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Old 02-15-2013, 01:42 PM   #1
barron
Dojo: Calgary Aikikai
Location: Calgary, Alberta
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Dead Osteoarthritis: Brace users

Thanks Janet for a suggestion for new thread

I'm dealing with a purely mechanical problem. Bone on bone with limited padding between. I do cycle without pain which is good (mountain and road) but bipedal movement is getting increasingly difficult and hiking season only a few month away ( I hope only three !) Unfortunately the strengthening does not help the bone on bone contact.

I can cheat when I teach and do all pins standing. I also only demo on my good side if I have any nagare or tenkans involved.

I have modified my practice greatly ( no seiza etc.) and was hoping to hear from people who have osteoarthritis and have use an OA brace. (Aikido or other activity)

I know people, just like doctors, have differing opinions on these devices but would like to hear from pro side.

Last edited by barron : 02-15-2013 at 01:44 PM.

Andrew Barron
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Old 02-15-2013, 02:07 PM   #2
Janet Rosen
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Re: Osteoarthritis: Brace users

I will crosspost to a couple of places later today also in hopes of catching wider pool.

Janet Rosen
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Old 02-15-2013, 06:07 PM   #3
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Osteoarthritis: Brace users

I use a brace when I practice aikido, but I do not know whether it is similar to the one you use. I use two types, a softer one bought here in Japan and a thicker one bought in the Netherlands from a sports supplier. The thicker one is used on more intensive training seminars. I am really not sure what value they have, other than to provide reassurance that nothing drastic will happen during aikido training. I do not do seiza at all.

From your description, I have a similar condition (though I am aware of Janet's point about knees). I had the medial meniscus removed (from both knees) over 30 years ago and now have osteoarthritis. (I am a few years your senior.)

I have been having regular injections of sodium hyaluronate (once weekly for five weeks), but have not had any for almost two years. The most recent benefit for my knees has been to lose weight substantially (10 - 15 kgs) and this has also stopped further degeneration.

Best wishes,

P A Goldsbury
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Old 02-15-2013, 06:31 PM   #4
Janet Rosen
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Re: Osteoarthritis: Brace users

Peter, thanks for your input.
We are looking for feedback on a variety of the large, hard custom-made braces specific for osteo.
I have had two hard custom braces following my knee surgeries; however, this is a different design that serves a different purpose.
What I would LOVE to know as well from you is if you felt the injections helped either during the period you received them, for some time after, and/or longer term!

Janet Rosen
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Old 02-15-2013, 08:03 PM   #5
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Osteoarthritis: Brace users

Hello Janet,

I have been attending the orthopedic clinic at the Red Cross Hospital for several years now and I have got to know the surgeon quite well. He is the clinic's knee specialist and has usually baulked at my request for custom-made knee braces. I could spend the money and have custom braces made, but he was dubious about the benefits in my case.

On the other hand, I have been having injections of sodium hyaluronate for many years, almost as long as I have known the surgeon. I usually have the injections either just before going abroad for aikido seminars, or just after my return. They have been beneficial and I am planning to have the next set before going to Europe in late March. Since I go twice each year, I have had the injections twice a year also and I certainly believe they helped. Wearing tabi slippers also helped, especially on soft, springy tatami that they use in Europe.

But all the advice I have received so far, from acupuncture & moxa specialists and the excellent Jag therapists in Brunei, states categorically that the degeneration of the joint can be delayed, but will never become regeneration.

Best wishes,

PAG

P A Goldsbury
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Old 02-15-2013, 08:55 PM   #6
Narda
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Re: Osteoarthritis: Brace users

Suffering from OA in the knees, my experience is the same as others. Supplements, operations, cortisone and then HA injections. I have read that studies show that the HA shots don't work...but that is on advanced/bone on bone patients. (Pouring water in a bucket with holes isn't going to do much good - better to be proactive and get the shots while there is still cartilage.) P/T regimen...all of this I'm sure you're aware of.

