Arthritis: 100% preventable (my opinion)
First let me say that I am not a doctor, and medically speaking there is “no known cure” for arthritis. Everything in this blog post and accompanying video is my opinion. I am not attempting to diagnose or cure anyone.
I’m inspired to do this episode of Mobility Mastery Monday on arthritis after a new client flew from the east coast to Colorado to get my professional opinion on her condition. She was here last week and saw me for three sessions within a 5 day period.
Her sessions with me were illuminating for both of us and it got me thinking a lot about arthritis.
I want to start a conversation about this debilitating condition that affects 3 million NEW people every year in America. There is “no known cure” for arthritis. After working on so many people and every imaginable “itis” with tremendous success over the last 8 years, I want to challenge that assumption.
To be clear, I am NOT addressing Rheumatoid arthritis in this post, which is an autoimmune disorder and quite different. .
I believe with absolute conviction that arthritis is 100% PREVENTABLE.
I’ve worked on quite a few people that were told by doctors they had “pre-arthritis.” I’ve also worked with clients who were told they had osteoarthritis in a joint.
In every instance we were able to reverse it: no more pain, no more aching, no inflammation.
I haven’t had the opportunity to work with many clients who have full blown arthritis. That’s why I was excited to work with Michelle.
I am currently seeking people who live in or near Boulder, CO and have arthritis, who would be willing to have their sessions with me filmed in exchange for a 3 month commitment at a greatly reduced rate. I want to document what’s possible, because I believe in many cases arthritis can be reversed, especially if a protocol is implemented right away after diagnosis. If you know anyone in Colorado, send them my way!
What is arthritis?
Arthritis is inflammation of a joint accompanied by pain.
In the case of Michelle, who flew to work with me, it is affecting her left shoulder and elbow joints the most, but also the soft tissue in the entire arm. Lifting her arm even a little, and trying to pick anything up – even a 10lb weight – caused shooting pain down or up her arm. Her arm aches all the time, and because she is now using her right arm to perform tasks (she is left handed), that one is beginning to get painful too. She’s been in pain for over a year, but it got significantly worse last fall.
Oral steroids were prescribed and then stopped when they didn’t work. Her doctor then suggested a cortisone injection and long term physical therapy, with no promise of relief.
That’s when she contacted me. She wanted a different opinion.
What causes arthritis?
It is my opinion that inflammation of a muscle, tendon, ligament, bone, joint or bursa is almost ALWAYS because of restricted fascia which causes irritation and/or a lack of blood flow.
I believe arthritis is MAINLY caused by a lack of blood flow through the body, specifically through whichever limbs the affected joints are in.
Joints need “food”:
EVERY single part of the human body needs fresh oxygenated blood in order to stay healthy. If any body part were cut off from a fresh supply of blood, it would atrophy and DIE.
Blood brings all the nutrients that a joint needs to stay healthy. A healthy joint will have a well lubricated bursa, a good amount of synovial fluid, healthy cartilage, strong non-porous bones, strong and elastic tendons and ligaments at the attachment site and a healthy coating of lubricated fascia around all the bones.
It is my opinion that arthritis is a joint cut off from proper blood flow and it is in a state of atrophy and fighting to stay alive. The aching and pain associated with arthritis is the body’s attempt to communicate the message that something is seriously wrong, and it may indicate that the situation is so dire that the soft tissues in that limb no longer have enough blood either and they may be in a state of atrophy as well.
If you have arthritis, your body is ASKING FOR HELP.
If this makes sense to you, then it’s easy to see how arthritis is 100% preventable: KEEP THE BLOOD FLOWING!
What causes a lack of blood flow?
When restriction happens in the fascial system, it’s like a bunch of dams being constructed. The blood will find a way around but the tighter everything gets, the more dehydrated and stuck to itself that fascial system is, the less blood gets through.
When there isn’t enough blood to nourish the joints and soft tissues, that’s when arthritis begins and everything starts to ache. It may begin seemingly benign: a slight ache in the joint as inflammation sets in. As yet, no degeneration has happened. But the longer that joint goes without blood, the more likely it becomes that cartilage will break down, synovial fluid will dry up, the bursa will degenerate and osteophytes may form.
What causes tight fascia?
We ALL have “tight” fascia to varying degrees. Overuse, underuse, injury, repetitive motion…all of these can cause restrictions in the fascial system.
The most common area of the body to experience arthritis is the hands. That makes sense right? Every human being on the planet uses their hands.
You will be especially prone to arthritis in your hands if you do any of the following:
- Play musical instruments – piano, guitar, violin etc
- Type on a computer all day
- Write in a journal for hours a day
- Knit, sew or crochet etc
- Bake or cook all day
- Draw/paint – art, or houses
- Practice or fight Jiu-Jitsu
- Whittle wood…
- you get the idea! Anything that involves repetitive movements in the forearms and hands specifically
Healthy fascia means healthy joints!
Keep your fascia healthy and you will have happy joints.
If you want to make sure you’re PREVENTING arthritis (as well as bursitis, tendonitis etc), then keep your fascia spacious, free, fluid and open. There are many ways to do this, including seeing professionals like myself or doing your own release work, like I show you in my videos.
