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Knee Pain Treatment Protocol Relies on Food, Supplements, Exercise

my left knee back to front view after total knee replacement
Creative Commons License photo credit: dharmabox

Conquering Knee Pain-A Personal Health Challenge

I have a degenerative knee condition know as Chondromalacia patellae. It is characterized by softening and wearing away of the knee cartilage, knee inflammation and knee pain stiffness, osteoarthritis pain.

My efforts to find a natural cure or knee pain treatment, thrust me headlong into the wellness movement. The doctor who diagnosed my runners knee or chondromalacia patellae, told me the only medical option was knee replacement surgery, and “quite frankly,” he said, “you are too young for that.” He encouraged me to lose weight and do quadriceps strengthening exercises.

Further internet research on my own, confirmed the fact that knee replacements only last around 15 years. Ouch! I was not willing to go through such a radical procedure once, much less, several times. My father had just had both of his knees replaced, and it is a very disfiguring surgery. He had 10 inch scars on the front of his legs, running straight up and over both knee caps. Not great if you are of the skirt and dress wearing persuasion.


uestion from a Blog Reader:

Can you tell me about your knee pain?

I’m working through some nonsense with my knees. It’s a disgustingly long story, but the upshot is: 1) undiagnosed birth defect caused multiple dislocations when I hit puberty, followed by 2) multiple (as in 13) honkin-big surgeries back in the 1970’s before there was such a thing as microsurgery, resulting in 3) no cartilage at all in either knee and 4) osteoarthritis.

The doctor told me in 1990 that I’ll have to have them both replaced but he wants to wait until I’m wheelchair-bound before he does them. I’m just now 50. I walk with a cane on good days, and don’t walk at all on bad ones. Pain meds are my ever-present companions but I would dearly love to heal my knees with nutrition!

Funny thing. Growing up, my mom always thought I was “faking it” when my knees acted up, because they would “tweak” (the meniscus would get caught in the joint and get pinched, leading to inflammation and PAIN) when I was just walking along. She had hip replacement surgery last year, and now, from the difference in height of her two hips, is having knee problems. Her meniscus pinches and her doctor is talking about knee replacements. She has called to warn me: Never ever accuse my kids of “faking it!”

Question submitted by LN — Local Nourishment Blog


nswer from Kimberly:

I have never had surgery on my knees, but after briefly trying a prescription pain medication, I decided to seek the complete healing of my knees, rather than masking the symptoms with a drug.

I cut starches, processed foods and refined sugars out of my diet and lost 30 lbs. My knee pain exercise consists of doing strength building exercises at the gym (weight lifting), 5 days a week, and spend one or two days on building the muscles in my legs and around my knees. The weight loss and exercise both helped alleviate much of the pain.

I am now following the nutritional protocol by Dr. Tom Cowan in the book Fourfold Path to Healing. I have learned that when we eat nutrient dense foods, we are giving our body the building blocks to rebuild and restore.

Cowan recommends bone broth stock daily, because it is full of the bone, marrow, and cartilage nutrients. He also recommends lacto-fermented beverages because they are very hydrating. He claims those of us who have degenerating cartilage, our cartilage is dried out, and what it needs is moisture. He has other suggestions, supplements, etc. From following Cowan’s protocol, I have gotten tremendous relief and improvement. It would be worth buying the book. Dr. Tom Cowan is a Founding Board member of the Weston A. Price Foundation. He is a medical doctor in San Francisco, CA. His book is available through NewTrendsPublishing.

I do not take any medication, which I feel would only mask any pain. I want to use pain as a barometer in my quest for wellness. I would say my knee pain relief is at 90%. However, from time to time I experience weakness, tenderness and burning sensation in my knees. So, right now I am doing a 6 week fast from nightshade plants (see related posts below), to see if that will also make a difference.

I believe in miracles, and perhaps the regeneration of absent knee cartilage would have to qualify as one. As a Catholic, I also recommend prayer, and asking the saints in heaven to pray for you, to guide you to the information that will lead to the remedy of your pain. Saints Cosmas and Damien were two doctors in the early church, who were on fire with the love of God and wouldn’t accept payment for their medical services.

Many miracles of healing were ascribed to these saints, even after their death. Great Basilicas were built in their honor. Catholic Christians believe that the saints in heaven intercede for us before God, and in ancient times, long pilgrimages were made to these Basilicas by those seeking wellness. St. Cosmas and Damien sometimes appeared to sufferers in their dreams, prescribing remedies for them, or healing them instantly, in the name of Jesus. You might check their story out on Catholic Saints and Angels online. For future reference, there is a link to that site from my blog, under Catholic Spirituality.

