Do you suffer from knee pain? Does it stop you from doing what you want to do? According to the Institute of Medicine, more than 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain at a cost of around $600 billion a year in medical treatments and lost productivity. A study from Gallup-Healthways shows that 31 percent of U.S. adults have some sort of neck or back condition that causes them pain, 26 percent have some sort of leg or knee condition and 18 percent have another condition that causes chronic pain. That’s a lot of pain—and knee pain. Why did I feel the need to look up that statistic? Well, I’ve been asked a few times in the past few weeks how I can run so much. Doesn’t it bother my knees?
I regularly take a treadmill class at the health club I belong to. The instructor, Norma Shechtman, is in her sixties, has completed 20 marathons, teaches 13 various fitness classes a week including cycling and pilates, and a few months ago hiked to 18,000 feet on Mount Everest. Her treadmill class is a great workout and she’s been giving me encouragement during my current Boston Marathon training. As a result of Norma’s encouragement, other people in the class are aware of how much running I’ve been doing lately. Last week I ran 52 miles logging a long run of 19, and, before I taper, I’ll top out at 60 miles per week with a long run of 22 miles. Of course I’ve got aches and pains… Who wouldn’t? However, I haven’t suffered from knee problems for so long that the questions about knee pain took me by surprise.
My answer was simple. No I don’t suffer from knee pain—now. I used to, however, but I worked hard at achieving this condition. In addition I drink gelatin every morning in my calcium enriched orange juice and add a shot of colloidal minerals. One person, clearly shocked, said, “Oh that doesn’t work! Studies have shown that.” Well, I’ve been taking gelatin now for about 15 years and I’m running…a lot. A 1998 study at Ball State University, which was funded by Knox/Nabisco, found that gelatin supplements helped keep the joints of athletes more flexible and lessened pain for some. It demonstrated the ability to repair and/or rebuild cartilage. A German research study also found gelatin to be helpful for joint pain and arthritis. But at least one other research study came to the conclusion that gelatin does not help. All I can say is that ever since I started this practice that I’ve experienced much less knee stiffness, plus I have really nice nails and strong teeth.
But only some of the credit goes to consuming gelatin. Yes, as I said before, I used to suffer from severe knee pain. When I started running in my mid-twenties, I felt it immediately. I found a chiropractor who worked with runners and discovered that I had a crooked hip which caused one leg to be slightly longer than the other. When that was corrected, I was able to run pain free. But it didn’t last for long. As my mileage increased, the pain started coming back. That’s when I discovered, by going to another chiropractor, that muscle imbalance causes knee injuries. Then I started an all-around fitness program to not only strengthen the important thigh muscles but also my upper body and core. I also started stretching—very important to keeping a range of motion. I also discovered icing which is miraculous in reducing swelling as well as Advil, which has been a God send to me, especially after a tough run.
Once however, as I trained for my first Boston Marathon in 2009, I believe I suffered a meniscal tear and could not run. I had no stability in my knee and even walking was difficult. Devastated and desperate, I decided to forego a diagnosis from a typical doctor and instead consulted my homeopathic doctor who prescribed a remedy for me. Believe it or not, I went out the next day and ran a strong 12 miles. I’ll talk more about the magic of homeopathy in my next blog post. It’s saved me numerous times throughout my long marathon career.
In other words, the lack of knee pain isn’t because I’m lucky as so many people have suggested. It’s because I took steps and continue to take steps to maintain my body so I can continue to do the sport I love. Anything worth having is worth working for. Wouldn’t you agree? Meanwhile, my third Boston marathon experience is only eight weeks away. Boston here I come!
Let’s break barriers together!
Book Note: Yes! I’m pleased to report that the final re-write of the book is done and will soon be going to my editor. Meanwhile, my new speaker website will be going live very soon. If you or someone you know wants FREE resume and interview tips or inspirational quotes to keep you motivated for a year, you can sign up on my website at www.doloreslara.com. I’ll let you know when it goes live.
Training Report: As Boston gets closer, I’m running strong and on track. I’ll be taking an easy week next to recuperate and I’ll be running a 10K on March 1, the L.A. Chinatown Firecracker. Love that beer garden at the end!