Aging, Arthritis, and Joint Pain


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the last bivy
Nov 25, 2007 - 09:35pm PT
I just saw a short article re hyaluronic acid. it's a homeopathic remedy isn't it? goes by another name? sounds like you had some good result with that. I wonder if it would work for myopathy or spondylosis?

Nov 27, 2007 - 09:18pm PT
no, not homeopathic. Hyaluronic acid is an important ingredient of the fluid that lubricates joints. Tests have shown that it reaches the joints when taken orally. It's also been injected directly into joints by physicians in other countries, but the FDA has restricted it to knees here (I think, could be wrong). Certainly not shoulders, like mine.

Trad climber
Santa Barbara, CA
Jan 22, 2013 - 12:29pm PT
It is time to join the club! Old bones are creaking, and my hands cannot do a one finger pullup (never could). This tread had a lively discussion about arthritic remedies and I wonder if the fans of turmeric are still fans, and which brand is most effective. It has been six years since the tread started, long enough to have some proven results. Is there anyone out there still taking the stuff? Does it still work?

Boulder climber
Somewhere on 395
Jan 22, 2013 - 12:35pm PT
I had the hyaluronic acid injections (5) a year ago. Seemed to work for awhile, but I am pretty much back to lots of knee pain again

Social climber
the Wastelands
Jan 22, 2013 - 12:42pm PT
Does arthritis or joint pain limit what you can do?

absolutely not

I am 62 and arthritic as hell

and I can't do anything anymore
wayne w

Trad climber
the nw
Jan 22, 2013 - 01:26pm PT
Still taking Turmeric, Guck, still getting exceptional results.

Trad climber
lost, far away from Poland
Jan 22, 2013 - 01:31pm PT
Wayne, where do you buy it, what dose do you use?

Trad climber
Santa Barbara, CA
Jan 22, 2013 - 01:37pm PT
Thanks for the feedback Wayne. Do you have a recommendation for a brand name? Is Glucosamine any help? It is quite frustrating to feel the grip of "old age" (I am 65 yeard young) while some seniors are still waltzing on the rocks!

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jan 22, 2013 - 02:15pm PT

As stated, a high-quality Turmeric is the real deal but be aware it takes a couple of months to solidly saturate and take maximum effect. I went from decades of having to dose a chronic, old shoulder injury after every climbing session to being able to do eighteen hour days with only minor twinges that night and following day.

One caveat is if you are prone to kidney stones. In that case you need to get a high-quality version of just Curicumin, the principle active ingredient. Tons of active academic research going on relative to both if you hit

Social climber
Joshua Tree
Jan 22, 2013 - 02:54pm PT
I use the turmeric. Seems to be very helpful for me with inflammation (I should note that I do not take ibuprofen or other meds, so I feel reasonably confident it is the effects of the turmeric).

Recent research shows that pipperine (a compound in black pepper) increases the uptake and efficacy of turmeric something like 2000%. So add some black pepper with your dose.

I buy turmeric in bulk at the local WinCo grocery store, and it is dirt cheap that way. Like maybe $1/month kind of cheap. Dosage for me is about 1 tsp/day, either dissolved as a tea or used as a condiment in my regular food.

Trad climber
Yacolt, WA
Jan 22, 2013 - 04:05pm PT
Hyaluronic acid - insisted on it after my knee surgery before it was routinely prescribed to old people (>40). It took threats of growing cartilege in a petri dish or a knee replacement to encourage the insurance company to allow the injections 14 years ago. Now it is more widely available and I had great results.

I have one finger that is a total mess, and I suspect arthritis. Don't know if anything can be done about that. While it hurts to move, I have found no adverse impact on climbing yet. That's probably because it is just one finger and I cowardly only climb moderate routes.

I take glucosamine daily (when I remember), and it has helped my knees and had no affect on my finger. Study results show that 30% of people who try this treatment have a good result. Could it be a placebo affect? After 14 years, I notice when I have skipped too many days of those pills. So I still take them.

The Boomer generation that does not want to be coach ridden will demand changes in treatment which will lead to a better quality of life for older, arthritic people going forward.

Remember that many OTC pain remedies - and prescription arthritis drugs - can be blood thinners (more bleeding if you fall, tough on your digestive track (GI bleeding) or toxic to your liver in larger doses over a long time. I'm avoiding all pain medications as much as I can. In the middle of a long trip where I am part of a team, I will take what I have to in order to perform. For weekend warrior and daily life, I avoid it as much as I can.

If you stop moving, you will age faster.....

