who I talked about in an earlier post. He pushed me to try the Joint Supplement from the Pharmaceutical Grade Nutritional Products manufacturer that I was taking daily products from already.

Here’s the story again as I think it is worth repeating: Dennis tells me to try the Pharmaceutical Grade Glucosamine based product and I tell him I have been on various versions of that stuff for over a decade without a positive result. Dennis then asks me if I haven’t learned my lesson on the quality different between Food Grade supplements and Pharmaceutical Grade supplements. A light goes on in my dense brain and I promise to try them for a couple months. It wasn’t the cost that had me concerned. The costs was either comparable to Off-The-Shelf Food Grade Joint products or it was cheaper in many cases.

So I try this product which contains: 1,500 mgs of Glucosamine Sulfate, 150 mgs of Vitamin C, 250 mgs of Tumeric Extract, 2.5 mgs of Manganese and 1.5 mgs of Silicon in an Amino Acid complex. All ingredients in this product being Pharmaceutical Grade, and the product being actually listed in the Physician’s Desk Reference for Pharmaceutical Grade products. Not the Nutritional Supplements version which manufacturers can pay to have their products advertised.

After just weeks on the product, I was in a kneeling position (like a Baseball Catcher) fixing a leaking water spigot. I was kneeling so that my knees wouldn’t touch the mud around the spigot on the ground.

After several minutes of this my house phone rings, so I jump up and ran off to answer it. It took me several seconds to realize that as I jumped up and ran off, that I did so without the pain that normally accompanied knee joint stress. I spent the next several days testing this new found freedom from knee joint pain. Amazing!

Yes, I did call Dennis back and thanked him a second time for his referral to these products. I think I probably took him to Popeyes for a Fried Chicken dinner which was his favorite.

So my belief based on my experiences and my specific knee problems, which had produced years and decades of knee pain in the past, is that Nutritional Products for joint pain and specifically knee joint pain can have a significant effect on your joint pain, but the product you take must be a high quality product – otherwise you’ll not only waste your money but you walk away, maybe hobble or limp away, thinking that Nutritional Supplements just don’t work.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Joint Pain Treatments – Prescription Drugs

There are basically two types of medications to us for joint pain: Anti-Inflammatory drugs, and, Medications that treat underlying conditions of joint pain such as arthritis.

Anti-Inflammatory drugs include Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory (NSAIDS) which include Aspirin, Ibuprofen (marketed under trade names such as Motrin, Advil, and others) and Naproxen (marketed under the trade name Aleve and others). These can absolutely help relieve pain, but these NSAIDS can have side effects, especially if you take them in does greater than the recommended dose and take them for a long time period. You also run the risk of your body becoming use to these NSAIDS where the reliving effect on your pain will lessen as you build a tolerance to them.

If your knee pain is caused by arthritis or other medical conditions, you may be prescribes such drugs as Plaquenil which are called Disease Modifying Anti-Rheumatic Drugs (or DMARDS).

Your Doctor may also ask you to consider Corticosteroid (Cortisone) injections. I have had Cortisone injections in both my elbows on both sides of the joint. I am here to tell you that it worked and worked well for me, because I laid off using those elbows – basically gave up Ju-Jitsu for a year. However I regret ever getting them and advise all my friends with joint problems to not consider Cortisone. I have been told by Physicians Assistants and Army Medical personnel that Cortisone can degrade the joint – make the tendon endings weak (don’t know if that is true or not) but the actual Cortisone shot can leave a fluid cyst at the site which causes further problems. Apparently this was common to Cortisone treatments of Plantar Fascitis. Also, the pain can be masked and enable you to really do damage to that joint.

I would only consider Cortisone shots if the pain was unbearable, that I have tried all other treatments (ice, rest, etc) and nutritional (supplements) therapy, and then only consider Cortisone if I was going to be able to rest that joint and not use it much.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Joint Pain Treatments - Non Medications

For non-structural damage type pain there are a few things you should try before resorting to medications.

Rest the joint. Take a break from the activities that render the pain. If you are a runner that means take a break from running for a number of days to a number of weeks. Almost impossible if you are an addict to the activity that births the pain. If you continue to work the joint you risk that pain becoming chronic or the injury becoming more severe.

Ice the joint. Pain is usually caused by inflammation which can be controlled somewhat by ice which will reduce the inflammation, but this is treating the symptoms and not the cause of the pain. However, many people live for years and decades bearing the joint pain by managing it with bouts of rest and ice. Elevating the joint such as placing your knees on pillows as you sit or lay down helps reduce blood flow to that joint acts as an anti-inflammatory measures.

Compression wraps. These can be simply Ace bandages to elastic pull wraps, to Velcro wraps, to special braces made specifically for that joint. The compression is designed to do two things – provide some protection and further injury by stabilizing that joint, and, due to the compression, minimizes fluid buildup and inflammation which is source of the pain.

I have had decent results using a compression device just below my elbow to help alleviate what has been diagnosed as frayed tendons endings from years of Ju-Jitsu and Judo practice. Compression straps below my knees and above my calf muscle have helped with pain diagnosed as deteriorating cartilage in the knees for the same activities and for running. These devices allow me as much pain free use as I can expect.

I have also tried, or actually used for decades, topical pain crèmes to some degree of satisfaction. The best Over-the-Counter product that I have used is called “Tiger Balm”. However the results are extremely short lived. I think the value is in using these crèmes after an icing session,….sounds strange but use/abuse of the joint, then icing, then pain (heat) crème provides a degree of relief, especially followed by several days of rest. But, as you see in subsequent posts, this is not the only nor the more important things you can do.

