Saturday, May 3, 2014

Good News: Doug Kelsey Has a New Book

I recently got an e-mail from Doug Kelsey (a pleasant surprise). He wanted to tell me about his new electronic book, The 90 Day Knee Arthritis Remedy. The book is being offered for sale here.

First, I prefer this choice of title to his earlier Runner’s Knee Bible. No, it’s not that I’m a deeply devout Christian who believes the word “Bible” must be reserved solely for The Book. Rather, I see the words “Runner’s Knee” in the title and think that many would-be readers -- in fact, should-be readers -- will turn away, thinking, “I’m not a runner.” And that’s unfortunate because runner’s knee afflicts more people than runners.

“Arthritis” though is more of a catchall word that will attract many of exactly the sort of people who would benefit from Doug’s message about exercising the right way, in the right amounts, to build up your knee instead of further breaking it down (he also addresses strengthening the core muscles, something that I’ve never really gone into).

And for those who didn’t like my book (or liked it less) because of the lack of exercises, Doug includes plenty of those, with links to videos showing you how to do them.

I’ll be taking a deeper look at The 90 Day Knee Arthritis Remedy later, telling you what I like most about it. Doug floated me a review copy, and I’m finding it an inspiring, thorough and well-detailed read: the complete DIY knee repair kit for people with achy, grumbling joints.

One final thing.

The price.

At $28.95, it’s not the cheapest knee book out there certainly. But here’s how I look at that:

* I can find you cheaper how-to-fix-your-knees books that don’t work, or don’t work as well. So the question as I see it boils down to: Do you want to fix your knees or save a few bucks?

* Right now the specialist co-pay under my health plan is $40. So I could spend $40 to see an orthopedist (if I still had knee pain) who would say something like, “Your knees look fine” or “You’re not a candidate for surgery yet” or “There’s not much I can do” -- or some rather unhelpful combination of the above. So which would you prefer -- that or a detailed plan of action (note: of course you should always start by seeing a knee doctor, not by buying a book, but after your first or second doctor, chances are good they’ll start sounding pretty much the same).

* $28.95 is certainly cheap if your alternative is surgery. Now surgery, that’s expensive -- even if you have good health insurance. Start adding all your co-pays for an entire surgical procedure, plus the stuff that’s not covered, plus the bandages, rehab clothes/equipment (some not covered), the co-pay on your pain medication, then the harder-to-value opportunity cost of being laid up for x days ... that’ll make $28.95 seem like the price of a candy bar.


  1. Hi Richard,

    I just discovered your site and purchased your book today from I see my specialist the second week in June but my MRI shows a nondisplaced medial meniscus tear and grade 111 chondromalacia. The grade 3 cartilage loss stunned me because I have never had a problem with this knee until I tore my meniscus. Your book is giving me hope and I thank you for that. Just wondering - how did you deal with stairs? I live in the type of house that when you enter the front door, there are 7 steps up to the main floor - so (especially with a dog) I am always going up and down these stairs about 15 times a day and it really hurts. Any solutions to stairs? Thank you.
    Sue Hurley -

  2. I wrote about that here, Sue:

    The upshot though is there isn't any great solution. The best solution, if your knees are too weak, is eliminating the stairs as much as possible, in my opinion. That may demand some creativity and incur some expense. But the important thing is to keep your knees within an envelope of acceptable function, and going up and down stairs too much will soon push you out of that envelope.

  3. I bought this book, have been reading and re-reading it and to be honest, find it has some flaws including:
    - not easy to follow, especially the length of time on different rehab phases;
    - has some typo and other omissions which make it difficult to follow the logic;
    - unclear on how to score some of the tests, and what each score actually means (i.e. does a red score mean avoid that exercise, or keep at it until your score improves?)
    - the tests talk about doing the tests/drills below the onset of pain - what do you do if you have almost constant burning pain (like I have & Richard had)?
    - the program and progression is quite complex, and it is not really clear when you should start edging (increasing) exercise reps etc.
    - a whole lot of stuff about pain relief measures in the front of the book. I think the message here was about some options to reduce your pain so you could start his rehab program, but that was not explicitly clear.
    - talk about if you get too many red scores, see a clinician. Does that mean a doctor, a physio, or one of Dougs team?

    I emailed Doug some questions about this, and got a response that answers to those questions would require consultation with one of his associates (at a cost I assume, and difficult when they are half a world away).

    What concerns me about the book is that it could give you just enough information to get into trouble (i.e. over-do it and leave your knees worse - as seemed to have happened with one of his patients as he describes in the book). If this happens, does the average punter just drop it altogether, or find a way to continue the exercises, but at a lower level?

    In other words, it raised the suspicion that the book gave just enough to get you interested, but to do it carefully, properly and get your starting level and progressions right, you really need to be working with and paying Doug or one of his consultants.

    Having said all that, I'm going to do my best to muddle through and see if I can work out a Phase 1 program for myself to follow for 3 weeks. What he says in the book seems reasonable, but the detail seems tricky. Stay tuned!

