Need practical advice on how to deal with this and stay active

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by aaradia, Sep 2, 2019.

  1. aaradia

    aaradia Choy Li Fut and Yang Tai Chi Chuan Student Moderator Supporter

    Diagnosis- Medial compartmental osteoarthritis level 3/ stage 3 in my right knee.

    This is something I am going to have to live with the rest of my life. No cure.

    If anyone else out there deals with this while maintaining an active athletic life, I could use advice.

    I am NOT giving up what I love to do in life.

    Sure, there are worse things that can happen, but this sucks big time and I am struggling to maintain a positive attitude at the moment.

    So, I just need to hear about how to maintain my active lifestyle from others. And yes, I will be going to PT and seeing a specialist.

    I am also trying to get real serious about losing weight. It is important with this diagnosis. But being overweight has been an issue most of my life, so I am feeling a little lost/ depressed/ overwhelmed on that too right now.

    I posted this on FB and deleted it. There, I was going to get a lot of sympathy, but that isn't what I am after. What I need is practical advice from people who understand I won't give up martial arts for anything. And it impeding what I love to do is what is bumming me out. So, it seemed better to post it here.
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2019
    SWC Sifu Ben, axelb, ned and 3 others like this.
  2. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Valued Member MAP 2017 Gold Award

    Well there's no cure yet. You got a reasonable amount of life ahead of you so you never know. Repairing cartilage might happen one day. I'm fairly sure stem cells can do it.

    I know what you mean about preferring this place to Facebook. Love my closest friends but it feels like a sympathy grab.

    Losing weight... well the normal advice I'd give is pick a sport/physical activity you like and do the absolute crap out of it. Whilst at the same time committing to a calorie deficit. I find the most convenient way to eat healthy and consistently is to buy meal preps pre-made that I heat up. That way I'm not tempted to get junk food. I'll also buy snacks that fill out the day appropriately like bananas and protein shakes.

    Expensive way to lose weight but if you can manage it I say go for that. If you can prep your own meals it'd a lot cheaper.
  3. Brigid

    Brigid Kung Fu Mother

    Hi Aaradia, sorry to hear about your problem with your knee. Maybe Qi gong would be helpful? There’s a particular set we use in class which are good for delivering general health benefits: 12 dao yin. Here’s a link to a demonstration . It is probably one of the most useful things I’ve learned because it’s designed to do stimulate pressure points, work strictures in your body. It might seem a bit tangential and maybe not your cup of tea, but as a way of improving and maintaining your general health it might provide a way of strengthening your health and I find it helps me with my state of mind too. Regards Brigid
  4. icefield

    icefield Valued Member

    Sorry to hear this

    Any joint issue will be relieved by losing weight as you already know

    If you have trouble losing weight I'd suggest the 5:2 diet it allows you to eat normally a number of days a week and just cut calories drastically two days week, most people can do this because you can still enjoy the food you like as well.

    Diets tent to fall down because we are hooked on sugar and bombarded with adverts for unhealthy food, so it's hard to cut these out over an extended period of time.

    In addition add in some steady state low impact aerobic work, a bike or stepper to help lose additional weight and also aid keeping the joint mobile and fluids going through.
  5. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Valued Member MAP 2017 Gold Award

    I think swimming is low impact. Also if you find a place with a sauna and steam room you're golden!
    Monkey_Magic and Dead_pool like this.
  6. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    I am sorry to hear that. :(
    I have no experience with illnesses like that, so I can't really help.

    But about losing weight. Like Chadderz suggests, having meals prepared for the day could help. What I am trying now is that I bought a pretty snack box that I am planning to bring for trainings with me. I like it so I want to use it and it's good for preparing healthy snacks in advance - like filling it with peeled orange or other fruit or veggies or a home-made white yogurt with some berries etc. As opposed to just buying something tasty, but not very healthy on the way.
    I am not sure how you go about your meals, but maybe spending some time preparing what you are going to eat and packing a lunch box for the day with good looking healthy stuff perhaps with only a tiny treat maybe a fun and mindful way to go about your lunches etc.?
    I don't have this really tried, and I really don't do that myself (I work from home, so I feel packing a meal is kind of pointless), but I think it could help depending on your attitude toward your food :)
    And just trying out new stuff and experimenting with new healthy meals could be a way too. I was just given fresh beetroots straight from the garden, so I am going to bake them with some herbs, cheese and nuts for today's dinner. Can't wait :D
  7. ned

    ned Valued Member

    Sorry to hear about your osteoarthritis, as others have said, diet is unquestionably of great importance.
    My wife has rheumatoid arthritis which I know isntt the same but does cause similar inflammation and is treated with methatrixate which I read can also be prescribed for osteoarthritis.
    She has drastically reduced the amount of this she takes and background pain and flares that affect her everyday life by adopting a plant based diet. By eliminating certain food types you can see what might affect you, in my wife's case it seems to be primarily dairy produce.
    There is plenty of anecdotal evidence and increasing research to support this and, in my wife's case the doctor"s alternative was Symboltin , a painkiller which she makes for some disturbing reading.
  8. Ros Montgomery

    Ros Montgomery Valued Member

    Sorry, Ned, I would question it! :)

    There's no mention of diet modification in NICE's management of osteoarthritis non-pharmalogical pathway; you'd think they'd be shouting it from the rooftops if there was any real evidence for it helping.
    Monkey_Magic and Dead_pool like this.
  9. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool the merc with the mouth MAP 2017 Moi Award

    Fish oils are also currently listed as a drug of limited clinical effectiveness, and are being deprescribed in England at the moment.

