Top 5 Things to Do Now to Achieve a New You!

by Chris Centeno, MD /

get active new years resolutions

It’s new years resolution time and as we get older, we all want to stay active and keep doing what we love. However, there’s one little problem for many of us – persistent injuries and wear and tear often get in the way. You may have big plans for your new years resolution to get back in shape or to be able to accomplish that event you’ve never tried, but if that bad knee, shoulder, ankle, or back gets in the way, your new year’s plans can turn into a pipe dream pretty quickly. So how can you stack the odds in your favor to achieve those goals? Follow this five step plan!

  1. Avoid surgery wherever possible! We’ve all been conditioned to believe that surgery for things like a meniscus tear, arthritis, a torn rotator cuff, a bulging disc, or loose ankle ligaments is just a rite of passage as we age. In fact, the hard core medical research of the last decade has shown that many of these procedures are ineffective and some leave patients more disabled in the long run. In addition, a new field of Interventional Orthopedics has emerged to replace the need for many of these procedures. This uses ultra-precise imaging guided injections of your own blood platelets or stem cells to help heal or manage these issues without the need for surgery. The recovery is also much quicker with less downtime and rehab. All of this is detailed in our book, Orthopedics 2.0. 
  2. Control inflammation smartly! Most of us pop NSAID drugs like Motrin, Advil, Aleve, Celebrex, Mobic and others as we age in order to get in that hike or run or to get a few more reps in the gym. However, these drugs inhibit the healing that you need to stay active and dramatically increase your risk of a sudden death fatal heart attack. Surprised by that last statement? Most people don’t know that the American Heart Association has been warning people to avoid NSAID drugs whenever possible. What can you take to keep moving that won’t hurt you? Many natural supplements have been shown to be excellent anti-inflammatories and pain relievers in their own right:
  3. Clean up your diet! In order to control inflammation in your whole body, you also need to get off the sugar and high carbs that fuel the average American. This means focusing on higher protein meals, more vegetables, and low sugar fruits. Dr. John Pitts has done an excellent job of giving you a complete whole body and spirit diet in his book, Nutrition 2.0, a must read for your new year’s resolution!
  4. Get ahead of the big musculoskeletal catastrophes! We all have aches and pains in one area or another and like kids waiting for Santa Claus to come down the chimney, we all just believe they will go away. After caring for people with these issues for more than two decades, they usually don’t. In fact, at some point they usually explode into a big issue that’s harder to cure or care for than if they had been dealt with while they were small problems. Don’t be that person who gets surprised by that bad back, neck, shoulder, knee, hip, or ankle suddenly turning into a huge hard to fix, mega-problem. Read our ProActive book to figure out what you need to pay attention to and what you can ignore.
  5. Big changes don’t happen over night, so ease back into getting more active by listening to your body. Realize that losing 20 pounds the right way may take 3-6 months. Training for that marathon when you’re already running 5-10 miles a day may only take a few months, but training for a 5K when you’ve never run may take 6 months! The mistake I see people make is trying to fast forward their plan. As an example, if you’ve barely worked out, jumping into a high level cross fit program will likely end with you getting quickly injured. On the other hand, if you take it more slowly and listen to that knee complaining and use the above plan to figure that out, you’ll be able to get to higher level cross fit and into that new bathing suit this summer rather than getting surgery and being depressed by spring!

The upshot? Use the new year to plan for a new you, but follow the five steps above to help you accomplish that goal. We all want to be that elderly person who ages ever so gracefully and at 70 or 80 is still working out like they’re 40. However, many of us never get there because we make critical mistakes along the way! Avoid those landmines for the new year!

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2 thoughts on “Top 5 Things to Do Now to Achieve a New You!

  1. Jan Clemens

    I have found Serrapeptase , an enzyme, 80,000 units quite effective for inflammation and pain. I have had several surgeries on my feet and couldn’t wear normal shoes and now I can and am walking again for exercise at almost 76 yrs.
    Have you knowledge of this?

    1. Regenexx Team Post author

      Jan,
      Glad it’s working for you. It’s not something that we use.

Chris Centeno, MD

Regenexx Founder

Chris Centeno, MD is a specialist in regenerative medicine and the new field of Interventional Orthopedics. Centeno pioneered orthopedic stem cell procedures in 2005 and is responsible for a large amount of the published research on stem cell use for orthopedic applications.
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Many Shoulder and Rotator Cuff injuries are good candidates for regenerative treatments. Before considering shoulder arthroscopy or shoulder replacement, consider an evaluation of your condition with a regenerative treatment specialist.

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Knees are the target of many common sports injuries. Sadly, they are also the target of a number of surgeries that research has frequently shown to be ineffective or minimally effective. Knee arthritis can also be a common cause for aging athletes to abandon the sports and activities they love. Regenerative procedures can be used to treat a wide range of knee injuries and conditions. They can even be used to reduce pain and delay knee replacement for more severe arthritis.

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Lower Spine

Spine

Many spine injuries and degenerative conditions are good candidates for regenerative treatments and there are a number of studies showing promising results in treating a wide range of spine problems. Spine surgery should be a last resort for anyone, due to the cascade of negative effects it can have on the areas surrounding the surgery. And epidural steroid injections are problematic due to their long-term negative impact on bone density.

  • Herniated, Bulging, Protruding Discs
  • Degenerative Disc Disease
  • SI Joint Syndrome
  • Sciatica
  • Pinched Nerves and General Back Pain
  • And more
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Hand and wrist injuries and arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and conditions relating to overuse of the thumb, are good candidates for regenerative treatments. Before considering surgery, consider an evaluation of your condition with a regenerative treatment specialist.
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Elbow

Most injuries of the elbow’s tendons and ligaments, as well as arthritis, can be treated non-surgically with regenerative procedures.

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  • Arthritis
  • Ulnar collateral ligament wear (common in baseball pitchers)
  • And more
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Hip

Hip

Hip injuries and degenerative conditions become more common with age. Do to the nature of the joint, it’s not quite as easy to injure as a knee, but it can take a beating and pain often develops over time. Whether a hip condition is acute or degenerative, regenerative procedures can help reduce pain and may help heal injured tissue, without the complications of invasive surgical hip procedures.

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  • Hip Bursitis
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Foot & Ankle

Foot & Ankle

Foot and ankle injuries are common in athletes. These injuries can often benefit from non-surgical regenerative treatments. Before considering surgery, consider an evaluation of your condition with a regenerative treatment specialist.
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