Saturday, April 12, 2003
posted by Julie |
The knees, the knees, the knees, the knees.
So, I've been running. With a real coach and everything. Why should Oprah have all the pain? This is an amazing development, actually. I've always been the girl who tops out at jogging ½ mile. At my heaviest I couldn't jog at all, and even walking more than a half mile at a time woke up a number of musculoskeletal boo-boos from plantar's fasciits to pretty debilitating hip pain.
And my creaky knees creak more loudly every year. Fellow exercisers pause to listen with every squat and leg extension. At least they're entertaining.
Strains, sprains, and osteoarthritis, friends. Some people are genetically, chemically, or mechanically prone to these things. Some succumb through lifting heavy weight all day. And some others because that heavy weight is their body.
My feet, my knees, my hip all have a history and tendency of inflammation. The good news is, I have been in a lot less pain since dropping the weight. I know I've saved years on these knees, which are likely to be replaced some day. That some day is farther down the road now.
But today, after a couple of weeks of road running, these old pains are revisiting. A little map of pain. My left heel. My right knee. I'm going to try for just one road race in my lifetime, but then I'll be hanging up my sneakers and climbing back into the water where I belong. The damage is done, I fear. Weight loss didn't reverse it. It just quieted things down.
Now, many runners just keep running, and walkers keep walking, with the help of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate supplementation. Many swear it gives them and their dogs many more pain-free years. There are other supplements I haven't
explored yet. I've been tempted to try these, and may experiment with them, though I'm usually shy of and forgetful about taking pills.
If you're dealing with joint pain, or your family history suggests you might soon some day, now is a good time to stay on top of the research. Many medical and nutritional researchers are focused on finding ways to delay or eliminate onset of osteoarthritis. There's quite a lot you can do with stretching and exercising to manage your joints and prevent injury.
And, of course, eventually you can throw your old joints out and get some new ones. That's the miracle of the age we live in. But I recommend you hang on to the ones you were born with as long as you can. Steady slow weight loss is one of the best ways to do that.
Like you didn't know that already.
What Causes Osteoarthritis?
Exercises to reduce Plantar Fasciitis
Arthritis Foundation on Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate
Doc Weil on glucosamine supplementation and insulin resistance
Arthritis Foundation Supplement Guide