    One of the major issues with suppliments, is that diet is more important then suppliments, and people take a low dose fish oil, and then eat terribly.

    The best advice is to see professionals, which you are, take the meds your supposed to take, and rehab the hell out of it, whilst dropping weight and increasing leg strength by following whatever a trained physiotherapist says.

    I've had a moderate knee injury, and have recently had to vastly reduce my training volume, so I've had to do the same thing on a much smaller scale, and I feel really good for it. Think of it as an opportunity make yourself better/long lasting.

    Edit I'm aware it's not an injury in the normal sense, but sometimes, chronic joint conditions are better the stronger the supporting muscles are.
    But I'm not expert, so its probably best not to listen too much to me.
  10. ned

    ned Valued Member

    No need to apologise,it's good to question what we hear from others.
    Changing diet worked for my wife, though most doctors aren't interested and would rather dish out opiates/painkillers.
    I've listed a host of research on a thread in the nutrition forum if you care to look but I know plenty of folk are dogmatic in dismissing any evidence that doesn't fit the orthodox narrative.
    The alternative for my wife would be ending up stuck on prescription painkillers that have horrible side effects and had negligible benefits for her.
    I have no axe to grind either way, just relating our experience and hoping it may help others since it's made such a profound difference
    to my wife's condition
    aaradia likes this.
  11. cloudz

    cloudz Valued Member

    Do what you can when you can.
    You may have to tone down those triple spinning kicks though.

    Something that could be low impact, with ever so mild health benefits?
    I'm struggling to think of the name of it now, but I'm sure it will come to me :D
  12. cloudz

    cloudz Valued Member

    Regards diet.

    I strongly reccomend intermittant fasting (calories 10 x your weight in lbs); 8/16 hr split.
    worked wonders for me

    Have lost over 20kgs since last year.
    Mitch likes this.
  13. Monkey_Magic

    Monkey_Magic Well-Known Member

    You’re not alone.

    Here’s some advice that should help:
    1. I suggest your goal is to preserve the knee for as many years as possible, because stem cell therapy is on the horizon within perhaps a decade.
    2. ‘Versus Arthritis’ (the main UK charity for people with the condition) produces evidence-based advice on diet and arthritis.
    3. Losing weight reduces pressure on your knee joint. Every little helps!
    4. Increase the muscle strength of your legs, particularly your quads. Quad strength is vital. Straight leg raises may be easier on your knee than squats.
    4. Avoid prolonged sitting - walk or move your legs as much as possible. Nutrients only get into your knee joint when the knee moves.
    5. Start regular swimming, but avoid breast stroke. Front crawl and back stroke are great for keeping your knee healthy, provided your technique’s OK. Adult swimming lessons can be very useful.
    6. Ask your physician about a hyaluronic acid injection (sometimes called ‘visco supplementation’). This is an easy and relatively painless injection of more lubricant into the joint. It may additionally stimulate your body to produce more lubrication in the knee.
    7. Avoid kneeling and minimise stairs. Kneeling puts a lot of pressure on the knee joint, as do stairs.
    8. A sports physician should be able to advise about martial arts (e.g. avoiding deep squats, whether horse stance is advisable, omitting jumping/spinning kicks). However, martial arts keep your knee moving and I think you’ll still be able to train. I do.
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2019
    aaradia likes this.
  14. aaradia

    aaradia Choy Li Fut and Yang Tai Chi Chuan Student Moderator Supporter

    Thanks all. For the record, I am not quitting Choy Li Fut. I just can't. I love it so. I have never been crazy about the jumping kicks anyways. There may be modifications.

    Tai Chi is low impact, so no issues there.

    But the point of life is to live it doing what you love. I will find a way to keep doing it, or there really isn't a point to it all.:(

    This request for advice is about how to continue to live my life doing what I love, despite this issue.

    I have the exercise part down. I will undoubtedly be adding PT exercises. Doing more research into regular Dr's and alternative supplementation as well.

    Got an insta-pot. One of my main issues is being busy during the week and eating out without the best choices sometimes. First focus is learning to cook healthy meals on the weekend and having a healthy supply during the week. An insta-pot means I can cook and store multiple meals in a quick time frame. I just need to figure out how to use it.

