Nobody is getting any younger and by the time we’re 40, we all have arthritis of one type or another. We might be asymptomatic until a slip and fall, a car accident or other physical trauma triggers the symptoms that have been laying in wait. Then when it manifests itself, we deal with arthritic pain and its limitations daily.
Osteoarthritis, medically known as degenerative joint disease, is the most common form of arthritis and that’s where my problem lies. Its old age hitting me from the wear and tear on my body. Old sports injuries I forgot about became painful again and range of motion of my legs and spine diminished. Lower back pain both before and after a surgery came and decided to stay and and of course the knees are painful and stiff.
Gout is another form of arthritis that I have. It’s caused by an overload of uric acid in the blood. The acid forms hard and sharp crystals that gravitate down to the lower extremity joints and feet, most commonly to the big toe. We walk on our feet. Imagine walking on sharp crystals. Imagine those crystals cutting you and bruising you from the inside out. Imagine walking with titanium induced lower spine arthritis, two bad knees and and cutting crystals in your feet. Its not pretty. Not very fast either. So what do you do about it?
Walk!! Walk every day until you do a mile or a mile and a half each day. Of course, there are meds, both over the counter and prescription, but walking has been incredible therapy and great for the waistline. Before I started walking off my arthritis, I was taking 600 mgs of ibuprofen every morning with my coffee and another few hundred mgs in the afternoon. After a number of years of the daily anti inflammatory routine, I started getting pain in my side and intestines. My liver, kidneys and stomach couldn’t take the ibuprofen anymore. I had over medicated with it. So rather than be reactive and sit in my Lazy Boy while getting fatter, medicating, and killing myself from the inside, I decided to get proactive and exercise. Its so easy!! If its too hot, too cold, raining or snowing, I just go window shopping at the mall. The first month might hurt, even at a half mile a day but slowly increasing distance increases exercise and exercise has been the best medicine I’ve had for my arthritis. And no, I haven’t had a gout attack since. I know one laying in wait to come but apparently they’ll be alot fewer and farther between. So try it. You might even drop some weight and smile even more.