This week, I thought I’d share a positive reaction I’ve had to a new product on the market that seems to cushion my knee, reducing pain with which I’ve lived for probably the last 15 years.
First, this is my knee as of two weeks ago.
There is supposed to be space between the upper and lower bones…the lack of space…aka meniscus or cartilage…is known as bone-on-bone…and results in an arthritic, painful condition. Clearly, in each view of my left knee, I am bone-on-bone on the inside of my left knee.
My left knee suffered a blow to the rear of the knee when I was playing hoops in college at 20 years old. The impact severed my Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) and my medial (inside) meniscus pad. The surgeon who operated, removed most of my medial meniscus and did not repair my ACL. That was 1974. I graduated from the University at Albany, and continued playing hoops in NYC in the “Press League” for 5 years without any brace. Ultimately, I was fitted for the “Lenox Hill” brace made famous by Joe Willy Namath.
I continued running daily and playing competitive hoops, graduating to an “unloader brace” about 3 years ago. This sort of brace is wonderful for those lacking meniscus and helps a lot! I also started a regimen of triple-strength glucosomine about 15 years ago.
Last year, however, my knee began hurting a little more than I was willing to accept, so I discussed anti-inflammatory products with my doctor…and my numerous senior mentors! We settled on a trans-dermal anti-inflammatory cream and Celebrex. I take the Celebrex daily (200 mg) and use the cream as needed, and continue to take my glucosomine. For the last year, this has improved my quality of life. (The Celebrex is said to be safe for me and is processed through one’s kidneys. My GP and Orthopedic Specialists all think highly of Celebrex in my situation.)
This year, however, my pain began to rise again. Six weeks ago, I was introduced to a new product called “Play Again Now”, by one of my best friends who serves as an independent agent for this product while selling other surgical prosthetics.
This product mimics the fluid in our joints.
To me, it seems to be a liquid version of an inject-able that doctors have used for over 40 years to treat joint pain, similar I believe to the Synvisc 1 or 3 shots one can get for their knees. (I’ve had two of these shots also…one prior to the 2011 National Championships in Houston and one six months ago…with little effect.) Play Again replaces lost fluid in our joints and connective tissues due to aging and overuse.
My layman’s description of the product is as follows. It is a pleasant, berry-flavored, liquid gel one takes initially 3-4 tablespoons/day for two weeks, then reducing to a maintenance level of 1-2 tablespoons. The active ingredient is, I believe hyaluronic acid which is naturally produced by the body and is found in the sinovial membranes surrounding our joints. This fluid production decreases as we age.
The difference between an injection and this daily oral product is that the injection only gets to the knee (or joint injected) and starts breaking down upon injection. HA(Hyaluronic Acid) has a half life of 36-48 hours. This product, on the other hand, once allowed to build to a therapeutic level in one’s joints, is maintained via daily intake and provides much needed additional fluid to our joints.
As we age, overuse our joints or sustain injury the body isn’t producing enough HA and fluid cushion to lubricate the joints. By taking this product orally it seems to be quickly absorbed and by taking it daily the lost fluid we experience with age is replaced and then maintained at levels to sustain continued relief from joint pain and stiffness.
At just about the time I started using Play Again Now, my knee pain was severe enough for me to have made an appointment to see the surgeon who will ultimately give me a total knee replacement. He said, at that time, that my knee was “in very bad shape”. He was very surprised that I had played hoops twice the week I saw him for 2 hours each night and was walking without a limp when I saw him (that was 4 weeks into my Play Again Now treatment.)
We agreed that I’d continue taking the Celebrex, use the trans-dermal cream as needed and take the new Play Again Now product. The goal at this point is to allow me to continue playing hoops and defer as long as possible getting a total knee replacement (TKR)…perhaps we can get 1-3 more years out of this knee before replacement. I’m schedule to see this doctor again after the Pennsylvania and Maryland State Senior Championships or at the end of October.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that the Senior Hoops team on which I play has a guard who is my age, 59, who had a TKR done by the same surgeon 4 months ago. This player actually competed in the Massachusetts’ State Championships less than 4 months off the table! I am accordingly, not the least bit reluctant to get a TKR as it will eliminate pain but realize that the longer I can wait for the TKR, the longer I will have to consider a second surgery to replace damaged parts in 15-20 years since I don’t plan on slowing down!
I have now been taking Play Again Now since June 4. I am in my 7th week, and my knee actually feels better than it has in over 15 years! I can only attribute the improvement to the one new product I’ve added to my daily regimen…Play Again Now joint fluid!
If you are interested in trying this product, visit their website, and if you order, use the following promotional code my buddy provided which will get you free shipping.
Website:Link to Play Again Now Website
Promotional code: 100-4
I believe they are running a special if you buy two bottles, you get one free. If you are not satisfied after 30 days, you can return the two unused bottles and get a full refund. That seemed pretty fair to me. I took 4 tablespoons per day for two weeks and take 2 tablespoons per day for maintenance. I work out 5 days/week…so if your activity level is less, your intake would be less accordingly.
Please feel free to email me your questions, or comments on this or similar products you’ve tried. I am very excited about the results of this product and hope this blog gets to a few seniors…or younger athletes who would benefit from the impact of more lubricating fluid in their knees or other joints.
Vinnie Rua- Member, NY Legends…Cleveland-2013-bound for Senior National Championships!