I always thought joint pain was something that came with age – and more likely to affect my parents than me. However, the more I talk about joint pain with my friends, the more common a condition it seems to be – particularly amongst those who have suffered injury.
I’ve always been a fitness fan and leading an active lifestyle is incredibly important to me. I discovered swimming when I was 11yrs and would get up at 5am to get my training in before school. Due to my height (6’ 6’’) it wasn’t long until I discovered basketball and soon I was juggling both sports – with an occasional biathlon for good measure – around my school work and was soon competing for GB and Ireland.
Fast forward to 2001 and I had left competitive swimming in place of basketball and was recruited onto British Basketball League’s top team at the time, The Brighton Bears. I was young, fit and feeling positive about my future in the league. Then in late 2001 my world crumbled as I tore my cruciate ligament in my knee and had to undergo surgery and intensive physio programme to repair the damage. I was soon able to return to professional basketball but the damage would always haunt me and I never truly felt like I had returned to the peak of fitness and ability.
Then, in the summer of 2008, I started to get a lot of pains in my knee and in February 2009, the pain got so great I had to stop all forms of exercise.
I had surgery on my knee in May 2009 and was diagnosed with degenerative arthritis. The pain was excruciating and the surgeon warned me to that if I didn’t start looking after my joints that there was every chance I would require knee replacement surgery within the next five years.
Initially I took glucosamine but noticed no improvement. I didn’t want to take painkillers every day as I was worried about long-term health implications. I couldn’t bear the thought of giving up sport completely and hunted around for other solutions that could help me. I heard about a natural rosehip-derived supplement – GOPO® Joint Health – that had worked wonders for a friend’s mother.
I was very sceptical at first but after I researched it and read about the weight of scientific evidence, I thought I’d give it a shot. Within five weeks the pain went away completely, which meant I was able to embark on an intensive course of rehab and physio work without having to ice my knee for hours every night.
GOPO® completely revolutionised my life and although I’m no longer competing professionally in basketball, I’m still out jogging, swimming, cycling (and running after my two toddlers). I feel so positive about the future and can’t wait to compete again.
I still visit my consultant who is pleased with my management of joint pain and feels that I have managed to delay the need for replacement surgery for the foreseeable future – long may it last!
This post was written on behalf of Ciaran Burns