I learned a valuable lesson last year when I bought my Bianchi: it is possible to fix a problem by throwing money at it (in this case my ‘problem’ was lack of speed). Therefore, sticking to my new philosophy, I am embarking on an ambitious and (relatively) expensive attack on my osteoarthritis, whose return this off-season, I need to admit, has been a real bummer.
Following are the units I’ll be employing in my attack (simultaneously of course, or what kind of blitzkrieg would it be!):
1. Viscosupplementation. I’ve blogged about this treatment before. It was the ‘miracle’ that allowed me to race this year. I’ve just finished another 3 weeks of long needles and my knee feels better, but not 100%. Yes, I’m worried. Therefore…
2. Glucosamine and Omega-3. I got this combination from Coach Rob’s article on healthy joints a few weeks back, but I’d already been seeing plenty of results for both of these things through Google. They’re in the mail as I type this.
Also thanks to Rob I got the point that I need to get myself some frozen berries, which have anthocyanins and flavonoids – strengtheners of the immune system, as well as other potential good stuff, like anti-inflammatory properties. Finding berries turned out to be more difficult than I had imagined. The biggest supermarket in town didn’t have them, so I was ready to give up. Then John told me about a ‘frozen supermarket’ (do you have these things…? I never knew they existed) that was sure to have them. Yep, they did, but at around €10 per kilo they don’t come cheap. But since money is no object, my freezer is now piled high with fruits rouges.
3. Sophie, a chiropractor from New Zealand, commented on my last article on this issue and, after checking out her site, I decided to give her treatment of massage and strengthening exercises a shot, too.
4. I’m not sure how I re-discovered this guy (I chatted with him a few years ago about my flat feet), but I ended up on Mark Sisson’s site last week and figured I’d do a search for osteoarthritis and see if anything came up. Lo and behold, Mark, a former elite triathlete, had his career ended by the thing. What he had to say about it all came down to diet, (most things do with him). He is a proponent of a paleo diet of low carbs and plenty of veggies, fruits, berries, nuts and animal protein (including gnawing on bones!). His website and blog are great fun and filled with information, by the way, and well worth a read to get an alternative view on diet. He, like Rob, thinks that it wouldn’t hurt to try glucosamine and fish oil (omega-3), so this was a nice confirmation.
5. Finally, as I laid down to read a chapter of my latest cycling book, “Off To The Races”, I read about multiple World Champion Marion Clignet, who, apart from having epilepsy since she was 22, suffered from a debilitating form of arthritis in the late ’90s. The article went on to say that she heard about this guy in England who sold supplements that might help her. Within a year she had come back stronger than ever, winning 3 more World Championships and a Silver Medal in the Sydney Olympics. Not a bad testimonial.
I emailed her this morning and she was kind enough to get back to me and give her stamp of approval on that stuff. At £30 a month I’m undecided on it still, but my credit card sits beside the keyboard, ready for action.
I think Rob and were talking about this the other day; what a tool the internet is! Imagine making this journey, hopefully towards pain-free cycling, before the ‘inter webs’ existed. It would have taken months to gather all this information and these references, if it would have been possible at all. It does make me sit on my ass a lot though, so I’ll end here and get out for a ride.