Especially if you are trying to lead the world on a path towards health… and especially when you stop and consider that medication is NOT the path to health.
(But man oh man can it be the path to curing a symptom)
So, 46 is not that old, and it is funny to think how some professional athletes in contact sports have made it into their 40’s while still playing their sport. But, when you compare the way it was in your 20’s, compared to mid 40’s… night and day difference. Which brings us to this point of concern. How to do this, successfully, without being a “med head”… is that even a term?
Let me back up a bit for you. I ran a hard mile last summer, right at 6 minutes, which is close to my best effort I would say. This was following an injury to me left knee, where I hit it my kneecap with a barbell while pulling it from the ground to perform a lift. Well, the perfect mix of stresses came together, and my knee became very unstable feeling for months. And after being highly anti-inflammatory in my diet, giving a significant amount of rest to my knee, and working all of the therapy that I have seen work for others; the problem persisted.
Which brings me to the next set of possible choices. I really needed to figure out for sure what was going on, and my self assessments were leaving me wondering. “It feels loose, I think I may have torn one of my ligaments, but it doesn’t feel like the MCL, maybe the ACL…” but Dr. Mark and I do not evaluate knees on a daily basis, so our diagnosis was weak at best. Which led me to the next option, go order my own MRI ($400 cash), or go to an orthopedist who specializes in knees ($200 cash). I picked the orthopedist.
Funny thing is how quickly a guy who looks at knees all day long, can tell you what is NOT wrong with your knee. He spent all of 30 seconds evaluating to tell me that my knee had no instability in any my major ligaments.
“Whaaaat?!?!? Are you crazy???” I asked about the instability that I felt, how could it be. His explanation was that it was likely just enough inflammation to create some extra gapping and space. So… now what. I have already tried all of my best tricks to get the inflammation out. Which led him to prescribe some Diclofenac, a very nice anti-inflammatory that can help your symptoms fast. I questioned its use, and took a week to ponder, then filled the prescription. Amazing how quickly little aches and pains almost completely disappeared. BUT, amazing how minimal the change was in the knee… I mean, sure it felt better, but it still would click and pop more than it ever had before.
Now remember, at this time I am doing joint flossing (https://www.google.com/search?q=joint+flossing&oq=joint+flossing&aqs=chrome..69i57j0l5.1598j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8 ) and I am foam rolling (https://www.google.com/search?safe=strict&ei=HATgWpWKBoyezwKPpq_IBQ&q=foam+rolling&oq=foam+rolling&gs_l=psy-ab.3..0j0i20i264k1l2j0l7.34793.36247.0.365126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.774.6j3.9.0….0…1c.1.64.psy-ab..1.11.788…46j35i39k1j0i67k1j0i131k1j0i46k1j0i131i20i264k1j0i131i67k1.0.AKwqKwWZe2k ) and wearing a freeze sleeve every night (https://freezesleeve.com/collections/mens ) and still not getting results.
This is where we begin thinking, PT. I might need some very directed PT, so I began performing my own PT regime, but at the same time I began thinking about cold laser, or possibly dry needling, and then it struck me… “John!” I have a direct line to a guy with a sound wave emitter that he is working on getting FDA procedure codes for that helps to initiate a healing response in tissue that seems stagnant. Which is basically the point of dry needling, or one of these other therapies.
Amazing, one treatment, and 7-10 days later, all symptoms were gone. Which brings us right back to the difficulty of being a 46 year old athlete.
It is very difficult to manage all of the bumps and bruises… but we rarely need to manage all of them. One important part of being a successful aging athlete, is to be sure you are stretching, warming up, preventing basically…. at every point available.
And lastly – it is worth it. It is worth the pain of this effort, to be radically transformed through sport. Be well and Be blessed! – Dr. E