Vitamin D3 Is A Surprising Way To Relieve Knee Pain

doctor nan kathryn fuchs phd

If you have arthritis in your knee, you know how painful it is just to walk across the room. Instead of opting for surgery or pain-masking medications, I may have another solution. One that treats the cause, not the symptoms. The solution may be for you to simply take more of a common nutrient. And it’s probably a nutrient you don?t normally associate with pain relief.

In fact, increasing your intake (if you’re deficient) could reduce your pain considerably. That’s what the research presented at the American College of Rheumatology’s Annual Scientific Meeting says.

Their researchers recently conducted a two-year trial on 100 people in their 60s. All of them had pain in their knees. The researchers tested the participants? vitamin D levels at the beginning of the study. They found that 47% of them were deficient. In fact, their levels were below 30 ng/ml (optimal levels are above 50 mg/ml).

The researchers found that this deficiency contributed to their pain and difficulty in walking. The lower their levels of vitamin D, the greater their pain – and the slower they walked. The researchers concluded that there is a clear association between low vitamin D levels and pain in your knees.

Could a vitamin D deficiency be at the root of your arthritis pain? It’s possible. Most people are deficient today. So ask your doctor to give you a simple blood test to determine if you’re deficient. If you are, you need to increase your vitamin D levels. While spending time in the sun will help your vitamin D production, it won’t raise your levels to optimum levels. A simple blood test can tell you whether or not you have enough.

If you’re low in vitamin D, consider taking a vitamin D3 supplement (this is the natural form). I take, and suggest, 5,000 IU a day. It may seem like a lot, but it’s perfectly safe and effective.

Please let me know how much relief you get from taking this inexpensive and readily available nutrient.

Your voice of reason in women’s health,

By Dr. Nan Kathryn Fuchs PhD

For more information about Dr. Nan Kathryn Fuchs PhD’s  Women’s Health Newsletter Click Here

Wang, J., Nuite, M., Wheeler, L.M., Badiani, P., Joas, J., Mcadams, E.L., Fletcher, J., Lavalley, M.P., Dawson-Hughes, B., Mcalindon, T.E. 2007. Low Vitamin D levels are associated with greater pain and slow walking speed in patients with knee osteoarthritis (KOA). In: American College of Rheumatology Scientific Meeting, 11/6/07-11/11/07, Boston, MA. 56(9supplement): S124.

Low Vitamin D Levels are Associated with Greater Pain and Slow Walking Speed in Patients with Knee Osteoarthritis (KOA).

Jun Wang1, Melynn Nuite1, Laura M. Wheeler1, Prutha Badiani1, Johane Joas1, Erica L. McAdams1, Fletcher Jeremiah1, Michael P. Lavalley2, Bess Dawson-Hughes3, Timothy E. McAlindon1. 1Tufts-New England Medical Center, Boston, MA; 2Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA; 3Jean Mayer USDA HNRC on Aging, Boston, MA.

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Women More Arthritis In Knees Than Men…Avoid It

doctor nan kathryn fuchs phd

Did you know that women are far more susceptible to pain in their leg joints than men? In fact, women get twice as much osteoarthritis in their knees as men. And the reason is so simple that most women never give it a thought.

If you have ankle, knee, or hip pain and wear high heels, you may want to exchange them for shoes with lower heels. There’s nearly a 25% greater compression force on your knees when you walk on high-heels than when your shoes are flat. The higher your heels, the greater the force. This means that fashionable four-inch heels would increase knee compression much more than two-inch heels.

The length of time you wear high heels could contribute to knee problems as well. So does walking up stairs or hills, where more force naturally occurs around the knee joint.

In addition to the compression, the high heels cause a twisting, or torque, to the ankles and hips. This adversely affects all of these joints as well. As your body tries to stabilize itself, the pressure centers on your knee. Knee pain is not always an indication of a problem in your knees. Remember, your knee bone’s connected to your thigh bone.

If you switch to shoes with lower heels and your pain doesn’t lessen or go away, seek the help of a podiatrist, chiropractor, or osteopath. Try to find one who is familiar with orthotics and can fit them to your specific needs. Orthotics are customized insoles that normalize your gait and relieve unwanted pressure on various parts of your foot. They are superior to the ready-made orthotics you can find in drug stores or on the Internet.

In addition to orthotics, you may also need chiropractic or osteopathic adjustments. This combination of adjustments, orthotics, and flatter shoes will often resolve knee problems. They may even relieve headaches, backaches, and more. Before you resort to arthroscopic surgery or other more complex treatments, you may want to try wearing different shoes. It really could be that simple.

Your voice of reason for women’s health,

By Dr. Nan Kathryn Fuchs PhD

For more information about Dr. Nan Kathryn Fuchs PhD’s  Women’s Health Newsletter Click Here!