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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