Saturday, October 5, 2013

Why I Conducted the Knee Experiment I Did

The most valuable part of my story about healing my knees is this, I think:

I devoted one year of my life to an intensive, well-documented experiment to “save” a pair of knees that a doctor grimly informed me were beyond saving.

I was so serious about this experiment that I even quit my full-time job (sitting too much was one of the obstacles to healing, I had discovered).

Why did I do all this?

Chiefly, for two reasons:

(1) I wanted to prove that doctors (and others) who say damaged cartilage and joints can’t heal are just plain wrong.

(2) I wanted to prove that the right way to heal was not to worry about your muscles (at least not initially), but to focus on easy, high-repetition exercises that your joints like (this is an approach I took directly from the writings of Doug Kelsey at Sports Center).

And here I am, some five years later, with two knees that feel perfectly normal.

The fact that I had success, bucking conventional wisdom, made me want to shout my story from the rooftops (hence the book and the blog).

But let me be clear about what that one-year experiment meant, as I see it. It wasn’t “You too can heal your bad kness if you quit your job and do exactly what I did.”

I see it more like “proof of concept.” I went to extremes (quitting my job, manically counting the steps I took, keeping a highly detailed knee journal) to show bad knees can heal naturally.

That doesn’t mean you can’t heal yours unless you quit your job and log every step you take. Rather, it means, simply, that healing is possible -- and I would argue, the right program is one of light-load, high-repetition motion. As for the particular details of what you need to do, well, that depends on your particular knees, doesn’t it?

I realize that’s frustrating for some people to hear. Many knee pain sufferers want a specific blueprint for getting better: what kind of exercises, how many of each, how many times a week. I don’t offer a blueprint, but rather an outline into what matters -- and the insight into why I think it’s important.

Knowing you can get better -- that the pessimism and negativity and “surgery is your only option” attitudes are wrong -- isn’t that a great message?


  1. Rich, your background looks like Crystal Meth! Maybe I'm biased but hey. Just being honest! Druggie! ahhahhahahahha

  2. Hmmm. Well, I assure you, I wasn't trying to reach out to the "Breaking Bad" audience. I was looking for a "healing crystals" look. I think actual meth crystals tend to look a bit more jagged, but what do I know? :)