I remember my mother used to say after she turned 60, “you come to a point in your life when it’s patch, patch, patch from here on out”. That used to crack me up but I never could relate, until now. Years ago, I was a professional equestrian athlete, I was a steeple-chase jockey and I road for the West Hills Hunt club as a professional Whip. I would train 2-3 horses a day for cross county hunting events without even thinking about it. I used to be able to go up and down, lifting heavy things without notice, but now, every time I stoop down I feel it in my knees and it takes effort to get up. Uh oh, I don’t want to ever have to say “help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up”.

There are two most likely groups of people who experience arthritis pain at a mature age: the very fit who injure themselves in midlife by overdoing exercise and those who do nothing to keep their bodies fit. Well, that’s me, guilty in both categories! But what is this pain I experience in my joints – arthritis or bursitis?

There are different kinds of arthritis conditions that can cause pain in the joints and two of them are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. With osteoarthritis your joints can start to break down the older you get.

With rheumatoid arthritis, the immune system will attack your joints; the white blood cells mistake your joints for bacteria which can cause your joints to become inflamed and painful.

With bursitis the little tiny sacs of fluid that are placed between your bones like padding, called bursae, can swell up and cause a lot of pain when you move because that padding between your bones is now swollen. It feels like bones scraping against bones as you walk around.

Well, I’m not ready to go gentle into this good night and you shouldn’t be either; here’s what we have to do:

Step one: keep body weight down, eat a healthy diet and avoid inflammatory stimulating foods,

Step two: keep fit, yoga, pilates, weight-bearing exercise.

Step three: I started taking specific supplements that have really helped:
I take New Chapter’s Zyflamend Whole Body (3x a day), Flexcin (3x a day), a shake in the morning with Designs for Health’s Whey Cool protein, a tablespoon of Premier Research Labs’ coconut oil, a scoop of Dragon Herbs’ Tonic Alchemy and a ½ a teaspoon of Baxyl in to lubricate the joints.

I have really noticed a difference since I started this regimen of supplements. I can bend and stoop up and down without pain. Well mom, I guess it is patch, patch, patch from here on out, but at least I have some great things to patch with.

By Radhia Gleis, PhD, Med, CCN

Image courtesy of scottchan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net