    To update my situation, for a month or so I was doing really well on the (what I thought were fairly aggressive) strengthening exercises a trainer had given me. I even thought I might be back racing by years end. Then somewhere I blew it (did too much - probably my fault not his) and have had a fair setback.


  4. Hi. I have purchased both your book and the Kelsey book and now have my mind tied up in a pretzel! I have mild OA (53) that doesn't really hurt but if I do my favourite activity, golf, swells up to varying degrees and inhibits activities for the next couple days. Some cartilage tearing and bakers cyst. Was funny reading your story as I felt like I had a twin! Same personality, live in Asia, married on 08/08/98, and same sort of symptoms however luckily mine are a bit milder. I am not getting pain when standing or walking with the exception that when my knee is acting up with swelling. Then it's more of a stiffness.

    My question(s). I am not having pain when walking but Kelsey has made me feel If I don't go out and buy a big piece of exercise equipment I'm doomed. Can I achieve the same results just walking as with the TT? Would the lower impact of the TT produce greater results faster.

    You don't mention much about whether or not you employed the Knee Guru exercises. Frankly I can't seem to identify anything he is talking about in his videos (Comfort zone) apart from the 4 trigger points. Was curious if you used these at all in your recovery.

    1. I don't think you need to buy the big piece of exercise equipment. It's just easier to rehab knees when you have such equipment on hand. You need stiffer, more resilient cartilage, and I think a good program of walking or cycling could get you to that objective as well. But take it slow; it sounds like you have some issues if you're getting swelling. (No, I haven't done any Knee Guru exercises. My recovery was mainly based around the simple activity of walking.) Good luck!

  5. Hi Richard!!

    Im 29 and been diagnosed with patellofemoral syndrome about 15 months ago. Since then my social life has been pretty much non-existant and Ive been struggling to do the simple things such as stand in a long line at the grocery store.

    No surgery necessary. They just want me to strengthen my quad. Thats is great, except knee cant take the forces needed to strengthen the quad! After reading your material I decided to take your advice and turn to Kelsey's book. Now THE QUESTION is...which one? His first book or second one? Seems like a lot of the info overlaps...I would get them both but they are almost $50 a piece so I'd like to know which you preferred. I did get a big piece of equipment and Im willing to do what it takes.
    Thank you in advance!


    1. Honestly, I'm not the best person to ask that, as I only got a copy of the second one to review. Never read the first. I think you're right; there probably is a lot of overlap. I would think the second would be sufficient, but if you're not sure, you might try finding someone who has read both. Good luck!

  6. Hi Richard,

    Iam 33 and have bilateral chondromalacia patella, for the past 15 months. MRI shows thinning of cartilage in both knees with more on the right knee. I am a Physical therapist and have pain even on standing, walking and transition in standing from a chair or sitting down and also dificulty while climbing down stairs.I had completely avoided floor activities but still continue to use stairs as I reside in apartment on second floor with no elevator. My orthopedist had strictly warned me against using stairs.

    I purchased your book, Saving my knees....and found some relief to know cartilage heals. My three weeks off work did not help me in any way out of the pain. I still have pain and swelling in both my knees especially in my right knee. I wanted to purchase Doug kesley book, but am confused if I have to go with the first or the second one though there is overlap.

    Will I be recover my cartilage completely and continue my profession as a Physical therapist, which is my greater concern. Is there anything to do to cope up with stairs atleast until I can shift to a lower floor which will still take some time.

    1. Doug's latest book is probably fine, but honestly, I don't know exactly how his books differ. I'm not sure about recovering your cartilage completely, but you don't need perfect cartilage to feel okay. Many people with "normal" knees have defects in their cartilage. Not sure what to advise you on stairs -- other than don't use them any more than necessary. Good luck.

  7. Hello richard...
    I would like to meet Doug kelsey or any of his consultants ...where can i find a link or any details to his service...pllss help

  8. I would look on his website ( or look for the website for Sports Center of Austin, Texas. You should be able to find a phone number somewhere for Sports Center at least.

  9. You say above that the book is $28.95, however when I click on link you provide to buy the book, it says it is around $47.00. Is there a coupon code or something to get it at the price you say in this article?

    1. No, there's no coupon code I'm aware of. He may have added more material and increased the price of the book.

  10. I bought Kelsey's "90 day knee arthritis remedy" and though I thought there was a lot of good info in it, I have some problems with it also:
    Nowhere on his description of the book does he mention that this program is not appropriate for someone with such heavily damaged cartilage as to be considered "bone-on-bone" BUT in the intro to the book he tells me that, AFTER I have paid, not $28.95, but $47.00 for the book. Would not have purchased it if I'd realized he doesn't consider it suitable for my knees.
    The PDF format didn't have hot links in the table of contents.
    There's a 30-day no-questions-asked guarantee -- just email us! -- but not contact information or email address for requesting a refund, other than I just hit "reply" on my purchase acknowledgment email.