Ask Larry:

Question: I remember running into you some years ago and you had your knee fixed somehow by a natural method. I would love to see if it is an option for my 83 year old dad instead of surgery. He was a painter climbing ladders and now has a bad knee. Could you tell me what it is called and where we could go? In the meantime what can he do naturally to deal with the pain?

Larry’s Response: I used large amounts of glucosamine to help strengthen and build cartilage. I’ve read reports that it “really” doesn’t work. I disagree. I also wrapped each knee with elastic braces and applied ibuprofen cream to ease the pain. That allowed me to start more exercise – mostly on an elliptical device (treadmill, running, and walking are not helpful to the knees). I made sure I was taking good amounts of anti-inflammatory supplements (vitamin C, A, and E), and I use fish oil daily. I also refuse to take any cholesterol-lowering drugs. It took several months, but the pain subsided and I became more limber. Low cholesterol is notorious for causing joint and muscle pain.

The REAL solution was probably in my visits to an acupuncturist. I noticed improvements within days of the first visit. I was feeling much better after a few weeks (about three visits). I still visit my local acupuncturist once or twice a year for a “tuneup”.

I no longer use glucosamine, but I continue with my other supplements and get in three trips to the gym each week. I still do about 2 miles a visit on the elliptical trainer. I use ibuprofen topical cream when the knees are particularly sore. I am not able to do deep knee bends, but I can get down on my knees at church with relative ease.