Thursday, May 06, 2010

Osteoarthritis - Knee Pain

Never before have I planned my travel so extensively, reading up on the place, talking to people who have been there and making a "to do" list. On this trip we will be exploring treatment for wife's knee pain besides taking in the sights, trying out the local food and shopping.  My wife has Osteoarthritis of the left knee since 3 - 4 years ago. Sister-in-law have through the recommendation of her Shanghai colleague been treated for back and knee pain by a TCM (traditional chinese medicine) doctor and experienced positive results. It started with one of her Malaysian friend seeking treatment for a severe back pain during a visit. A number of her visiting friends have been treated and were very happy with the results, so now she is promoting it like a....??? : )

I am constantly searching the internet on this subject. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It causes pain, swelling and reduced motion in your joints. It can occur in any joint, but usually it affects your hands, knees, hips or spine. Many elderly persons suffer from Osteoarthritis. As one ages the cartilage in your joints start to degenerate causing your bones to rub together; this causes pain to the joint. You can spot a sufferer by the way they walk; I call it the "penguin walk" : )

My wife have consulted many doctors over the years; Family Doctor, Orthopaedic and Sports Specialist as well as Physiotherapist and TCM doctors. The usual Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS)and Pain Killers merely "hide" the symptoms by numbing the pain or reduce the swelling. They offer only temporary relief. After spending thousands of dollars on treatment she still gets a swollen knee whenever she over-exert; mostly due to our Saturday night dancing. At an advance stage when the cartilage are worn out and the disease becomes crippling, doctors usually recommend surgery.
Read this:
Study reveal Surgery for Osteoarthritis of the Knee Proved Worthless

Recently, a friend of ours mentioned about an injection to the knee to lubricate the joint which works fine for him. It's funny he calls it WD40 : ) It's called SYNVISC, viscosupplementation, an elastic and viscous substance made from hyaluronan which is found in normal joint fluid. I took her to see the doctor. It been 6 months and 3 injection later things have not changed for the better. It's another waste of time and money.

There are a number of health supplements that claim to be beneficial for the treatment of Osteoarthritis but do they work?. Results of scientific trials are inconclusive. My wife have taken tons of Glucosamine with Chondroitin and MSM the last few years but there really isn't any noticeable benefit from it. Other supplements touted to be beneficial for Osteoarthritis are Omega oil, Ginger, Turmeric, Boswella, Devil's Claw, SAM-e (short for S-adenosylmethionine) not FDA approved for medical use. What can you do but hope that by taking them somehow, something may work even if you are skeptical .

Supplements Don't Work for Osteoarthritis:

Tai chi chuan 太极拳;Tai Chi for Arthritis
Beside prescribing drugs, doctors would recommend Exercise,Weight control, Physiotherapy and rest. Cycling and Aqua exercise are highly recommended. As a matter of  fact there is a growing interest in Tai Chi for Osteoarthritis. Research from UNSW (University of New South Wales) shows that a special form of tai chi dramatically reduces pain amongst those suffering from osteoarthritis.

Dr Paul Lam, a family physician and Tai Chi practitioner developed several Tai Chi programs specifically for Arthritis, Osteoporosis and Diabetes. It is supported by Arthritis Foundation of USA and Australia, Arthritis Care of UK, Diabetes Australia and other similar organistaions, fitness associations, universities and hospitals around the world. Dr Lam have trained a number of instructors in Singapore through the invitaion of  the PA (People's Association of Singapore) in May 2008. We are attending the Tai Chi for Osteoarthritis at the Clementi Community Club, Sunday morning. Over the next two weeks Dr Lam will again be in Singapore to conduct more instructor's courses as well and giving public talks at the PA.

Follow this link to Singapore Ministry of Health website for information on this subject:

1 comment:

  1. Effective osteoarthritis treatment can help overcome pain. Osteoarthritis pain management is the key to a pain free life ahead.