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Do Your Knees Talk???

Saturday, February 02, 2013

What's the best treatment for creaky, arthritic knees?

a. Sitting down
b. Taking glucosamine supplements
c. Doing tai chi
d. Taking shark cartilage pills

Answer: c. In controlled experiments, glucosamine and shark cartilage have failed to reliably relieve knee pain, but a 2011 review of multiple studies of tai chi---that famously flowing series of stretches and poses---concluded that it is generally effective at controlling pain and improving physical function.

When I was young (back when dinosaurs roamed), I was a cheerleader. Whenever I would bend my knees, they would talk to me..........they would snap, and groan, and creak and I was always glad for a noisy crowd, because then it wouldn't be noticeable. I always thought, (erroneously I now know) that my knees were bad because I was too hard on them. I was constantly jumping on and off trampolines, doing splits, cartwheels, contorting them in various positions for our more intricate cheers, etc.. Now, I know that it wasn't the constant exercise that was causing the problem. It was arthritis. The exercise was probably keeping me more mobile and keeping the arthritis from getting worse. I now know that sitting for long periods and being inactive in general is much more damaging. I will now be looking into that Tai Chi class I have wondered about for too long!!!
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