    Anyone got any good healthy insta-pot recipes?
    Mitch likes this.
  15. Monkey_Magic

    Monkey_Magic Well-Known Member

    Regarding supplements, check out the Versus Arthritis advice on supplements, as well as collagen supplementation specifically.

    I’d recommend looking for a physician who specialises in sports medicine. It may take a bit of research to find a sports medic. However, a sports medic will be best able to advise on how to continue with martial arts. (Physicians who aren’t specialised in sports medicine may be less knowledgeable about what you can still do, and surgeons will primarily know about surgery.)
  16. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

    I have osteoarthritis in my knees, hips, elbows and shoulders. Had cortisone shots in my shoulders, elbows, knees and one hip. The shots in the elbows and shoulders have lasted for years. The right knee seems to be lasting a long time, the left needed help in late spring this year. The one in the hip lasted about 10 weeks. Just had arthroscopic surgery on the left knee due to a meniscus tear that was associated with the arthritis in the knee. They removed a little of the arthritis at that time too.

    I'm not going to lie or candy coat anything here, there are things, as this progresses and you get older, that you should not do. I was told over a year ago that running was a bad idea and should be avoided. Also I loved training JKD but it was causing me all sorts of hip issues, also due to the arthritis, so I had to stop that. My favorite martial art of all time is Xingyiquan, but prior to the surgery it too was causing me hip and knee pain. So that stopped, kinda. I am waiting for full recovery from the knee surgery and I may give that a try again.

    Had to cut back on and change my yoga routine. I did discover that super bendy 20 somethings that are teaching yoga routines for arthritis have no clue as to what arthritis really is and how it feels. It was in catalyst for me to figure out a routine on my own that, to be honest, I'm very pleased with.

    As for Taijiquan, I think my Chen style days are behind me too. However I can still do Yang style and I have discovered how much I truly enjoy Sun style and how wrong I was about it, when I was younger and called it old man taijiquan. Irony here is I had to become an old man before I figured out I was wrong about Sun style as a young man.

    I am also starting to work on Baguazhang again, it seems to help my knees especially and most of the foot work is not bother my hips or knees, but then I am only working to get back my 8 palms form at the moment and not even thinking about any dragon forms.

    Also still very much able to do Wing Chun Siu Lum Tao.

    Weight loss; helps immensely and I too need to lose a whole lot of weight at the moment. Thank you post surgery sedentary life style. The best thing I found for weight loss and arthritis was a book by Joel Fuhrman, Eat to Live. And stuff form Forks over Knives.

    Also understand, and I just realized this today, I am very close to being 30.....for the second time, so my age is not helping either.

    You can continue doing the things you enjoy, you may have to look at them from a different perspective, may have to approach something a little, or a lot, differently. But it is all a learning experience and you can learn some pretty cool things this way, especially about your own body. You become a bit more self aware as it applies to movement. But if there are things you enjoy, that are causing you problems, stop doing them. To continue to do them, if continuing to do them will only cause you more issues and impact other things you do in a negative way. Example (only an example), jump kicks are cool, but if doing them causes more damage I'd stop them, because the wheelchair they could put you in later is not so cool

    Also, a few months back I was sitting on a bench watching my youngest's aikido class. I was sitting there in pain in my knees and hips, my back was starting to bother me and I was fidgeting looking for a comfortable way to sit. I forget what I was reading at the time, but one thing hit me and I realized I was constantly fighting my arthritis, denying I had it and trying to ignore the pain. I stopped, thought about it for a bit, realized this was a life long things and I had to accept it. So I did, I stopped fighting it, and I was able to relax and much of the pain subsided.

    Weight loss, stretching and staying active are all good. I wish you luck with this, it can feel like the Sword of Damocles hanging over your head, or you can take it as a learning experience and grow with it. It is your choice. Frankly I prefer the learning bit.
    Mitch, cloudz and aaradia like this.
  17. Monkey_Magic

    Monkey_Magic Well-Known Member

    I think it’s well worth considering hyaluronic acid vs. platelet rich plasma (PRP) vs. corticosteroid injection. NB: I’d seek medical advice about these, because the evidence base for them is evolving all the time.

    I think steroid injections may be going out of favour. Whereas hyaluronic acid and/or PRP are coming into favour. Major caveat: I’m not a doctor! Hence getting the best medical advice is important.
    aaradia and Xue Sheng like this.
  18. Grond

    Grond Valued Member

  19. Mushroom

    Mushroom De-powered to come back better than before.

    I may be on my Nth knee injury. Had MRi again on it this week, this time it's a freak injury (i got up from the floor whilst my leg crossed and essentially heel hooked myself)

    Like you I'm not giving up martial arts.

    In regards to cardio...stuff like, lying on your back and cycling your legs, swimming, the stairs version of a treadmill etc.

    +1 on the sauna too. I dont know how bad your knee is, but give these a go and do whats comfy for you.
    Dead_pool likes this.
  20. axelb

    axelb Master of Office Chair Fu

    :eek: Dean Lister is on his way now with a medal for those self inflicted skills
    Dead_pool likes this.

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