Did you know that I began blogging because I had “retired” from my job and was bored? Of course, there’s always a STORY behind what I do, and THIS story doesn’t have a fairy tale ending. I started my career as a dancer and an actress (my degree is in dance therapy), I danced both for work in dance companies in my early years, danced as an actress in musicals, taught and worked with people who had difficulties as a movement therapist, and when I tired of it all…I just danced to enjoy myself. Add to that going CLUBBING every night after I married (my husband & I owned a restaurant and club and I worked the night shift) and I did a LOT of damage to my body. It all came to a head as I was walking down a flight of metal stairs at a T-Station heading to Boston one day. ALL of the the ligaments in my right knee gave…ALL OF THEM…and…they got caught in the knee joint. I was left with a 90 degree angle. Seven surgeries and ten years of physical therapy later I could walk again. Now, fifteen years after my initial accident, I can still walk – but…I will always live with a flexion contracture, arthrofibrosis and missing ligaments. In essence my entire knee is being held together by scar tissue. Yes, I’m still in constant pain (I rarely tell people, as I hate complaining). Not only does the knee hurt, but because I have had to make adjustments, I live with back pain and hip pain…oh, and the chance that ONE WRONG MOVE could put me into a wheel chair, even now. I have limits to how long I can stand, walk and even sit in one position. Still, I consider myself very lucky that I fought against the leg braces and my forearm crutches that I hated for all of that time (I walked with them for over 10 years – some of you have seen me with them when I have bad days even now). My joints are just NOT healthy. I hate taking pain killers, because they only mask the problem and make me feel icky.
Is there a solution to some of this pain and inflammation?
Orthopedic surgeon Richard Diana, M.D. to the rescue. Straight from the Yale School of Medicine this former football player for the Miami Dolphins turned surgeon and clinical instructor at Yale has the answer and he’s written a book about just HOW to do it. I’m JUST beginning his 8-week program. No it probably won’t help my damaged knee, but that hip (which has the MOST pain) is gonna love me. Here’s a TASTE of what his Healthy Joints for Life program looks like:
Dr. Diana’s Eleven Nutritional Commandments for Joint Health
The Bonus Commandment:
11. Thou shall combine healthy fats and proteins with healthy carbohydrates in order to effectively reduce the glycemic index (GI) of the carbohydrates. The types of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins we choose to eat can have a dramatic effect on how our joints feel. You can control inflammation and joint pain by eating joint-healthy foods or by adding an anti-inflammatory supplement to your diet. Sorting out which foods are beneficial to joint health is fairly easy as we eat only three categories of foods, namely, carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. That’s basically it. You can get picky and debate where to put alcohol or sugar alcohols, but for our purposes it’s worth reemphasizing that if you eat it, then it’s a carbohydrate, fat, or protein. I often refer to those food groups as The Big Three. If you learn to balance The Big Three you will be one step closer to controlling joint pain. Excerpted with permission from the publisher, Harlequin Nonfiction from Healthy Joints for Life by Richard Diana M.D. Copyright © 2013 by Richard Diana Healthy Joints for Life: An Orthopedic Surgeon’s Proven Plan to Reduce Pain and Inflammation, Avoid Surgery and Get Moving Again is in bookstores and available on Kindle now. I’m a believer that after seven surgeries, that avoiding another one is important. If like me, you have joint pain, pick up a copy.
Author Bio Richard Diana, M.D., author of Healthy Joints for Life: An Orthopedic Surgeon’s Proven Plan to Reduce Pain and Inflammation, Avoid Surgery and Get Moving Again, retired from the Miami Dolphins after Super Bowl XVII to attend Yale School of Medicine. He has been an orthopedic consultant to several collegiate athletic programs as well as to the Boston Red Sox. Dr. Diana is a board-certified surgeon and has been named a Top 100 Doctor in America. He is a clinical instructor at Yale School of Medicine and attending surgeon at Yale-New Haven Hospital. For more information please visit http://www.