Mountain climber
San Diego, CA
Jan 22, 2013 - 04:12pm PT
Hyaluronic acid is really cool, I think that in conjunction with some other supplements can be a good thing. Specifically the combination of glucosamine, chondroitin, and omega-3 fatty acids. We recommend that combination to a lot of our patients with joint pain (usually due to degenerative arthritis). Load up on them! And drink lots of water all of the time!

Also, resting worsens osteoarthritis (the type of arthritis associated with aging), so moving around will always be a good thing.

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Jan 22, 2013 - 04:16pm PT
At age 66 I suddenly started having arthritis in my middle finger and thumb which got rammed into a haul bag while holding a big leader fall 46 years before, so old climbing injuries can catch up with you.

So far, mine is tolerable without meds but gets much worse in humid weather and when the atmospheric pressure changes. Like cosmigram I can predict weather three days out. Typhoons with their big barometer drops are the worst. So far the best thing I can do for myself is retire to a dry climate.

And one other good thing about turmeric. People in India have the lowest rates of alzheimers of any group in the world and it has been traced back to their heavy use of turmeric.

Trad climber
Jan 22, 2013 - 04:31pm PT
How are y'all taking the turmeric/black pepper? Capsule or in food? Both?

wayne w

Trad climber
the nw
Jan 22, 2013 - 04:35pm PT
Glucosamine can have side effects in regard to upsetting ones stomach for some. I have never had that problem with Turmeric. I take two 400 mg capsules most days, and sometimes take another one when I have been really pushing it. Makes a tremendous difference for me. Buying in bulk and adding to your food, or capping your own is the most cost effective way. I also buy Turmeric from Puritan's pride sometimes when they have their buy one get three free promotion. Hope this helps you Guck and Moosedrool. What do you have to lose but some pain and discomfort?
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Jan 22, 2013 - 04:35pm PT
40 years of climbing here, still reasonably active (with age and temperment adjusted goals)....

I live with joint pain, every day. Some days are worse than others. Elbows have been giving me fits this week for example.

I made her my friend a long time ago (pain). Now I don't ever want to exceed my most painful experiences, not ever again. Thought my eyes would pop out last time threshold was exceeded.

But she is my friend nevertheless and I'm a climber and (former?) alpinist, so Pain is also my Lover. Like many of you, many of my brethren, I am Masochist after all.

But a lot of the joint pain and pulled muscles I've enjoyed over the years?

They weren't joint or muscle problems, no. They were WEIGHT PROBLEMS.

If a person is overweight and feeling joint pain as the result of physical activity, I would recommend LOSING WEIGHT as a first and necessary step.


ps. Can you take it? Are you SURE???!!! Can you REALLY take it? How do you KNOW? (there is only ONE way to know, for sure, so... can you take it?)

Trad climber
Jan 22, 2013 - 05:04pm PT
I bet Fred Beckey feels pretty sore all the time!

Remember that pain is a mind thing; however when your fingers really don't function, or other joints like knees and hips, because there simply frozen, like a rusted nut and bolt, you have a real problem.

I just try to deal with the pain and go on from there, knowing that it sucks, but in reality, is just a mental thing.

If it wasn't for the love of climbing, I would be totally out of shape,
like all my brothers and sisters, who have no athletic interest.

At 66, I'm still getting up 5.10 trad, but not as well as my old buddy Donini; who is even older!

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jan 22, 2013 - 05:23pm PT
Go get bitten by a scorpion. No, seriously! Read the current issue of Nat Geo on venoms.

Trad climber
lost, far away from Poland
Jan 22, 2013 - 05:30pm PT
Thanks Wayne.

For my palindromic arthritis I take Humira injections every two weeks. If I miss one, I get inflammation in my joins (usually one join at a time) and I am pretty much crippled. Humira works really well at a cost of $20,000 a year or so. But I also started developing this old age related arthritis. I will try turmeric for sure.

Jan 22, 2013 - 06:42pm PT
This is a sort of progress report, since I posted back in 2007. At nearly 76 I am enjoying moderate bodyweight exercises, although I gave up climbing several years ago due to severe shoulder arthritis and reduced confidence in soloing. There is a short video of me exercising with a link on the first page of my website.

I have taken glucosamine (2000 units/day) for about eight years, and so far my legs and other joints are fine - the shoulders flamed out some time ago. I take 600 mg of ibuprofen in the morning and one or two tablets (200mg) more during a 24 hour period. Without the "vitamin I" I would be in some pain whenever I used my shoulders. I admire those who disdain this NSAID and are able to function well without it, but for me it is wonderful. I have had no side-effects so far, and I have been taking it for almost a decade.
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