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Ask Dr. Gott 12/17
Stay active to ward off osteoarthritis
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    DEAR DR. GOTT: At my last bone-density result conference, my doctor said that arthritis is just beginning to show up in my spine. Since the "invasion" was minimal, she indicated I do not have to do anything about it now. So, do     I really just exercise to the best of my ability, or do I do something else until it gets worse, or is there some way to slow or stop the progression of arthritis?
    DEAR READER: Osteoarthritis, age-related thinning of the joints' cartilage, is a universal affliction for which there is no preventive or consistently effective therapy. It is worsened by osteoporosis (brittle bones).
    Stay active, exercise regularly and use Advil, Aleve or another over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medication designed for pain reduction. If your calcium intake is nonexistent or minimal, supplement your diet with 1000 milligrams of calcium with vitamin D daily to help retard the progression of osteoporosis. Follow up with your doctor in a year or so to have another bone-density exam, which will indicate whether your osteoporosis is progressing and needs further attention.
    To give you related information, I am sending you copies of my Health Reports "Understanding Osteoarthritis" and "Osteoporosis." Other readers who would like a copy should send a long, self-addressed, stamped envelope and $2 for each report to Newsletter, PO Box 167, Wickliffe, OH 44092. Be sure to mention the titles.

    DEAR DR. GOTT: On a recent European visit, I had the good fortune of running across a woman on my tour that I had something in common with. We both experienced back pain. This is not unusual, but her help in this regard was phenomenal and nothing short of miraculous, in my case. For several years I have been having excruciating pain in my right buttock. It went nowhere else in my body, only at my right buttock. The pain was like a knife twisting in that area when I was in bed and is why I often limped when I walked.
    Her advice was to place a tennis ball in the area of the pain and lie on it. I did as she said, for about five to 10 minutes each evening. The incredible results are that my pain is already 90 percent gone! I am no longer limping, nor am I having sleepless nights. Moreover, since I've been back from my trip for only three weeks, I expect the remaining 10 percent to be on its way, and in short time.
    My own doctor diagnosed me, with very little to no real testing, as having arthritis. She was obviously going by my age, which is 80. Perhaps you can relay this to others who might find the same astounding relief I have.
    DEAR READER: I'm not sure how the tennis ball relieves pain, but this is no reason why others shouldn't try it. Thank you for writing.
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