What happened during the three sessions?
That’s Michelle on the left, and her daughter Lisa on my right. They came together, and Lisa had two sessions with me as well to learn about fascia, find out what her imbalances may be and to prevent future pain with that knowledge.
The first two sessions with Michelle were relatively similar: we began in her forearms, then worked up into her upper arm and shoulders. Every time we released an area I had her move her arm to see what happened. She felt significant relief immediately around the area we worked, but would also get shooting pains in her arm through the movements. We had to “chase” those shooting pains up her arm, and by the time we were done she felt significant relief throughout her entire arm. NOT complete relief, but significant. This lasted several hours. Then the pain came back.
During the third session however, something different happened: not only did her fascia FEEL healthier (to me AND to her), but she didn’t get a single instance of shooting pain during that session when I had her move after the techniques. She felt the same significant relief when we were done.
All of this suggests to me that:
a) whatever is going on in her arms is NOT permanent, and
b) is changeable for the better
This leads me to believe that she could get lasting relief with enough consistent work releasing her fascia and keeping it healthy. There is no doubt to me that some damage has happened to her joints as a result of blood being blocked for quite a while, so the amount of permanent relief she can get will be determined by how well and how quickly that new blood is able to nourish those degenerated joints, along with all the soft tissue in her arms that also need that blood.
I sent her home with homework she could do based on her unique situation, as well as some direction in what kind of practitioners to seek out in her area (there is no one doing what I do there).
Remember I told you that an oral steroid was prescribed but didn’t work for Michelle? The doctors then wanted to do a cortisone injection (or possibly a round of them).
Let’s talk about arthritis meds:
Again, I am NOT a doctor and this is my OPINION. I am not telling you what to do. But I DO want to have a conversation about this. Personally, I will never ever get a cortisone shot anywhere in my body for any reason (I am dedicating an entire episode of Mobility Mastery Monday to this in the future).
Any medication targeting arthritis is going to have an anti-inflammatory component.
ALL anti-inflammatory drugs, including oral steroids AND cortisone injections, come with a whole host of possible side effects. But the shots are the WORST.
Those possible side effects are scary enough, but that’s not even the most important thing to consider here: if you have arthritis, your joint is inflamed for a REASON. That pain you feel is not your body trying to annoy you or make you miserable. It is your body TRYING TO GET HELP FROM YOU.
Attempting to force an inflamed joint to decrease the inflammatory response WITHOUT ADDRESSING THE CAUSE OF THE INFLAMMATION is like duct taping a kid’s mouth shut while he’s getting beaten up by a bunch of bullies because you’re sick of his screaming. That seems kind of harsh, no? And it doesn’t solve the problem whatsoever.
Guess what? That kid will stop screaming for help when the bullies stop beating him up!
This is the major issue I have with drugs that target only the SYMPTOMS of pain without addressing the cause. And I believe this is why, medically speaking, there is “no known cure” for arthritis. Because it is NOT going to come in pill form.
Ok, I’m gonna get off my soap box now.
If you have arthritis:
This topic is a BIG ONE. With this post and accompanying video my intention is to start a conversation about it.
I am intentionally NOT including a “how to reverse arthritis” section (for now), because every case is so unique. I feel confident working with individuals in my private practice, but I don’t yet feel confident offering generalized solutions for something so personal.
I made a vow that I would never bullshit you or tell you to do something I haven’t tried on myself or proven with my clients. To that end, I am not going to put out a “how to” for arthritis relief until I feel absolutely confident in what I’m telling you. It will happen. I don’t know when.
For now…I wanted to offer a different perspective, one with a huge dose of optimism for a much happier outcome as a very real possibility.
I don’t want to offer all this hope to those of you with arthritis, without providing at least one direction for taking action if that’s what you are committed to. So…
If you want my personal and professional opinion regarding your unique situation, I suggest a Skype session with me. Hearing your history, current experience, hobbies etc will give me a good idea how to help you even from a distance.
While I would love to help every single one of you suffering from arthritis, it will be next to impossible for me to give personal recommendations via comments on the blog or Facebook if you HAVE arthritis, so for that reason I will NOT be giving anyone advice unless that is via Skype.
Perhaps, like Michelle, you may decide to fly out and work with me after a Skype session. That is truly the best way to work with me on this issue to get results.
I want to hear from you!
If you have opinions, ideas, questions…and want to have this conversation with me, please comment here on the blog or on Facebook, and let’s talk about arthritis. I want to see this condition reduced dramatically in our lifetime.
I’ll keep repeating this:
I believe unequivocally that arthritis is 100% PREVENTABLE.
It would make me very happy indeed if we didn’t even need a reversal protocol (or “cure”) for arthritis, which will happen when we get AHEAD of it every time with the knowledge I know is available. If it’s preventable, it never needs to happen. AND…just like every other “disease” or condition (take Diabetes for example), just because it’s preventable doesn’t mean everyone will prevent it. It requires knowledge AND action, and that is why I started this conversation, so those of you who are committed to your body’s health can prevent arthritis from happening to you.