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PalmerFreak 10-27-2013 08:49 AM

Arthritis.......wait, what??
My right knee (regular stance) usually bothers me about half-way through the season and I never really thought much about it figuring the torque that's placed on the joint causes it to flare up. Usually by the middle of spring everything is fine and I get on with my summer activities.

This year was a bit different though. The pain lingered all the way through summer and into fall so I decided to get it looked at this past week. The pain is almost always on the inside of my knee (MCL area) and I get some swelling from time to time. I figured that if there was something wrong I'd get it taken care of quickly since - in my mind - it must be minor.

So I make an appointment with my general doctor and he asks me a bunch of questions, checks range of motion, etc. He tells me that I may have an MCL strain or a small tear in my meniscus and wants to set up an appointment with an orthopedist. He also wants to do a couple X-ray to eliminate any type of bone issues and I say fine. So I set up my appointment with the orthopedist and get the X-rays done. That afternoon a nurse leaves a message on my phone saying that the X-rays revealed arthritis in my knee.......WTF!!! I'm not a young guy by any stretch (46) but I always thought that arthritis is something I'd have to deal with much later in life. It's the first time in my life that my own mortality stared right back at me. :angry:

I did some investigating and there are a wide variety of treatment options from excercises to braces to drugs and so on but I guess I'll have to wait until I speak with the orthopedist to work up a treatment plan. I don't plan on ever getting off my board no matter what happens with my knee/s but it's a bummer.

So, are there any other peeps here that have an arthritic knee that can share there experiences and what treatments seemed to work? I read that NSAID pain relievers like Aleve work well and I ran out and got some yesterday. I popped a couple last night and they worked very well - no pain at all this morning.

BurtonAvenger 10-27-2013 09:07 AM

Be happy you got it at 46, I've been dealing with it since I was 26. There's a few various ways to combat it though.

Do your bindings have canting? With stance alignment this is a huge thing most people need between 1.5 and 2.5 degrees of canting, but can go as extreme as 3 depending on how their stance is to ankle/leg alignment. You have to see if you pronate or supinate.

The other thing is arch support in your boots. The key to this is to have a footbed that also corrects ankle/leg pronation/supination as well as supporting all the arches in the foot.

Supplements are key as well. I have taken Glucosamine Chondroitin with MSM and Hylaunic acid on and off for the last 5 years. It comes down to sustaining and building up the Sinovial fluids in the knee to keep it lubricated.

Keeping your weight down as well as stretching regularly will help. A brace becomes a crutch that causes other muscles to over compensate for it. I blew my MCL and Meniscus up a couple years ago and wore a brace for one year only to make it through the season then strength trained for 8 months to build up all the muscles around it to hold them together.

Talk with the doc see what they recommend, they more than likely won't recommend homeopathic supplements as it seems to go against what they're taught.

chomps1211 10-27-2013 09:16 AM

Past or repeated trauma can cause arthritic degeneration in some joints. That may be what you're dealing with. I'm no expert and you should check this for accuracy, but I believe that although that type of arthritis can get worse in the affected joint, it is not a systemic immune response issue like typical arthritis is. Meaning it is unlikely to spread and affect other joints.

If that is the case, consider yourself lucky! (...well, relatively speaking anyway.)

I have a type of arthritis called "Palindromic Rheumatoid Arthritis!" It is characterized by random, acute flare-ups in various joints. By that I mean it tends to play musical chairs with my body and I will get a mild to moderate ache or two in several joints at the same time until it decides which one it wants to settle into and become acute.

When that happens, the pain and swelling becomes extreme, the affected appendage becomes useless and nothing, including narcotic pain meds will touch it. The only thing that will work to relieve the pain is a massive dose of steroids over a day or two, (which has it's own problems.) In order for them to work, It takes about 2-3 hours before the majority of the pain is gone. Not playing "I got that beat" with you, just pointing out, things could be worse.

I've had this now since I was in my mid 40's. Funny thing is, I can crash my MTB, take hard slams and falls on the snowboard, lift weights in the gym and nothing!! No flare ups, no pain. (....aside from that associated with the crash or workout.) But let me turn a door knob wrong, miss a shift on my big rig, or reach around to get something out of the back seat of the car, and sure as shit! I will wind up with a flare up starting and in a few hours I'm in excruciating pain and dosing myself with steroids! :blink: :dunno:

Ah well, as long as it doesn't interfere with my snowboarding,.. FuckIt!!!! ;)

PalmerFreak 10-27-2013 09:25 AM

Thanks for the info BA. :thumbsup: Having it at 26 must suck so I'm gonna stop my complaining and just deal with it.

