If you suffer from arthritis you may believe there isn’t a whole lot anyone could no tell you about pain that you don’t already know. After all you live with it every single day of your life.
That’s why a knee replacement might not sound like such a bad idea. But before you make that move and submit to the knife there’s something you need to know. It’s something your doc will likely never tell you.
Not only is it nearly a guarantee that the post-surgery pain will be some of the worst pain you’ve ever experienced in your life, you may be so desperate for a little relief that you opt for dangerously addictive opioid painkillers.
Many knee-surgery patients turn to opioid drugs
Because despite the glaring red flags it seems docs are still happy to pass out prescriptions for them out like they’re breath mints. And now the research has revealed that knee surgery could put you at risk for getting addicted to these risky painkillers.
According to new research almost one in ten folks who weren’t on an opioid before surgery end up popping the pills for six months after having their knee replaced. And if you’re already on an opioid the news is even worse.
Because despite the promise of a pain-free knee when you agreed to the surgery, 53 percent of people taking these drugs before knee surgery were still on them six months later.
Opioid painkillers can make your pain WORSE
But it’s a second study that turns this shocking scenario into a true tragedy. It turns out these highly addictive drugs don’t even work!
In fact, they can make your pain worse, triggering more severe pain as well as making it last TWICE as long. And while that may seem difficult to believe it’s because most folks never even make the connection between the drugs and their worsening pain.
You see, the fast–but short-lived—relief opioid users feel right after popping the pill makes them believe they’re doing their job. But animal experiments reveal the truth. These so-called painkillers trigger spinal immune cells ramping up inflammation with the increase in pain following close behind.
The end result is that the animals given the opioid drugs were more sensitive to the pain after being on the drugs for just five days. And while a mouse can’t reach for the pill bottle to pop another pill people can. In other words, it’s easy to see where opioid addiction comes from.
Is that knee surgery REALLY necessary?
You owe it to yourself to be absolutely sure that knee surgery is necessary. Far too many folks find out that they are in worse pain than before, and with a drug addiction to boot.
And the truth is you may not even need the surgery in the first place. Because natural approaches can often help slow down, halt and in some cases even reverse the joint damage caused by arthritis.
Cod liver oil:
Omega-3 and vitamin D rich cod liver oil can reduce the levels of the enzyme that’s behind the joint damage we see with osteoarthritis. In fact, a Cardiff University study found that 86 percent of pre-op arthritis patients taking daily cod liver oil had eliminated or significantly reduced the levels of the cartilage-damaging enzyme.
The results were so impressive that UK surgeons declared that the findings could be the key to reducing knee replacement surgeries.
Glucosamine and chondroitin:
Glucosamine and chondroitin may be able to literally rebuild lost cartilage, ease stiffness and restore motion.
Several Belgian studies have shown this powerful duo not only delivers pain relief, it can reverse the joint calcifications seen with this disease. And a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found the combo slashed pain levels in over half the folks who tried it.
Practice patience with this pair however, results aren’t seen overnight. But if you stick with it, after a few months (sometimes less) you should be really reaping the rewards.
With a name like Devil’s Claw it’s surprising this herb can bring such powerful pain relief to aching stiff joints.
When the herb was compared to a widely available European arthritis drug, the results were really quite remarkable. According to the 2002 study Devil’s Claw was just as effective as the drug, but didn’t have the same risks.
Devil’s Claw has also been shown to improve joint mobility in those suffering from arthritis.
Bottom line on knee replacement surgery
Listen, you may have been led to believe that a knee-replacement is a quick and easy surgery. But while the quick may be true, the easy certainly isn’t… when it comes to recovery that is.
Surgery should never be a first line of defense. It should only be a last resort and headed into with a clear understanding of the risks including excruciating pain and possible drug addiction.
Written in memory of medicine's most popular myth-buster, Dr. William Campbell Douglass II the "Daily Dose" is a FREE daily e-mail service designed to deliver health news and insights directly to your inbox.
In the "Daily Dose" you get Harrison’s no holds barred straight scoop about health, medicine and politics. In it he exposes junk medicine, flawed science, big-government waste and fraud — providing a continuous supply of urgent and timely health information.
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