I have Osteoarthritis in my Knees - What Can I Do?
Question: Dr. Balduzzi... I have osteoarthritis in my knees. I hear crunching and clicking when I squat. I don't have a lot of pain but I am wondering about what I can do to improve the situation?
Arthritis is the knees is incredibly common as we age. Here are some things that can help:
Step #1: Perform some soft tissue work around the knee (particularly on the articularis genu muscle AND all the way along the vastus lateralis + tensor fasciae latae muscles) will likely help. Tight muscles around the knee cause problems that make arthritis symptoms worse, so we want to do everything in our power to release tight muscles/knots/etc so your leg biomechanics are working properly.
In many cases of knee pain/clicking, there is a component of the issue where an individuals knee "is not tracking properly" (meaning the knee doesn't glide well in motion) - largely due to tight/imbalanced muscles. Often time, the kneecap moves laterally (toward the outside of your body) due to a tight vastus lateralis muscle (the most lateral quad muscle) and a tight tensor fasciae latae muscle that blends into your IT band.
If you notice your legs are in external rotation when you walk (toes pointing out)... it may be indicative of tightness in your external rotators (glutes and piriformis primarily). Rolling out those/getting great bodywork/acupuncture will clean that up.
Again: the reason I'm talking so much about tight muscles and not the joint/cartilage issue themselves is that we want to improve muscular imbalance to see if it improves the symptoms.
All that said, osteoarthritis (degeneration of the cartilage - largely secondary to regular use/aging) is incredibly common in the knees in guys 40+. Muscular imbalance may be contributing to pain/problems, but there still very well may be an underlying cartilage issue. Loss of cartilage due to osteoarthritis could be a source of the crunching (crepitus) you are experiencing.
Now, for actually regrowing the cartilage naturally, here's the punch-line: it's 100% possible.
Look into some *platelet-rich plasma AND testosterone suspension injections into the joint.*
Most people don't know that testosterone plays a huge role in stimulating the chondrocytes (cartilage producing cells) to get & stay active in the knee joints. A local doc to your area who advertises him/herself as a great practitioner of prolotherapy/PRP/stem cells can do these injections.
If you come to Arizona, USA, I can get you in to see my personal (world-class) regenerative injection doctor who does my very own Prolotherapy/PRP. I have had several bad injuries - including a shattered femur, torn MCL, torn patellar tendon, and pretty much every torn muscle in my right quad region etc. I've been able to fix all of those to 90%+ improvement through a combination of the soft-tissue work with these medical therapies.
Also look into supplementation with the following: boron, glucosamine/chondroitin, collagen, high bio-availability curcumin, Boswellia (one of nature's best natural anti-inflammatories along with curcuminoids), melatonin (which also plays a role in joint health... although most people don't know that)!
This is a fantastic all-in-one joint supplement that I love: https://amzn.to/2NP0pCF
Go forth and heal this!
-Dr. Anthony Balduzzi
Founder, The Fit Father Project
P.S. If you're a Fit Father For Life member, you have access to our Total Body Tune-Up program, which includes deep-dive training on the best stretches, self-massage, and strengthening exercises to correct knee pain. In those videos, I walk you step-by-step through my own knee-health protocol. I highly recommend you use that routine inside Fit Father For Life.