I thought it was about time to do one of these posts, following a recent complaint I got about "commercial marketing" on this site (I'm assuming in the comments section).
There are very few ground rules here for people who want to leave comments/ask questions, but for anyone curious:
* Spam comments will be deleted.
These by the way have become harder to detect. At first spam comments were along the lines of “Great post!” with the commenter embedding a url in their profile name. The url generally led the clicker to some clinic that had most likely paid the spammer to drive up its traffic count.
Once the spammers figured out they were getting deleted this way, the tactics evolved. So now they sort of pretend to be engaging with the post for a couple of lines, often in a fairly transparent and superficial way. And of course, the url is still buried in there somewhere.
Again, I don’t mind at all if you link to a web site, an essay that helped you, a book, whatever – as long as you’re here to participate in the dialogue. If you’re a drive-by spammer, who is just looking for a way to staple an advertising flier to the nearest utility pole then move on, that’s different.
I check the comments weekly and try to clean up the ones that don’t contribute to the dialogue. As I said, advertisers are getting more sophisticated. But be forewarned: if you’re a first-time commenter and include a short comment and a prominent url, you will be looked upon with suspicion.
* The best way to ask me a question is in the comments section.
I get a lot of requests for advice/consultations, and many make me more than a bit uncomfortable. I wrote a book to tell my story, thinking it would help a lot of people with similar problems and also, as much as anything, offer hope when all seems hopeless. To me there was huge value in just documenting well the story of someone who beat knee pain when he was told he couldn’t and exposing all the untruths out there, about everything from “damaged cartilage can never get better” to “you need to focus on strengthening your quads.” Pernicious myths abound when it comes to knee pain.
Also (and I’m not exactly proud of this), I was full of anger about the way I was treated as a knee pain patient, and I’m sure others can speak of a similar experience: shrugging doctors who can’t recall what your issue is from one visit to the next, bouncy physical therapists who have never suffered a day of knee pain in their lives and all work from the same tired playbook, an industry of snake-oil supplements that has sprung up that studies have shown have no clinical efficacy, a roster of more serious drugs to keep the pain at bay and the knee pain sufferer on a dazed eventual walk toward surgery, which is where you wind up when you don’t take charge of a program to get better.
But I never claimed to be a doctor or a physical therapist myself, so I try to avoid giving advice. I try to avoid suggesting much in the way of exercises, except for the most simple ones. In fact, I got better doing an extremely simple exercise: walking, in slow, measured doses, with breaks, always listening to my knees.
So when you come to me and want to share your story via e-mail, my inclination is naturally to shrink away. It’s very flattering, but I’m not the guy you want. Doug Kelsey’s clinic has coaches who are very well-equipped to counsel and advise, and they work by phone now I understand. That’s really who you want. This is why I say “no” when people want to e-mail me with long descriptions of their problems. If they offered to pay me by the hour, I wouldn’t say “no,” I would say “hell no.” Because that would be even more wrong.
So what should you do? Leave your comments below a recent post. A lot of smart people now are regular visitors to this blog. A community has developed here of people who look out for each other, share what has been working/not working, and in many cases, have thoughts/insights that I would not have or that would simply be more appropriate or helpful for you. So share, by all means. But let’s keep the dialogue open and public (you can remain anonymous behind a screen name; that’s fine). You might be surprised at the volume of excellent suggestions (and all the support) you get from others on this site. Plus, I’ll see your comment too, of course, and might have some ideas as well.
Last, let me close on a positive note: Thank you all for reading. Honestly, I figured I’d have shuttered this blog by now. I don’t contribute to it as regularly anymore. But it always gives me pleasure to see all the people chatting below the posts, and I know I’ve created a kind of valuable if small ecosystem on the vast Internet, where intelligent people can talk about knee pain and feel free to shred some of the myths that hold us back from healing – and talk about the difficulties of their personal struggles too.
Healing bad knees isn’t easy. But I’m convinced it can be done. I did it. :)