I was thinking about canted foot beds but I ride Flow's and the 2012's that I bought at the end of last year for my new T.Rice doesn't have them. Are there generic canted foot beds that can be added to any binding or do they have to be designed with the binding? The 2013 Flow's do have canted beds but I'd prefer to not dump another $300 on bindings - but I will if I have to.

I don't have custom arch supports for my boots. Is this something that I'd have to get done by an experienced boot fitter or can you buy something off the shelf?

I give my dogs glucosamine so I've started looking at supplements to see what seems to be effective. I'll look at the other stuff you mention as well.

I'm 5'8' and 175lbs and work out pretty religiously. I've backed off on my leg workouts a bit since I thought I had an MCL injury but I'm going to get back to my normal routine starting today.

I'll look into the homeopathic options - any suggestions?

Thanks again for the tips, they're much appreciated.

Argo 10-27-2013 09:27 AM

You should be able to find 2013 flow nx2 bindings for under $200.

PalmerFreak 10-27-2013 09:42 AM

Thanks for the input Chomps. I don't have pain in any other joints and I've never had a knee injury before so I don't think it's your type of arthritis or a degenerative condition.

The way I look at it is if I can be (relatively) pain free when I'm riding I can deal with the pain afterwards. What I'm worried about is if I have pain while riding it will effect my stance/form to a point where it begins to effect other parts of my body or keeps me from enjoying myself. I'm thinking that I will be able to avoid those types of issues with some of the tips I've gotten from BA and hopefully the orthopedist has some ideas as well.

chomps1211 10-27-2013 10:04 AM


Originally Posted by PalmerFreak (Post 1186073)
Thanks for the input Chomps. I don't have pain in any other joints and I've never had a knee injury before so I don't think it's your type of arthritis or a degenerative condition....

OK, I'm a little confused.


Originally Posted by PalmerFreak (Post 1185889)
My right knee (regular stance) usually bothers me about half-way through the season and I never really thought much about it figuring the torque that's placed on the joint causes it to flare up. Usually by the middle of spring everything is fine and I get on with my summer activities.

I wasn't necessarily referring to some major, immediately destructive, traumatic injury! Repeated stress, (i.e. trauma!) of the sort you are describing as having over some number of years boarding, is sometimes all that's necessary to cause the type of arthritic degeneration I was talking about.

There is a blood test to check for RH factor. It is by no means definitive for determining that you have any type of rheumatoid arthritis, as some people with this factor present never have any disease process or symptoms. But it could help you to determine if what you are experiencing is arthritic degeneration from past traumas or the beginning of a more general arthritic condition. Early detection and treatment can help with getting meds that can limit further joint degeneration that can occur from the rheumatoid types of arthritis.

These are some of the things you will want to talk over and ask questions about with your doctors.

BurtonAvenger 10-27-2013 10:17 AM

Arthritis pain is just something I've learned to deal with as have many of my friends. I know mine is caused from repeated snowboard/skateboard related impacts. Some days are good and some days are bad.

I've done full custom insoles, almost all aftermarket, and the best ones right now that I've found are Remind. I have them in all my shoes, in my boots, and these are by far the best things I've ever used. Canting in the binding should be the second option the boot is the most important and I think this is where you'll notice the problem start to be rectified.

One of the members on here put me on to Zyflenenol (probably spelling this wrong but it's early a.m.) I've been taking it for about 30 days now and I notice the difference in how my joints feel. With glucosamine there's so many variations of it on the market you have to find the one that works for you and it can take up to a month or two before you notice the effects. For my I actually use the Kroger store brand as it's the only one that seems to work. One thing to note is you can build up an immunity to it so what I try to do is use it for long periods of time till I notice pain again then lay off for a while.

Jed 10-27-2013 10:32 AM

I was actually talking to my brother in law who's a surgeon and he was telling me how basically everyone involved in sports gets it around your age. It's just a crummy part of our body breaking down from all the strain of being so active.

Many of us may actually get it far earlier if we have injuries like ACL/meniscus tears, which is why I pay extra attention to do everything I can to slow down the deterioration of my knee after 3 surgeries.

BA's tips are spot on, and especially make sure you keep your legs strong in the gym. The stronger your legs, the less strain your knee will take and the slower your knees will deteriorate. Also, if you do cardio, don't do running, it's not great for your knees and riding the stationary bike or elliptical trainer is a lot better.

And as already mentioned, canted bindings are awesome too. I basically only ride canted bindings nowadays too (which makes me sad that the NOW bindings don't have canting).

On the plus side, we may be the last generation affected by this kind of arthritis because stem cell treatment is making leaps and bounds in treating joint arthritis and regrowing cartilage.

chomps1211 10-27-2013 10:43 AM

BA, was this the supliment you were referring too?


The glucosemine didn't help me any, so I would be interested in your opinion, impressions etc. of how that Zyflamend was working for you? That is if you've been using it long enough to notice any effect!

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