As for braces, I've tried three or four. I really like an 'unloader' type, as it adds stability and alleviates pain. The downside is that it trades off lessening wear and tear on the joint with lack of mobility. The softer and smaller braces offer mobility...but don't alleviate bone on bone pain or torqueing of the knee.
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Old 02-16-2013, 12:28 AM   #7
SteliosPapadakis
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Re: Osteoarthritis: Brace users

Have you people checked for Trigger Points in your quads (esp vastus lateralis, and rectus femoris), in the sartorius, in your iliotibial band/tensor fasciea latae and your gluteus minimus? How is your iliopsoas balanced?
"Osteoarthritis" and "knee pain" symptoms is very VERY commonly just a matter of some nasty trigger points in the muscles mentioned above.
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Old 02-16-2013, 12:50 AM   #8
Janet Rosen
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Re: Osteoarthritis: Brace users

Quote:
Stelios Papadakis wrote: View Post
Have you people checked for Trigger Points in your quads (esp vastus lateralis, and rectus femoris), in the sartorius, in your iliotibial band/tensor fasciea latae and your gluteus minimus? How is your iliopsoas balanced?
"Osteoarthritis" and "knee pain" symptoms is very VERY commonly just a matter of some nasty trigger points in the muscles mentioned above.
Stelios, no disrespect intended: I hear what you're saying, and I do get and understand soft tissue issues and myofascial trigger point therapy HOWEVER the OP and I and probably Peter all have stated we are talking about verified bone on bone osteoarthritis. Believe me, sir, if you have experienced bone on bone pain it is very different in quality, location, what triggers it, etc and easy to tell from trigger points.

Last edited by Janet Rosen : 02-16-2013 at 12:54 AM.

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Old 02-16-2013, 12:54 AM   #9
Janet Rosen
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PINGING Andrew Barron (Re: Osteoarthritis: Brace users

Quote:
Andrew Barron wrote: View Post
Thanks Janet for a suggestion for new thread
PINGING ANDREW BARRON. I received your message however the email associated with your aikiweb acct bounces back my reply; attempted contact via messages at FB.

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Old 02-16-2013, 09:19 AM   #10
Neal Earhart
 
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Re: Osteoarthritis: Brace users

I have very arthritic knees...4 arthroscopic procedures since 2000...cartilage is long gone. I no longer do seiza/suwariwaza.

Like Peter, I've been getting the viscous synthetic fluid with HA injections in my knees. Although, I am not sure how much of of my knees feeling better after the injections can be attributed to the "placebo effect" versus actual therapeutic results.

I use FLA Orthopedics "Pro-Lite" knitted pullovers for my knees. They provide good compression/support. I've found that some of the more elaborate braces (with hard parts like stays and joints, etc.) are very uncomfortable during practice.

I also have been using Voltaren gel when my knees hurt. It's a topical NSAID (diclofenac sodium gel, 1%). It may be good for people whose stomachs aren't fond of the oral medication.

What I believe, is one of the best things you can do for arthritic knees is exercise to build and maintain muscle strength in the legs. I have a set of exercises from PT and I go the gym regularly (leg press, leg curl, bicycle/elliptical).
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Old 02-16-2013, 09:54 AM   #11
SteliosPapadakis
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Re: Osteoarthritis: Brace users

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
Stelios, no disrespect intended: I hear what you're saying, and I do get and understand soft tissue issues and myofascial trigger point therapy HOWEVER the OP and I and probably Peter all have stated we are talking about verified bone on bone osteoarthritis. Believe me, sir, if you have experienced bone on bone pain it is very different in quality, location, what triggers it, etc and easy to tell from trigger points.
Yes Janet, i understand. As a manual therapist i get to see this almost every day.
I myself was diagnosed with a osteoarthritic knee (basically most of the cartilage covering my tibia and femur knee parts was destroyed due to heavy weight lifting earlier in my life so the bone surfaces got to deform and swell) and the pain was intolerable. I actually had to resign from jobs such as truck driver due to the agonising pain. Yet, when i was training as a manual therapist i got to learn about myofascial trigger points and once i de-activated most of them in my thigh and pelvis my knee a)stopped aching more that 80% b)begun to work in angles and ways long forgotten.
True, trigger point (TP) de-activation on its own may not restore bone growth or promote bone healing. On the other hand it may do so as i have seen through my everyday practice. It is well known that the presence of TPs will inhibit the body's repairing mechanisms and it is also true that nothing cannot be fixed in the living body.
For what it's worth, i would start by tracing them TPs down and killing them first. Then i would get back and relax or strengthen the relative soft tissues in the area in respect to the individual's life patterns.
Well worth trying.
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