My personal account of my own aching knees and what I did for them.
No scalpels involved. YET!!
I’ve been living with a sore left knee now for about 3 months. I don’t recall an injury. It popped up quickly and with sharp twingy pain. It worsens when I sit at the computer for a while and at night when trying to sleep. I can walk and do my yoga – so go figure??
When I started my yoga practice a number of years ago, I entered my first class with a sore swollen right knee, which hampered much of my practice. An expert said to me that it’s a ‘typical midlife condition’ and that yoga would contribute to its healing. And I must say it did. My pain and swelling went away – TOTALLY. And it’s not returned. So I also now know that maybe I was facing an emotional/spiritual change in my life as Louise Hay would say your knee pain is a sign of rigidity, not flexible, not moving forward. My new yoga and meditation learnings were certainly a move into a new realm and low and behold the knee pain totally disappeared.
Now my left knee is playing up.
Slightly different markers this time, no swelling, different symptoms but still no injury that I can think of. Something is telling me I’m facing Osteoarthritis (OA) so now I’ve added THIS to my studies of things that happen to us at midlife and this blog is to share some tips that I’ve found incredibly helpful. I have managed to reduce the pain significantly, but before I share my holistic approach allow me to share some interesting points about the knee.
- We have over 300 joints in our body but the knee is the number 1 joint complaint around the world.
- The key things that exacerbate knee pain is, being overweight, overexercise, or exercising incorrectly, injury, weak muscles and genetics.
- Osteoarthritis is a huge issue in Australia with millions being spent on doctors, specialists, drugs and surgery.
As if we didn’t have enough reasons to shed weight.
- Did you know that being overweight is worse for you than smoking and drinking combined. When we’re 1 kilo overweight it’s like putting 5 times the pressure on the knee when walking or jogging. When we’re 10 kilos overweight that’s like putting 50 kilos worth of pressure on the joint. So is it any wonder the knees suffer when we’re severely overweight. I’ve been 15 kilos too heavy, so that’s 75 times the pressure on my knees. I’ve lost 12kgs but I have all the more reason to shed a few more kilos.
We can’t completely escape knee pain but we can greatly reduce the pain.
In an article by Jenny McConnell, AM, FACP, Specialist Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist in Sydney “Rescuing the Older Knee” I found some eye opening facts. She alluded to surgery not necessarily being a first choice.
- There’s been a 67% increase in total knee replacements in the last 7 years with 15-30% of them reporting little or no improvement 12 months later.
- Degenerative horizontal tears are present in 33% of the population over 50. Unless those tears are causing locking in the knee or undue swelling – surgical intervention usually accelerates the rapid decline of the knee symptoms to a Total Knee Replacement.
- There’s no long term evidence that a TKR or an ACL reconstruction stops OA progression.
- This article talks about the deep infrapatellar fat pad (IPFP) which is a significant source of OA knee pain. It’s a highly vascular and pain sensitive structure that affects knee biomechanics. This fat pad can be an early source of OA pain. (This is ringing a bell in my ear). I’ve learned that taping the knee can offer significant relief.
- Poor quadriceps function and weightgain increases OA pain. So here’s my reminder to get my extra few kilos off and get the squats and lunges happening.
- Physical management of knee pain can be very successful in dealing with OA symptoms.
Here’s what I’ve been doing to reduce my knee pain.
It’s been so successful that there’ve been times I feel I’ve totally eliminated it. But then, sometimes I may get a little too excited, go for a longer walk than usual, or move it the wrong way too quickly and my twinge will return. But generally it’s feeling great – no swelling at all and I’m determined to manage it holistically before I go near any scalpel. There’s some great videos about taping the knee on youtube, so that may be my next investigation.
- I’ve increased my gentle squats and lunges with my yoga practice. Chair pose and warrior poses help to strengthen the muscles around the knee. Naturally there are poses to be careful with, but yoga has been incredibly healing. The gentle, slow, deliberate movement strengthens, tones and elongates the muscles.
- I’ve started weight training – so watch this space. I’ll report back on that soon.
- Bowen Therapy treatment has been helpful to realign the body helps immensely, because the way we walk, if our hips are out, can affect our gait.
- I’m taking massive doses of turmeric, natures anti-inflammatory in supplement form and in my cooking. Along with my favourite USANA product of Procosamine, fishoils (metal free with EPA and DHA), Vitamin D, C, E and Manganese, my left knee is relatively healthy and my right knee has NEVER shown pain again. USANA has proven to me to be the only supplement that measures up to my expectations, hence the reason I use it.
- Their Procosamine is a glucosamine supplement with turmeric extract, manganese and Vitamin C. And no need to worry about shellfish allergies as it’s a vegetarian form of glucosamine. And there’s a special new addition to the formula. This is well worth the watch.This video will explain why –
- I wrap my knee from time to time in soda crystals to reduce fluid – it works a treat. The soda crystals are readily available from any supermarket.
- At night I need a pillow between my knees as weirdly enough it flares up while I’m trying to sleep.
Here’s one of my most favourite products to relieve aching knees. I’ve taken Procosamine for years. Check out this little video – you might love it. And if you love the video, here’s where you get the product. It’s brilliant and has helped me immensely. Head to http://www.rollbacktheodometer.usana.com
But I’ve continued to question myself. I never disregard the emotional or energetic reason behind any pain in the body.
- I’ve been open to the energetic emotional reasons for knee pain. I’ve questioned myself about my inflexibility to move forward or to bend. The left side of our body is feminine, the right masculine. Is there a feminine energy I need resolution with? Is there any area I’m not moving forward? I’m working on it and observing.
Louise Hay says stubborn ego, pride, fear and an inability to bend will manifest in the knees. What do we need to release when there’s knee pain? Think about these before you simply run to the surgeon.
With self examination and a holistic approach, I can honestly say I’m managing my knee pain. I refuse to let the symptoms of progressing years get the better of me, so lookout for a future blog post where I talk about starting weight training at the age of 56!!! That’s going to be fun!
Email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) any time if you’d like more information about dealing with your knee pain the holistic way.