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What do you do if you’ve got osteoarthritis of the knee?

kneesFilm director Baz Luhrmann made a spoof graduation speech famous with his hit “Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)” back in 1999. At the time, I wasn’t particularly worried about the line in that track: “Be kind to your knees, you’ll miss them when they’re gone.” But, you get older, knees become more of a focus, so what are you to do if you suffer from osteoarthritis of the knee (thankfully, I don’t…yet).

According to SBM, here’s what a massive scientific review of the various possible treatments has to say:

Exercise – strong evidence for effectiveness
Weight loss – moderate evidence for
Acupuncture – strong evidence against
Physical agents TENS, ultrasound, etc. – inconclusive
Manual therapy chiropractic, massage – inconclusive
Valgus directing force brace – inconclusive
Lateral wedge insoles – moderate evidence against
Glucosamine and chondroitin – strong evidence against
NSAIDs – strong evidence for
Acetaminophen, opioids, pain patches – inconclusive
Intraarticular corticosteroid injections – inconclusive
Hyaluronic acid injections – strong evidence against
Hyaluronic acid supplements – see above
Growth factor injections and/or platelet rich plasma – inconclusive
Needle lavage – moderate evidence against
Arthroscopy with lavage and debridement – strong evidence against
Partial meniscectomy in osteoarthritis patients with torn meniscus – inconclusive
Valgus producing proximal tibial osteotomy – limited evidence
Free-floating interpositional device – no evidence; consensus against

So knee sufferers, the bottom line seems to be, get some exercise and take painkillers if you need to. Dietary supplements, injections, alternative medicine BS and unproven surgical procedures seem to do nothing but cost you money. I’m particularly glad to see the scam that is glucosamine and chondroitin called out in the review as having strong evidence against them, I’ve written about that nonsense in the past several times having never seen any scientific report to suggest anyone is ever deficient or needs supplements.

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