Dr. Julia's Inn: Finding the reason for joint pain

StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-118538947421939.jpg’, ‘Image courtesy of http://www.alternative-holistic-treatments-for-rheumatoid-arthritis.com’, ‘Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease causing inflammation and most frequently attacking the wrists, hands, elbows, shoulders, knees and ankle joints.‘);

When you got out of bed this morning, were you pain-free, or did your hips and knees ache? Did your fingers feel stiff just making that morning coffee? Many of us brush it off as normal signs of aging, but come on, at the age of 48? As the years pass, we find ourselves taking regular doses of Tylenol or Advil just to feel well. Eventually, we stop doing the things we enjoy, like going for a walk with our spouse, playing with our grandchildren, and even gardening.

As we experience pain and swelling in our fingers and wrists, knees and joints, it is easy to conclude that our joints are just wearing down. Our bodies are so wonderful. They are made of living cells that can actually strengthen and grow when fully nourished and used properly.

In my clinical experience, I have seen many things that lead to chronic joint pain. There is a reason, and it is not just old age. The pain is telling you something, so instead of brushing it off and popping a pill, take the time to listen.

Happily, there are so many ways to naturally soothe your pain and calm the inflammation at its root. Let’s look at the possible causes of your joint pain and explore some solutions that will have you moving—and feeling—like your young self again.

What's causing your joint pain?

Joint pain can flare up for a number of reasons. Many of my patients, even younger women, ask me if they have arthritis. Sadly, it is estimated that one in five Americans has been diagnosed with some form of arthritis. There are more than 100 different arthritic conditions, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis being the most well known.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease causing inflammation of the joint. It sets itself apart from other forms of arthritis with some telltale features: a general appearance in the hands or feet, a hot or warm feeling in the joint, stiffness for more than 30 minutes in the morning and pain that can last through the night. With this form of arthritis, most of my patients notice the pain eases the more they use the joint.

Osteoarthritis, on the other hand, feels worse the more we exercise and as the day wears on. Also linked to inflammation, this type of arthritis can be traced back to a breakdown in your joint cartilage. It generally affects the hips, knees, spine, hands and feet, and develops as more of a wear-and-tear situation (while rheumatoid arthritis is closely tied with genetic factors that lead to an autoimmunity problem).

Here are seven questions I ask my clients with joint pain and arthritis.

1. Is this pain relatively new?

2. Is the pain seasonal or related to changes in the weather?

3. Can you associate the pain with any specific activity?

4. Is it the muscle or the joint?

5. Is your pain worse in the morning?

6. What’s going on right now in your life?

7. What is your family history?

What’s important for everyone to know is that whatever the cause of your joint pain, there are ways to increase your mobility and decrease—or even eliminate—your pain. And the best place to start in almost every case is to address issues of inflammation.

Most forms of joint pain involve some kind of inflammation. When there has been an injury, white blood cells clean up damaged tissue and clear out infection. This is what causes the redness, swelling and pain we often see with injury. Next, anti-inflammatory compounds that are naturally in our bodies, take over to heal the area in response to the injury. This is a sign of a healthy immune system. When the symptoms of inflammation don’t disappear, this is telling us something about our immune system. Many of my patients think they have to accept joint pain and learn to live with it for the rest of their lives (which often means relying on regular use of NSAIDs like Motrin, Tylenol and Aleve, even though they can cause stomach, liver and kidney concerns with long-term use). Let me assure that this is not the case! Chronic inflammation and its associated diseases can often be overcome or prevented with a number of integrative and natural approaches. Start by looking at your food.

Though food is often looked at solely in terms of its impact on weight gain, it’s also the safest, most effective and cheapest medicine for preserving and restoring overall health. Many foods contain micronutrients that positively impact inflammation. One big factor is an acid environment. Pain is because the body is acidic. Let us look at gout. Gout is uric acid crystals that are in our joints and cause pain. Get the body in an alkalizing environment, and many diseases and illnesses will cease.


I came to see Dr. Julia after I had chemotherapy and radiation therapy. I had throat cancer, and after 99 radiation treatments and six months’ worth of chemotherapy, they burnt my throat, and my body just ached. I was in so much pain. After working with Dr. Julia and doing her suggested protocol, I was able to see a slight difference within a month, but within three months, a lot of my pain was subsiding. The pain in my throat because of 99 radiation treatments to my throat was unbearable, but I had never had pain in my knees, wrist, ankles. I was told by my medical doctor that none of this pain was because of my chemotherapy, and I was assured that the 99 treatments to my throat were not at fault either. How could it not be, when your body is so depleted of minerals and vitamins to the point you are acidic? I have a swimming pool. Would I jump in a pool of acid? I was living in acid internally, and through Dr. Julia, she educated me and was able to turn me around.

—Lloyd B.

I was on so much medication, 15 to be exact. Five for high blood pressure, two for high cholesterol, one for diabetes, one for arthritis, and the list goes on and on. I was getting kidney infections all the time, and it burned every time I went to the bathroom. I used to take my grandkids for stroller walks, and it took everything just to get out of bed. I did not want to go back to the doctor because it would just be one more medication. A friend of mine told me abut Dr. Julia, and I thought I would give her a try. With the first meeting, I could not believe everything she knew about me by doing her testing. She explained to me that I was so acidic and showed me in her PDR [Physician’s Desk Reference] book that the medication that I was on was causing most of my problems. The medication was literally robbing all of my minerals and causing me to be acidic. Within two weeks of being on her protocol, I was feeling so much better. God bless you, Dr. Julia, and all the good that you are doing. P.S.—My cost for my medications was $130 for one month. I pay less with Dr. Julia, and she has educated me on so much more. My doctor has yet to this day to talk to me about what I can do for myself. All he does is pull out his prescription pad.—Betty B.

Dr. Julia Whipkey-Michniewicz is a breast cancer survivor who did not do the chemical therapy or radiation therapy. She has an office in Rockford and can be reached at 815-962-3326 or her Web page, www.drjuliasinn.com.

from the July 25-31, 2007, issue

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