People in my fitness classes have learned over the years that I have actually been instructing in a fair bit of distress owing to the onset of osteoarthritis in my knees. I t happened as the result of genetics. My father had it. He told me when I was a teenager that he was planning to hang up his skis and take up golfing.

My grandfather used to scamper around the house with his cane mixing up a concoction of egg whites, turpentine and  other tree exudates  in his liniment bottle that he and my father applied liberally to their limbs while leaning on the fence in the back yard. I thought they were drinking the stuff.

It could also be used as a bear repellent.

I dreaded the day that I would have to join them there as a right of passage. T thought that nothing good could come from drinking anything from a tree – with the exception of coffee and cocoa.  They both passed away before I experienced my own knee degeneration.

It the first incident was while cycling. Then while playing broomball, Aerobics tended to make the pain go away, and it still does. Walking made it worse. I need to pause every few blocks to do some jumping jacks ans squats. So much for romantic walks on the sea wall.

Here are some of the things I have tried, besides teaching fitness, to alleviate the symptoms.

  • Liniments such as Canada Healing oil rubbed onto the joint relieves the pain
  • Ice relieves the pain
  • Heat relieves the pain
  • Cold followed by heat relieves the pain
  • Heat followed by cold followed by liniment sounds stupid, but it relieves the pain

All of these treatments releave the pain, but I became worried about becoming a turpentine/camphor/heat/ice addict and the pain always came back. The only thing that really worked was teaching fitness – probably because it produces a whole lot of synovial fluid that keeps my bones from rubbing together for the duration of the class and a few hours after.

I looked for medical remedies:

  • I was prescribed an extra strong dose of naproxen that made me sick
  • I got X-Rays and a referral to a rheumatologist
  • The rheumatologist gave me a shot of cortisone that had a good effect until I started actuall use my knee.
  • He gave me another shot. It didn’t get better, but it didn’t get cured either
  • He gave me a shot of Synvisc – an artificial cartilage that worked well for about 3 weeks. That worked for a couple of weeks with a cost of $500 per knee. I’ll stick with walking and jumping jacking.
  • The rheumatologist referred be to a place that would prepare me for knee surgery
  • More recently, I have been receiving deep laser deep laser treatment. That seems to be working. I have had 6 treatments so far and I can make it 3 blocks  without doing jumping jacks.

On Friday, at my last treatment, I told the doctor (a chiropractor this time) that I just read an article that said people were taking cartilage from the nose septum, growing it in a culture, then injecting it into the knee and watching it grow. According to the article (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140828090200.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily%2Ftop_news%2Ftop_science+%28ScienceDaily%3A+Top+Science+News%29 )

Now, if you catch me walking around with a Band-Aid on my snoot, you can guess what happened, but I’ll only let you know on a knees to nose basis.

Mike Broderick , a one- time archaeologist, is a Vocational Rehabilitation Counsellor with the Fraser Health Authority in Port Coquitlam where he helps people with mental health disabilities find and keep full or part time employment .

He WAS the Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he found employment for people with physical disabilities, A Supported Employment Coordinator at THEO BC (now the Open Door Group), and a case manager at Community Fisheries Development Centre where he helped people move from the fishing industry to something else because there, “Aint no fish.” This means he is VERY familiar with how a modern day resume should look.

He is an active ambassador with the Vancouver Board of Trade and a member of the Labour Task Force of the Burnaby Board of Trade He does some work as a field Archaeologist, is a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to Alive Magazine. He is always saying, “If you can’t be fit, you can at least be funny.”

He lives in Port Coquitlam with his spouse Cecelia. You can reach him at home at michael_broderick@telus.net or at 604-464-4105. If you’re looking for a career change, he is the Spin Doctor and can give you a resume makeover at competitive rates.



  1. energywriter Says:

    Great info. Thank you, Mike. You may be able to try out the nasal cell repair before long. Here in the US the Dept of Health . . . requires about 85 years of testing before they approve a new surgery method or medicine.

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