Hi Michael
I am 53, overweight but slowly losing weight.
Two years ago I blew out both my knees playing indoor soccer. Doctor said they both looked OK in ex-rays, nothing serious, possibly slight meniscul tears.
It took two years to get them back to almost normal.
I went out to play again a few weeks ago and they both 'gave out' again. Initial pain, followed by stiffnessn then 60% functional after a few minutes.
Needless to say, I have retired from soccer, BUT, this  giving out buisness has now happened twice since the-on the job and at home going down stairs.
I am thinking about non traditional medicine, possible accupuncture.
What are your thoughts on this? Can you also reccomend a supplement or exercise as well?
BTW have tried glucosamine/chondroitin/MSM to no effect.

Dear Bud -

People in the True North - Strong and Free are not supposed to have sore knees!  Glad that the imaging didn't show any major arthritis, although a torn meniscus can create inflammation and pain far beyond what seems reasonable.  Losing excess weight is, of course, a key in recovery and prevention in many orthopedic and physiological conditions.

Generally, strengthening the quadriceps muscles (front of the thighs, above the knees) is what will help.  Specific exercises are better shown rather than read about, so a YouTube search for a short rehab video might be helpful.  Just don't rush things.  You might also get your primary care provider to refer you to a physical therapist for demonstration of specific exercises.

There are several supplements for knee injury recovery that I use in my practice, however they have potential side-effects and interactions making me hesitate to recommend anything to someone who is not a patient.  The gluco/chondro/MSM might have an effect long-term, although most people don't notice improvement until they stop taking it and realize that the pain is worse without.

Acupuncture is most likely what might be helpful.  In your province acupuncture can be practiced by some chiropractors and massage therapists in addition to people who have an advanced degree in Oriental medicine.  My advice would be to seek someone who is a member of the Saskatchewan acupuncture association and has a degree in Chinese medicine.  

Overall, keep up with the weight loss and some form of exercise.  (Would the switch from indoor soccer to curling be wise?  Just don't slip on the ice.)

Mike Zanoni


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Michael M. Zanoni, MS, LAc


I am knowledgeable about severe and chronic pain from musculoskeletal or neurological conditions, especially trauma, headache, and fibromyalgia. I can provide guidance that will assist healing and recovery after illness or surgery. I have a particular interest in long-term chronic conditions that are becoming progressively worse or intermittently severe (such as viral hepatitis, Crohn's, or Takayasu syndrome.) I have extensive experience treating endocrine disorders, such as diabetes or thyroid problems, where the primary condition is being monitored by a Western-trained physician, and cancer where there are specific treatment goals other than cure (e.g., decrease of pain; reduction of side effects of radiation and chemotherapy; lessening of edema; palliative treatment of associated conditions.) I do not treat or answer questions about infertility, ALS, or senile dementia.


I have practiced Oriental medicine for over sixteen years in a variety of settings. Much of my practice has centered around a busy clinic specializing in severe long-term chronic pain conditions and palliative care. For several years I worked in a hospice program. I also established a non-profit community clinic providing care to under-served and homeless patients. My work has found me in an HIV clinic in San Francisco, a busy private practice in Oregon, to traveling on muddy 4-wheel drive roads to see dying patients. I now teach acupuncture and Oriental medicine at a school in Hawaii.

My training was at the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in San Francisco where I received a masterís degree in Chinese Medicine. I have current board certifications in Oriental Medicine, Acupuncture, and Chinese Herbology from the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. I also have certifications in Chinese tui na bodywork, Physical Rehabilitation Training, and biofeedback. I am licensed to practice acupuncture and Oriental medicine in Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington. I also have BA, MS, and PhD degrees in subjects not directly related to Oriental medicine.

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