Many of the 27 million people in North America with osteoarthritis of the knee probably agree with Rod Stewart: If God had meant for us to do yoga, he would have put our heads behind our knees. But fortunately for old rockers and others who want to keep rolling along, you dont have to accept the pain or physical limitations of knee osteoarthritis.
Since 1997, the initial go-to treatment for knee OA has been injections into the joint of hyaluronic acid. Recently, however, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons declared that there isnt proof of significant benefits. But a major new arthritis study found that hyaluronic acid injections improved comfort and function significantly, helping people postpone total knee replacement up to three years! So whats the smart step for you?
We bet the injections effectiveness depends on a few factors, including your weight, fitness level and nutrition. We suggest:
Lose weight if needed (10 fewer pounds takes 30 or more pounds of pressure off each knee with each step).
Eat an anti-inflammatory diet of lean proteins especially salmon or ocean trout; if you cant eat them frequently, take 900 mg DHA omega-3. And go for nine servings of veggies and fruit daily.
Start walking; add a few steps daily, heading for 10,000. Plus: 10 minutes of upper and lower leg muscle strength-building sessions three times a week.
Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of The Dr. Oz Show, and Mike Roizen, M.D., is chief medical officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. Distributed by King Features Syndicate Inc.