Hi Gary I am currently into week 10 of an 18 week marathon training program and am experiencing problems with knee swelling.
...I had a successful knee reconstruction 6 years ago which has enabled me to go on and run several marathons as well as the Keppler challenge and other off road events, all without knee swelling and stiffness. I am 40years old.
What I would like to know is, should I be taking the Joint Factors supplement that you are advertising on your website. Or is it too late to start to be of any benefit? Looking forward to your reply. Regards
Gary Moller responds:
I am assuming that you had an anterior cruciate repair. There is often damage to the knee cartilages and there may be some unwanted ongoing joint laxity which causes some slipping and sliding within the joint. That you are now getting some swelling is not unexpected.
Unfortunately, these injuries come back on us as we age and the repair processes are less able to keep abreast of the wear processes. As somebody who is a wee bit older, who has had two operations on the same knee and who remains obsessively hyperactive, let me give you a few words of wisdom. Before I do so, I would like to point out that my knee is functioning better today than it was when I was 40. Credit for this goes to being a stickler for ensuring no further damage is done to that dodgy joint:
If it causes joint pain or swelling - stop immediately
Pain and swelling mean that you are causing serious damage to joint surfaces which are literally a millimeter or less in thickness. Do not harm these delicate surfaces unless you plan to spend your latter years in a wheel chair. According to Tower Insurance knee replacements are up 268% from 2001. This is a shocking indictment on the way we treat (sorry - abuse) our knees. Look after those knees folks if you want to get through airport security without being frisked every time!
Nourish your joints while there is still something there to repair
You can never be too early (or too late) in supplying the nutritional substrate that those hard-working cells need to rebuild healthy joint tissue. This means trace minerals, glucosamine, chondroitin and several other nutrients, including plenty of vitamin C. When it comes to joint nutrition, the sooner one starts the better.
Exercise; but not in a way that causes harm
I was pretty good at marathon running. Did over a dozen with several at a brisk pace. That was over 20 years ago. Although I think I am fit enough, I will never do another because I want to have knees when I hit the ton. I simply made the decision to quit doing marathons and never, ever regretted that decision. Nowadays, most of my running is off road and no longer than about 1.5 hours. I can still chop out a 5km race in about 20 minutes which is satisfying for a chap now in his mid 50's. Nowadays, I do the grueling endurance work on a mountain bike. I can still do a 2-3 hour off-road running race without too much distress. All this is carefully chosen and executed to prevent ruining my knees.
Mountain bike riding is very hard work while being easy on the knees. A ride can last 3-4 hours with no joint pain of note. The other fitness activity that my knees love me for is kayaking.
So the advice is to choose activities that are good for your knees. Pounding the pavements is not one of them and marathon running sure is not on the menu either. And yes, I would recommend the joint foods of glucosamine and chondroitin; but not if the rest of the advice in this article is ignored.