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  1. Kimberly, I looooove this post - especially the part about asking the Saints to pray on our behalf - Jesus still works miracles! I know this will help my brother who has knee pain from a job that has had him on his feet for years and years.


    Kelly the Kitchen Kop’s last blog post..Nourishing Traditions blogs, Lenten/Meatless meals & the next RFW

  2. Kimberly,
    I just have to say I love your blog. As a major WAPer, and raw foodie and Roman Catholic, it just speaks to me. :)I have recently read The Diet Cure by Julia Ross and have implemented many of her strategies for wellness. Due to several medical conditions, I stopped all gluten 3 months ago, have lost 15 pounds and feel wonderful! Thanks for all the great advice you give here.

  3. hi,

    I my knee and lower back problem started two years back.Had severe pain in lower back.Doctors said its partial lumberge of spine.They told me nothing can be done and just excercise. Then i came to knw about this magical product from “Nutrilite’ which is called glucosamine7.Its a totally organic product and Guys its magical.I was not able to walk as my legs were swollen on 1st March this year and within three days i was doing all my regular chores without any difficulty. Now i run on treadmill for half an hour daily without any problem.If any one wants to try it they can go to http://www.grastogi.qhealthbeauty.com and search for glucosamine7. Its great and really works. and if it doesnt work for you u can return it to them within 6 months and get whole refund back.


  4. Stop dieting – eat to live! The only way to successfully lose weight and get the body that you deserve is by using the right information. This information is in the book Lose Weight Using Four Easy Steps which can be ordered through the website http://www.bbotw.com Everyone who has gotten a copy of this book has lost weight.

  5. So far knee pain has always been a part of life. I am interested in what others may have experienced with glucosamine. I have started exercises from this website, http://www.kneeswellingadvice.com , and i think i am noticing a difference. Maybe a placebo effect but I will take what I can.
    You mention diet - is it the benefit of losing weight means less stress on your knees, or is it the diet itself that helps the knee?

    Regards to all.
    .-= androw´s last blog .. =-.

    • Kimberly Hartke says:

      Hi there, thanks for your question. Raw milk is anti-flammatory. Bone broth has the cartilidge, marrow and gelatin, all of which can provide building materials for your joints. Shunning nightshade plants such as peppers, tomatos, eggplant has been a huge help.

      I am also now under the care of an oriental medicine doctor, and from the herbs and acupuncture treatments I have really seen improvement.

      Glucosamine was not helpful to me, but I know others have found it so.

      Thanks and keep on the wellness path, if I can do it you can, too!

  6. Exercise and weight loss are key
    Regular, moderate exercise can reduce joint pain and stiffness and improve flexibility and endurance–exercise also helps you feel better overall. Since extra weight adds stress to your knees, losing extra weight can reduce joint pain as well.Research shows that even modest weight reduction can make a difference in pain and stiffness.
    .-= [email protected] ACL Knee Brace´s last blog ..Contact Us =-.

  7. Multivitamins may also help in this case. They strengthen you a lot.

  8. please contine to keep me up dated with infomation about anything that will improvemy health thank you

  9. Hi,

    Read this, folks, it’ makes good sense.

    Diet and exercise are the key.

    I used to be very to be extremely overwight and I successfully adjusted my diet. But I did not go on a diet so much as change my eating habits gradually and created a better way of eating. I did it a little at a time and my weight has been reduced for over 15 years. Oh, and what was the very first thing I did? I started to eat breakfast having not done so for over a decade….

    Good luck with your health.

  10. My wife has bad knees. She’s been taking the Dr Powers Joint Support + Vitamin B12 for 45 days. She said that she could tell a difference after about three weeks, the pain seemed to be less. The tablets are easy for her to swallow and she has trouble swallowing a number of pills.

  11. That is really frustration knowing your condition. I hope everything will be fine soon. I am also having problems but not with my knee but with my shin. Every time I run, its as if it will break. I am a bit overweight on my height but not the very chubby one.

  12. Indeed miracles still happens. Life itself is a miracle. I agree with you. Drugs and painkillers can’t do much other than hiding your pain. Sports and workouts can injure our knees that’s why I always remind my kids everytime they are havingbasketball workouts

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