About Me – My Management of Osteoarthritis
Read my story to find out my perfect combination of diet, exercise and PEMF technology to beat osteoarthritis.
The Bad News
After suffering crippling pain in my knees for over a year, I decided I needed to be checked out by my GP.
As a professional painter and decorator I put any feeling of discomfort down to wear and tear. However, I gained little relief from the prescribed pain killers and anti-inflammatories, and was eventually referred to a consultant orthopaedic surgeon in November 2011.
Even before the orthopaedic surgeon spoke to me I could see from the x-rays he took, that my knees were in a very sorry state. The consultant confirmed I had severe osteoarthritis in both my knees. He also told me that he would have expected to find the same level of cartilage deterioration in someone who was in their 80's - I was only 39!
Great...I was now in pain and depressed! Included in the subscribed management of osteoarthritis was steroid injections (cortisone), hyaluronic acid injections (essentially a lubricant found in the knee joint) and arthroscopy (cleaning the knee from the inside), all of which come with a compliment of side effects. However, these treatments become increasingly ineffective over time, making knee replacement surgery (metal and plastic inserts placed between the joints and behind the knee cap) inevitable and with it extensive physical therapy...the 'last stop' treatment in the field of conventional medicine when it comes to osteoarthritis. I was filled with horror at the thought of having to undergo surgery at such a young age and with it, lose the mobility I required for my job.
Once I overcame the shock of the diagnosis, I decided not to simply follow the advice of the medical professionals but to seek alternative treatments and create my own plan towards the management of osteoarthritis. It seemed the traditional medical view was (and still is) that osteoarthritis is incurable and the recommendation is to lose some weight, take a cocktail of anti-inflammatories and painkillers before having knee joint replacement surgery - just like 77,000 people do each each year in the UK (500,000 in the USA). Both these figures are on the rise. According to a study presented at the American Academy of Orthorpaedic Surgeons in 2006, the number of knee replacements was anticipated to increase by 673% over the next 20 years.
Please do not misunderstand me, I am not suggesting you avoid your doctor (after all, it's where I started) but I simply want to make you aware that I had great success in fighting osteoarthritis without any drugs and surgery.
The medical profession has long assumed (and I believe incorrectly) that osteoarthritis is largely caused by traumatic injury or the mechanical problems of ‘wear and tear’ in an ageing body. However, research suggests the disease may in fact be largely driven simply by inflammation in the body. Recent research such as that undertaken at Stanford University School of Medicine, in the USA, has shown that early on in the progression of osteoarthritis, inflammatory cells from elsewhere in the body (migratory cells) collect within joint tissues and secrete certain substances that cause the body’s own defence system to attack, not just foreign substances but the joints themselves, specifically the cartilage between cells. This may mean that osteoarthritis, just like rheumatoid arthritis, is in fact an autoimmune condition – where the body begins to attack itself.
It is important to note that inflammation is part of the body’s immune response; without it, we cannot heal. But when it is out of control it can damage the body. Plus, it is thought to play a role in obesity, heart disease, and cancer.
Apologies for that boring science bit above but this research underpinned my own approach to managing Osteoarthritis, in that my focus has been on treating inflammation in my whole body, not just my knees.
My original goal was to at least find a way of reducing the pain. But, nothing prepared me for the changes I would experience in my body, by simply adopting of a few new approaches to life. I am now completely pain free and have continued to work as a busy painter and decorator.
My research into alternative treatment found a bewildering array of suggested approaches to managing osteoarthritis, such as taking cider vinegar or eating black molasses, bathing in Epsom salts and taking a huge variety of vitamins. I even read somewhere that snake venom provided relief! Then there is herbalism, homeopathy, reflexology, acupuncture, chiropractic treatment…the list of suggested treatments seemed to go on and on. However, none of the information seemed to focus on the key issue of inflammation and the advice provided, was confusing and contradictory, or lacked any scientific evidence.
With a focus on inflammation, after a few months I was able to identify 3 central themes that were required to protect my health. These being Diet, PEMF therapy and Exercise. I needed to be able to incorporate changes into my life that would be practical and realistic, essentially ensuing I could follow them forever and not just for a few months like some unrealistic fad diet or workout routine.
It has not been an easy journey but I have tried to consolidate my findings and experience within this site, so you do not have to try and find your way through the quagmire of advice and information. I will be honest with you, it has taken commitment, willpower and a fair bit of money but I cannot stress to you enough - how worth it has been! To read how these areas, when combined as a system, have dramatically helped me towards the management of my osteoarthritis please click on the buttons below.