My Rude Introduction to Arthritis and how I am Coping with ItWritten by Jimmie Newell
Let me begin by stating upfront that I realize that a great many people suffer from much more serious arthritic conditions than I. This article is not to trivialize their conditions in any way. My intent is to explain how this disease manifested itself in me and treatment that I have undertaken.
Being an avid golfer, I like many other men can hardly wait for spring to arrive. In 2004 spring came early. My first round I walked 18 holes with a push cart as I usually do. I did not feel any abnormal pain at this point. The next day I went to driving range to work some of kinks out of my swing, and hit a large bucket of balls. Later that evening my left knee was in so much pain that I could not stand with any pressure on it, walking was very painful. This persisted for 2-3 weeks, it did finally start to get better, but only marginally, golf had been degraded to using a power cart, there was just no way I could walk 9 holes, let alone 18. Making any full swing was painful from pressure put on my left knee.
I finally went to an Orthopedist, and after x-rays of both knees and a range of motion exam, was told that I had Osteoarthritis. The doctor showed me small space left between bones of my left knee, and told me that meniscus (a pad of cartilage that cushions joint and prevents bone to bone contact) was thinning and was in all likelihood torn. He told me that a few years ago, standard treatment was to surgically repair meniscus . however this type of repair was only effective at relieving pain about 50% of time.
The more accepted treatment now, was to prescribe a series of exercises designed to strengthen muscles around knee joint, and a pain reliever to control pain, so that I could exercise. He also suggested that I investigate and take glucosamine which is a natural healing product not regulated by FDA. He stated that recent large scale studies had shown that glucosamine was effective in slowing down loss of cartilage and may even contribute to regeneration of damaged cartilage.
BLUE CROSS JOINS GOVERNOR ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER TO ESTABLISH CALIFORNIA AS THE NATION'S 'FITNESS STATE'Written by Steve Pitman
The Blue Cross of California Foundation, charitable giving arm of WellPoint, Inc. (NYSE: WLP) in California, today joined Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to launch California Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports as part of “Get Active California Celebration” hosted by The Walt Disney Company. The mission of nonprofit Governor’s Council is to promote health benefits of physical fitness, exercise and sports for all Californians. Blue Cross of California Foundation presented Governor’s Council with a two-year grant totaling $300,000.
“As State’s largest health insurer, Blue Cross is committed to helping Californians, particularly children, avoid obesity and its associated conditions,” said Dave Helwig, president & CEO of Blue Cross of California. “We are grateful for this opportunity to work with Governor Schwarzenegger to promote adoption of healthy habits that will lead to a long and active life.”
At today’s event, Governor Schwarzenegger stressed importance of taking steps to address alarming increase in obesity rates, especially among children. He also commended private sector for its participation and support of Council, including generous support from Blue Cross of California Foundation.
As part its commitment to address issues of health care access, affordability and quality, “Blue Cross of California Foundation supports family health through a multi-faceted educational effort to curb child and adolescent obesity, promote physical fitness, and encourage pregnant women not to smoke,” said Cal Lockett, vice president of social responsibility for WellPoint.
Complimentary resources made available by Foundation to all attendees of event included: Healthy Habits for Healthy Kids, a booklet developed with American Dietetic Association to help health care professionals counsel parents and families about proper nutrition and childhood obesity; Healthy Habits for Healthy Hearts, a family guide to heart-healthy living endorsed by American Heart Association that offers tips for whole family on fitness and healthy eating; and California Health Care Options Matrix, an easy-to-read brochure that provides information about free and low-cost health care coverage for individuals, families, and small businesses. The Matrix also includes a toll-free Uninsured Help Line (800-234-1317) to assist uninsured Californians with gaining access to doctors and hospitals through appropriate public or private health care insurance.