By Dr. Paul Lanthois Ray was an old style businessman. In these times of worker smarter, Ray created his business through a lot of extremely demanding work. Like many men, he had not paid much attention to his health but now as he was in his late 50s many aches and pains just weren´t going away. A visit to his local doctor resulted in a referral to an orthopaedic specialist. The news was not good. “You have severe osteoarthritis in your right hip. You will need to go on some anti-inflammatory medication and you will probably need to have a hip replacement by the years end.” It all came as a huge shock to Ray. He was stammering a bit, trying to make sense of how this could have happened. “How did I get this?” he asked. The specialist replied in a rather dismissive way, ” Unfortunately it is just one of those things that happen to us when we get older. It is quite common for your age.” Ray was not happy. He was not happy with the manner that the specialist spoke to him and he was not at all happy to be labelled as old. He was determined to give the doctor a piece of his mind when a thought came to him. “Hey,” he said. “Do I have any arthritis in my left hip? “he asked. “The scans show that you left hip is clear of any arthritis,” replied the specialist. “If arthritis is caused by old age, how come I have no arthritis in my left hip. It´s the same age?” You may be wondering what actually causes arthritis? Arthritis is the degeneration of joints as a result of three common scenarios: Arthritis Cause No.1: After they have been damaged by injury or trauma Particularly severe injury that physically damages a joint beyond its capacity to repair itself will inevitably result in some arthritic changes. It is very difficult if not impossible to prevent arthritic change in this instance. However the amount of arthritic change can be limited by addressing the following two areas. Arthritis Cause No.2: Excessive load being placed on them due to poor alignment or poor posture Car tires can wear out unevenly and prematurely due to poor alignment and so can the joints in your body. When you have an upright and balanced posture your body weight is evenly distributed throughout your body. However, poor posture and alignment causes the weight to be unevenly distributed with some areas getting off lightly and other areas getting worn out by the excessive load. Arthritis Cause No.3: Lack of flexibility resulting from a lack of use If you only use joints in a limited manner in which you do not routinely exercise your joints to their full range of motion, the lack of movement will limit the amount of nutrition to the joints. This effectively begins to starve the joint surfaces of the necessary ingredients required to be able to maintain a healthy joint. It backs up the old adage, “If you don´t use it, you lose it.” Arthritis Prevention To limit or prevent the possibility of arthritis affecting your work life get some advice or treatment to help improve your posture and physical alignment. The best professionals that can help you would be chiropractors, osteopaths, physical therapists, or podiatrists. Maintaining an active lifestyle is also vital. Exercise and movement programs such as Tai Chi, Yoga, Feldenkrais and the Alexander Technique are very gentle ways of improving joint and muscular flexibility and balance without placing a large strain on your joints. What you put into your body also has a huge impact on the development of arthritis and how much pain that you feel. To put it simply, a diet of fish, good fats (like extra virgin olive oil) and fruits and vegetables are essential ingredients in the recipe for your body to make its own anti-inflammatory chemicals. On the other hand, red meat and dairy are used to make your inflammatory chemicals. Many people need to increase their consumption of fish, fruits and vegetables and reduce their intake of red meat and dairy to help keep the pain and inflammation under control. I have seen so many people with arthritis doing the right things to help themselves such as taking fish oil and glucosamine sulfate to help manage the pain and inflammation. Without exception, they have all been disappointed with the results because they have taken brands of fish oil and glucosamine sulfate that haven´t been adequately tested in clinical trials. Fish oil and glucosamine sulfate do help the symptoms and development of arthritis but only certain brands. Currently I have found only one brand of glucosamine sulfate and one brand of fish oil (and one brand of krill oil) that have actual been tested in a controlled experiment to actually work. So you need to ask for the correct brand of supplementation. Arthritis doesn´t have to become an inevitable accessory to a long and successful career. Arthritis is something that you have to create. It requires a certain recipe. Many lifestyle steps actually discourage and limit the development of arthritis. So even if you currently are exhibiting some signs of arthritis, you are not doomed to a life of anti-inflammatory medication.
Ray was not happy. He was not happy with the manner that the specialist spoke to him and he was not at all happy to be labelled as old. He was determined to give the doctor a piece of his mind when a thought came to him. “Hey,” he said. “Do I have any arthritis in my left hip? “he asked. “The scans show that you left hip is clear of any arthritis,” replied the specialist.