Aggravating factors

There are many things that can aggravate (make worse) joint pain, among them:

Sports particularly high impact sports. Simple running or jogging can place as much as three times the person’s weight onto the leg and its joints (ankle, knee and hip). The push off from the ground also places great stress on the joints

Running downhill or on uneven ground also increases these risk factors. Basketball, Football, Tennis, Baseball, Soccer and other sports all require lateral movements which stress the joints and the soft connective tissue.

Overuse from even non-impact repetitive activities such as stationary cycling can aggravate the joints and increase degeneration of the soft connective tissues. Take a lesson from body builders and weightlifters who work out a particular body part then give that body part 2 to 3 days of rest before stressing it again. Speaking of weight lifting, lack of muscular strength and flexibility is also an aggravating factor for joint injury and degeneration.

Overweight. If running can cause three times the weight of the person to be absorbed by the joints, imagine what being 20 lbs overweight adds,…..imagine 60 lbs overweight – you get the idea.

I think you will also be surprised to know that most people have one leg actually short than the other. This is a mechanical or structural factor. I know from chiropractic visits that one of my leg’s is 3/8ths of an inch shorter than the other. This obviously causes back stress, muscular stress and doesn’t do my joints any good.

Age, with the resulting degeneration from decades of use (and abuse) is a large aggravating factor especially when combined with any of the aforementioned factors.

Lack of proper nutrition is a huge factor as well. Your body needs nutrients in order to all bodily functions to operate efficiently, effectively and repair damages that occur.

About all you can do is to understand these factors and try to mitigate them as you live your life. In the near future we will talk about things you can do to not only minimize knee and joint pain but to possibly slow the degeneration process as well.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Contact Me or Correspond with Me

If you have a question or a comment but
do not necessary desire to receive a
product flyer. I will not disclose your
name, or e-mail address to any third party.

Friday, February 12, 2010

My Story

I had decades of increasing knee pain. Each time I would see a Doctor it was “You have Housemaid’s knee”,……”Have you heard of tennis elbow? You have knees like that.”……… “Knee deterioration is inevitable,..if it hurts, don’t go it.”…and so on…or worse yet,…”Take these pain killers”. No Doctor ever told me about what those pain killers can do to your liver over time.

There is no doubt that sometimes this pain is the result of years of use or abuse, such as in my case of decades in the Army carrying heavy loads, running mile after mile, and performing several hundred parachute jumps. Sometimes the knee pain is a result of injury never healing and becoming just chronic pain.

Sometimes you learn subconsciously to minimize the motions and movements that produce pain. But when the pain is going up and coming down stairs, and you have a lot of stairs in your daily life,…well,….it just sucks.

I tried Off-The-Shelf after Off-The-Shelf joint product. Osteo Bi-lex, Fex-A-Min,…..this variety of Glucosamine, that variety of Chondroitin….all without effect. Until I tried a pharmaceutical grade Glucosamine product and combined it with a pharmaceutical grade Fish Oil supplement. Within a few weeks I had relief. What a amazing feeling!

If you are like I used to be, living with knee pain, having it change my life and minimize my physical activities then this site is for you. I plan on writing about knee pain, sharing stories of people, who like me, had agonizing knee pain then found relief, and talking about the problems with conventional pain relievers and joint replacement surgeries.

Don’t let the Medical professionals blow you off. A lot of them are more like Disease Management pro’s rather than Health Care Managers. Take charge of your own bodies. I am here to tell you there is a lot you can do to bring back the enjoyment of physical activities. Read on. If you feel you may be one of many who can be helped then please contact me on the no obligation form below to learn more.

The Knee Joint

The human body with its complex anatomy is a remarkable machine…… remarkable in its durability and in its vulnerabilities.

There is perhaps nothing more vulnerable to common wear and tear than the joints as they are constantly moving and, at time, bear a lot of leverage and weight. Human joints are where two bones come together and articulate or move. There are four type of joints: ball and socket joint; hinge joint; pivot joint: and, fixed joint.
The Knees are a hinge joint moving much like a door however with some lateral and twisting movement which makes the knees vulnerable to damage, and probably sustain more injuries than the other joints in the human body.

The knee is where the femur (upper leg bone) and the Tibia and Fibula (lower leg bones) come together with a fourth bone, called the patella (knee cap) covering the connection of the leg bones.

The leg bones are connected with soft tissue elements called ligaments. There are four ligaments in this joint: the inner and outer ligaments (referred to by the Medical community as medial and lateral or MCL or LCL), and the front and back ligaments (called the anterior cruciate and posterior cruciate or ACL and PCL). All assist in stabilizing the knee as it extends, contracts and moves sidewise.

The other components of the knee joint include tendons, bursi and meniscus. The Bursi are fluid filled sacs that surround the knee and aid in the smooth movement and cushioning. The Meniscus is a “U” shaped piece of tissue that surrounds the knee, and also aid in cushioning. The Tendons connect the leg muscles to the bone which actually control the extension and contraction of the knee joint.

Introduction – Don’t Give Up and Accept the Pain!

If you are suffering from some sort of knee pain, you are one of approximatley 33% of Americans in their late 40’s or older to have this condition - which is decreasing their quality of life.

Many things may have caused or be causing this knee pain, among them: old or new injuries such as a torn or ruptured ligament or cartilidge, or, just a degeneration of the components of the joint.

Some knee problems may require a surgical intervention while others do well with medications, supplements or holistic type treatments.

Some people just don’t do anything other than living with the pain as it limits their activities. The purpose of the site is look at options to reduce knee pain and to maximize the chances of a pain free life in regards to your knees, as well as other joints.

Just don’t take pain for an answer! At least not until you have looked at and/or tried all remedies. I was fixated on living with knee pain and a degraded ability to do physical activities. I’m here to tell you it may not have to be that way.