Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. The cause is the breakdown of cartilage that lines the joints, which ends up with bones rubbing together causing pain, swelling and reduced movement. Muscles get weaker and knobbly bits may grow around the joint. What differs it from rheumatoid arthritis is that activity makes it better; the joint frees off and the problem is in the particular joint/s, whereas rheumatoid arthritis can affect many joints. I remember one of the first courses I went on and it was pointed out that having a mild heart attack sounds much worse than a bit of osteoarthritis in the hip. But in reality, a heart attack is frightening and this tends to galvanise people into action to avoid having another one. Osteo in the hip does not cause fear, just irritation. But with time, it gets increasingly painful, walking gets increasingly painful, we do less and less – and this is quite dreadful for a long, healthy old age.
To help osteoarthritis takes a multi-pronged attack.
- Get help to improve how the joint is working. For instance, it is very common to get osteoarthritis in the knees. Paul Chek called the knees a slave joint – if the hip or ankle is not aligned well, the knees pay the price. So improving how the whole leg works as we walk or run will improve the damaged knees. This too is a double-attack. There will need to be some input from a skilled masseuse – plus a good dose of Z health so that we can rewire the connection with our body and brain. The only person that can rewire our brain is ourselves; this is not something massage can do, no matter how skilled. Furthermore, the dodgy knees may actually stem from how the eyes are working, or the inner ears. See the sweet video at the end.
- Become aware of how we react to the foods we eat. Eating foods that give us problems increase inflammation throughout the body and may make osteoarthritis worse. So cutting out suspect foods will calm things down. The place to start is with foods that we eat every single day and couldn’t imagine not eating. The thought of giving them up is agony, but so is osteoarthritis, particularly as it worsens. And the longer osteo is ignored, the worse it gets and the harder it will be to return to previous activity levels.
- Improve the function of the gut. There is little point in doing this unless the destructive foods are abandoned. However, restoring gut function is vital, by taking pro-biotics, L-glutamine, vitamin A, HCl – or zinc carnosine if HCl can’t be tolerated. Then we can better digest our food and our nutritional status will improve.
- If a bit fat, lose weight. Crikey, that is so easily written. Apart from excess weight burdening the affected joints, excess fat itself is inflammatory.
- Supplementation that helps: plenty of antioxidants, a high quality multi with extra basics like vitamin C, B, D, E and A, zinc and selenium.
- Glucosamine with condroitin and MSM. It takes a while to work, so persevere. Glucosamine alone is less likely to work. And, frustratingly, glucosamine etc. does not work for everybody.
- Rosemary, ginger, turmeric (also called curcumin), D-limonene are anti-inflammatories and will do far more good than reaching for the standard painkillers.
- Plus a very high quality fish oil, preferably one containing GLA as well.
The Poliquin supplements that help are Flame Quench – a natural anti-inflammatory based on rosemary and oleonolic acid. How it works is by interfering with the signals in the body that produce the chemicals that damage the cartilage and joints. It costs £35 for a pot of 60. Chondro Px is Poliquin’s version of the glucosamine/condroitin/MSM complex, also containing selenium, zinc, copper and manganese. It costs £28.50 for120 tablets. His B vitamins, called Methylator Support, have a good dose of B12, plus methylated folate – essential for the majority of us who have inherited the MTHFR gene and can’t properly use folate or folic acid in our body. Methylators cost £21 for 60 pills – and only one a day need be taken. He also does a food replacement powder for the more severe cases of osteoarthritis, with the idea being that one meal a day is replaced, giving the guts a rest. It costs £42 for 728g.
Of course we can ignore our creaking knees and assume that they will get better in time. What is life without hope?