When I was in my early 20’s I was in a bad car accident that smashed my right knee. After several surgeries, casts, crutches and months of physical therapy, I have had 48 years of good activity with it. I’ve been able to hike many miles, water ski, snow ski and live a good active life.
The surgeon told me that my knee would treat me well for 40+ years and then it would start complaining. Time has sped by and my knee talks negatively to me frequently.
I thought I would share with you a few things that have helped me keep a naughty joint moving with little complaint.
- Stretching: A physical therapist taught me years ago to stretch every morning first thing and every evening before going to bed. A good chiropractor also gave me some stretches to do while working.
- Walking: My surgeon told me I would limp, if I didn’t keep moving my knee. He said, “When it hurts, keep moving. Do not resort to being a couch potato just because you have a little pain.” So, I walk to work.
- Foods: I have discovered through the years that if I eat too much sugar or too many refined carbs my knee complains more. It does best with high anti-oxidant foods such as fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds and lean proteins. I’ve learned to eat mostly whole foods with little refinement.
- Fats: My poor knee and other joints in my body appreciate good fats; such as, avocados, nut butters, coconut oil, olive oil, flax oil and hemp oil. It doesn’t do very well with trans fats, such as; deep fried foods, heavy fatty proteins, fast foods or greasy refined foods.
- Supplements: My poor knee likes natural anti-inflammatories such as Bromelain (an enzyme from pineapple), Turmeric root, Boswellia and White Willow Bark. These herbs help bring down the inflammation. I also like taking hyaluronic acid which helps keep my joints lubricated.
- Water: I have found that staying hydrated is the most important thing I can do for my joints. The cartilage stays sponge link and cushions my joints when I’m hydrated. It gets thin when dehydrated and my joints will start aching and my knee complains loudly. I freeze water and ice my knee for 15 minutes if gets over worked or swollen.
- Attitude: When I think about my poor knee too much, it gets worse. One of the best things I do for it is stay active, hydrated, eat well and not focus on it. When it’s really acting up I ice it while reading something positive and motivational. The less I focus on it, the better it does.
My goal for my knee is to keep it flexible by stretching it, active by moving it, healthy by feeding it right, hydrated by giving it plenty of fluids, and not allowing it to run my life by giving it a good attitude.
Forty eight years after the accident, I’m still enjoying life with a bum knee but not letting it ruin my life. I must admit, I’m golfing more and skiing less, but I’m active and it’s working. The day may come when I need another knee surgery, but that is not my focus, nor is it my goal.
Above all things I wish that you would prosper and be in good health!