Q. Ten months ago, I started having knee pain. I was given Tylenol, steroid shots, heat, cold, rest, and got no relief. I finally had knee surgery but that didn’t help either.
The pain and stiffness traveled to my other knee, and eventually to my lower back. My doctor diagnosed moderate arthritis and prescribed Lyrica to no avail. A week’s treatment with prednisone helped only while I took the pills.
Out of options, I finally tried tart cherry juice, which I read about in your column. Within a week, I had almost no pain. Thanks!
A. Prednisone eases inflammation but long-term use can lead to serious side effects. We’re delighted that tart cherry juice eased your discomfort. A recent review confirms that cherries have anti-inflammatory activity (Medicine and Sport Science, online, Oct. 15, 2012).
A health professional reinforces the idea that home remedies may offer alternatives to prescription drugs:
“I am a Nurse Practitioner and have learned so much from you. I use the top 10 screwup lists from your book to help me avoid making serious mistakes. I like to suggest more natural remedies for common complaints instead of heavy-duty medications with the potential for serious side effects.”
The book she is referring to is Top Screwups Doctors Make and How to Avoid Them (in bookstores, libraries and online at PeoplesPharmacy.com).