Charles asked about fixing osteoarthritis:
“What about osteoarthritis of the knee? Your healthy your whole life, then all of a sudden this comes upon you and knocks you for a loop! The lovely thing about it is you don’t even know your developing it until it’s at an advanced stage and difficult to treat. What do you recommend for this? This sucks!”
What is Osteoarthritis?
For those that aren’t familiar with it (and the different types of arthritis), osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease, that commonly occurs in the knees, hips, low back, neck, and the fingers.
The pain, swelling and other problems come about from the breakdown of cartilage in the joints, which normally help joints to move smoothly and without pain. As a degenerative condition, it is said to be from wear and tear on joints.
This is in contrast to rheumatoid arthritis, which is autoimmune, meaning the body’s defenses systems are attacking the joints themselves. (As with any autoimmunity a large part of the cause, and what ultimately will help reverse symptoms, is in the diet.)
In osteoarthritis the bones can begin rubbing on bones. Bone spurs can develop, making things worse. Even bits of bone may chip off and float around.
How to Think About Disease
We humans like to classify things. This is a very helpful ability, but it also comes with a dark side. One of those dark sides has to do with disease.
You see, diseases are not things. Osteoarthritis is not a thing. We look at a bunch of symptoms, or test results, and say you “have” this “thing”. But that is not accurate.
You can’t hold osteoarthritis in your hand. Sure, you could hold damaged joints, but that’s not the same thing.
Instead, all diseases are processes.
Charles is mistaken to say that “Your healthy your whole life, then all of a sudden this comes upon you and knocks you for a loop!”
But he corrects himself in the next sentence. “The lovely thing about it is you don’t even know your developing it until it’s at an advanced stage and difficult to treat.”
It took a long time for it to reach a point where it is painful and a problem.
As such, reversing the process is also likely going to take a long time. But it can be done.
I say this because if you think of a disease as a thing, then you tend to think of either having it or not having it. The functions of the human body do not work like this.
When it is a process, one that you are developing or reversing, we can see shifts in it getting better or worse.
Not just in stages, as some things like cancer get, but a smooth gradient of good to bad.
Why Does Osteoarthritis Form?
To understand how to reverse a process, we must understand the normal process in the first place.
According to medical knowledge this is an issue of wear and tear. Accelerating the wear and tear can be caused by a couple of things. Carrying too much weight is going to cause the breakdown to occur faster. Also, repetitive movements will do the same. Injuries also often lead to osteoarthiritis.
Plus, there can be a genetic component that can alter your body’s ability to produce collagen, or the way that bones fit together.
Unfortunately, according to these causes every athlete, maybe even every person, would get osteoarthritis.
Although it is common, this is not the case. Not everyone gets it. Why not?
The body is excellent at healing itself…given that it has the right building blocks to do so.
Let’s say you have a house that is built in a place with heavy sand storms that occur regularly. Over time these would eventually obliterate the house. But if there were sufficient materials for repair, there is no reason the house couldn’t go on forever.
Arthritis is an inflammatory process. And if inflammation is happening it will slow down or stop the repair process. It likely even accelerates the deconstruction process.
While inflammation can be a systemic thing, it tends to happen in certain places, causing certain symptoms that are notable. When this occurs in the joints it is called arthritis.
You only notice the issue, aka have symptoms, once the damage has gotten to a certain point.
How to Prevent, Stall or Reverse Osteoarthritis
Because this is work on the cause, these same things can help prevent issues in the first place, make it so they don’t get worse, and even reverse the damage.
Food sensitivities – Common things like gluten, dairy, eggs and soy can all be looked at. And, when it comes to some forms of arthritis, lectins can also be a big culprit. Lectins are found in many various foods in the nightshade family including tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant and more. This is likely a bigger part of rheumatoid arthritis, but that doesn’t mean it can’t also be in play with osteo.
Collagen – Remember that the breakdown occurs in connective tissues. And the standard American diet, which is being exported all over the world, really doesn’t contain foods that support new collagen. Thus, supplementing with a high-quality collagen powder can help.
Omega 3 fatty acids – Particularly the long chain form that is in fish oils. The omega 3 fatty acids are primarily anti-inflammatory, while omega 6 are inflammatory. You do want some inflammation, but most people have far too much. Move your 6:3 ratio closer to 3:1 or even as low as 1:1 for inflammation reducing effects.
Anti-inflammatories – I would not recommend drugs. NSAID’s can damage the gut lining which further complicates all problems. Instead there are many herbs that work to reduce inflammation. Turmeric, especially the “active” ingredient curcumin is well-known and researched for doing just this in a safer manner. Supplementing with this or other herbs should help. There are many more like ginger or frankincense.
Topical treatment – What you eat in your diet needs to get to the joints in question in order to really help. And, sadly, lack of delivery and eliminations from that area is likely part of the problem. The good news is that you can deliver certain nutrients topically. One option that I’ve heard good things about for arthritis is Arthro Muscle & Join Massage Oil. Of course, there are plenty of other liniments, oils and more that can also be tried.
MSM & DMSO – Methysulfonylmethane can be found in some foods, as well from supplements. Sulfur, which it contains can help lower joint inflammation. A similar form, DMSO, can be applied topically.
Movement – And you’ll want to listen to your body as far as what movements are going to help. The body will provide signals, that if you know how to listen, will help guide the way. My course Beyond Biofeedback goes deep into how I personally do it.
Massage and Chiropractic – Moving yourself is good, and getting therapeutic treatment from others can be even more helpful. Acupuncture has also been shown to be helpful in some cases.
These are just a few of the possible steps. Overall, you’re going to need to be healthy as concerns your body’s assimilation of nutrients and detoxification if you want this issue to improve.
And there is no one magic cure. If you really want results, do all of this and more, and see what happens.