Stop Joint Pain

Do you have pain in your joints?  Do you wake up in the morning a bit stiff and achy?  Do you put this down to growing old or just “one of those things”? Are you aware that at last, something can be done without the need for surgical intervention or drugs?  Bob Mitchell from Bodyworks gives us the complete story.

The adult human skeleton is made up of 206 bones and to help these bones move smoothly and pain free, you have or should have a smooth, shock absorbing connective tissue called cartilage. This living, growing tissue stops bone rubbing on bone enabling you to walk, run, climb stairs in fact, to do any action that requires the movement of your bones. As cartilage itself has no nerve endings it does not feel pain when it erodes or is damaged but the bones rubbing together and the inflammatory effects this has can at best feel stiff or sore and at worse, totally immobilise a person in pain.

There are a couple of myths that need to be resolved, firstly once you start losing cartilage, nothing can be done to halt this process and secondly that cartilage can not re-grow. Cartilage can re-grow and in fact during our life span, it does this continually. Like everything else however, when you age, the growing ability of cartilage slows down. If you injure, damage or simply wear away cartilage quicker than your body can repair it, the less you will have and the more pain you are likely to suffer. The usual outcome is osteoarthritis – thought to be the oldest known health problem having been found in dinosaur joints and Egyptian mummies!

There are a number of things that can be done to retain cartilage and until very recently, the simplest and easiest was to take a supplement called glucosamine, which we would always recommend be taken in liquid form to help absorption. Surgical options to regenerate or re-grow cartilage include harvesting either chondrocyte cells or stem cells from the patient, growing these on or into cartilage and re-inserting them into the troubled area (usually the knee). Although successful, the process involves two individual operations, one for the harvesting and one for the re-insertion, meaning twice the operative risk and of course two lots of rehabilitation. A second method of on-growing cartilage is by taking healthy cartilage from one area (generally of the knee) and replacing it in the damaged area. Again this requires an operation and a long period of painful rehabilitation.

Fortunately, there is now a non-surgical method called Magnetic Resonance Therapy (MRT) developed after some astute observations of MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scans. MRI, one of the most important discoveries in recent medical history, allows doctors to ‘see’ inside the body in incredible detail. It works by sending strong magnetic and radio waves through the body. The body is mainly made up of water molecules which contain hydrogen atoms and the powerful magnetic forces from the MRI scanner pulls at the protons within these atoms lining them up in the direction of the magnetic field (normally the billions of protons lie in random directions). By switching the protons from random to aligned they send out energy which is converted by a computer into an image. As the procedure is painless and involves no radiation, it can be repeated many times.

There was growing anecdotal evidence amongst the medical community that patients reported feeling better after an MRI scan. German researchers started looking into the phenomenon and discovered that the energy given out by the atoms that is read by the scanner was also being absorbed by some of the adjacent atoms that often make up the soft tissue surrounding a joint, explaining the feeling of wellbeing after a scan. Having identified the specific frequency of cartilage and that of bone, these German researchers found it possible to transfer pulsed magnetic resonance energy into damaged cartilage cells or bone cells thereby initiating the metabolic process necessary for growth. They have shown that they can help the body grow cartilage, enhance bone density and dramatically reduce or eliminate pain. There is now a large body of scientific evidence to the effectiveness of MRT with clinical tests on over 13,000 patients.

Find out more about Magnetic Resonance Therapy or indeed any other problem you may have by contacting Estelle Mitchell, Biomechanical and Musculoskeletal Specialist and your English Chartered Physiotherapist by calling 952 883 151 or by visiting her websites at:

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