Over 40: Dealing with severe tendon and joint pain

Hi guys.

First, I wish for each of you a Covid-free 2022 but also a year that brings financial stability, good health, and off course some good fat loss and muscle growth!

Facing a tendon/joint problem

For me, well, I had enough of my lingering tendons, knee and hip problems/injuries that has been simmering for more than 2 years now. It is severely limiting my workouts to the point where my bicep/back training has grinded to a complete halt for longer than a month now. My front arm tendons are fried!

All these issues are a result of my severe illness of 2017/2018 where I ended up in hospital and had to take life-saving medications that damaged my tendon strength/health as well as my joints. 

So, this year (2022), I’ve decided to bring this to a conclusion that will enable me to once again climb the ladder to achieve great aesthetic shape. I’ve had it with being mediocre! For more than 2 years I’ve been in regress mode due to all this damage caused by medications (I am currently 57 years old). Below, I am flexing at 52 at the top of my game and the photo below that one is how I look now (a month ago) flexing after my last arm workout where I had to pull the plug. Just flexing here was severely painful.

at age 52 – top of my game…
At 57 after I decided to temporarily pull the plug on bicep training until front arm tendons healed…

I am no special case guys. Just about every older guy (especially over 50) involved with bodybuilding as a sport have to face multiple challenges regarding injuries and pain. Tendons and joints are the first to be affected. But a regular slogan I use sums this up perfectly: “Life is pain princess and anyone trying to tell you differently is trying to sell your something or they are lying!” And this becomes more true every year we age above 50!

Let the experiment begin…

So, in my tradition of giving you some real-world feedback on my experiments to help you make informed choices facing your own battles, I’ve decided to make this video and then later (after 3-4 months) provide you feedback in a short video on how effective my approach/experiment was. 

My first step will be to temporarily (at least for 12-month period), change my training approach to be significantly lighter (to provide a healing environment) but more frequent and with focus on more general fitness with stretching providing the base during all my training routines. 

The target is to encourage healing for tendons and joints.

Of course I will end up smaller in size but more ripped. But once healing has occurred I can slowly start building muscle again…carefully! So look out for a smaller ripped Gert!

So, what are one’s options to tackle severe joint/tendon problems?

  1. Anti-inflammatories? Unfortunately they are out. When kidney function is less than optimal (mine functions only at 50%), then all anti-inflammatories are no-go territory. For those that do not know, anti-inflammatories generally put the kidneys under severe strain. Be especially careful with Ibuprofen.
  2. Cortisone injections? Although this can help increase healing, it does not help strengthening the tendons (regular injections can actually damage/weaken tendons) and cortisone also place severe strain on kidneys. 
  3. Physiotherapist treatments? Been for many, many sessions and even dry needling. I will not shoot it down as a potential option, but the process is too expensive and simply to slow to be an effective solution for my specific problem. 
  4. Cold/hot treatments? It can help bring down inflammation but does not help with tendon strength or repair/healing on an effective enough level. Believe me I tried.
  5. Supplements? Although some supplements can assist with tendons and joints, none is nearly effective enough to deal with such damaged tendons/joints.
  6. HGH and similar compounds? Growth hormone has a rather effective ability to help increase tendon healing and strength. This might sound like the perfect solution. However, the downside is that HGH can and will negatively affect joint pain which is already a major issue for me. So, this alone means it is out.
  7. Anabolic steroids? This is the worst possible option since steroids drastically increase muscle strength WITHOUT increasing the tendon ability/strength and thus placing undue strain on tendons. Many, many bodybuilders struggle with tendons (as a result of steroid use), because of this problem. So, it is the worst possible route one can take to repair tendons/joints.
  8. The new frontier and leading edge stuff: BPC 157 and TB 500. This brings me to a hopeful compound which might just be my last resort – BPC 157 and TB 500 (injection like insulin in stomach) . It is a compounds that I also discuss in the ADVANCED SYSTEM II coaching for my clients. This is the perfect opportunity to test it myself and give you some real-life feedback on its effectiveness.  

What is BPC 157 and TB 500?

First BPC 157: Apparently from 1st Jan 2022 it’s included on the banned list substances for athletes.

It is neither a steroid nor a hormone treatment. It is derived from a protective protein found in the stomach. The official definition: “BPC-157 is a synthetic peptide that is being investigated for its regenerative effects. It shows high efficacy for rats suffering toxic or surgical trauma, but there is currently no evidence that it provides benefits for people.”

Just remember it is NOT yet cleared for human use and human trials are needed. So anyone using it, do it on his/her own risk.

Second TB 500: TB-500 is a synthetic peptide of the naturally occuring healing protein present in about all human and mammalian cells known as Thymosin Beta 4 (TB4). TB 500 is thought to have beneficial effects on wound healing, injury recovery, flexibility, and inflammation.

At this point both only cleared for veterinary use.

But at this point in my life I am quite prepared to take some calculated informed risks. I believe the actual product is safe enough for such a risk. I will use it for a 3-month period before providing feedback.

These products can be ordered discretely and safely through my SUPPLEMENT ORDERS page on my site for those interested.

Other claimed benefits

Interesting enough, a claimed benefit of BPC 157 is that it can increase kidney function. Personally I believe that to be a long stretch but I am testing my kidney function before and after BPC 157 so I will sure be reporting back on that as well. (When kidney cells are damaged it cannot be revived. But cells functioning ineffectively might be able to be repaired.)

It apparently also help repair the stomach lining and even help cure stomach ulcers as well as help with IBS. As we have learned in life (well us older guys at least) when something sounds to good to be true then it usually is! But let me give this a fair positive try and let me report back my findings.

Keep reaching for the stars

So guys the critical ingredient for success is that we must never give up and never go and lay down with the challenges and problems we face. Never let it be an excuse to stop trying. Let’s keep reaching for the stars. I for one, refuse to take life laying down. Let’s rise above mediocrity!

Those of you interest in my older body coaching can signup here: ADVANCED SYSTEM II transformation system

Wish you all happy training!

Gert Louw

Author: gertlouw

In the deepest south of South Africa you will find me. Dwelling in the most beautiful city in the world, Cape Town. I live close to God and try to follow in the footsteps of Christ as led the Holy Spirit. Other passions include Karate and Judo and wrestling (and off course surfing for many years). Karate I did for many years, Judo 4 yrs and for a short period kickboxing until I was knocked silly one time with blood all over and teeth protruding through my lip, but if I have to choose over, I would choose wrestling…simply because of the brutal power against power game with your opponent. Love it. Love my home theatre hobby, my youtube channel and spending time with family! And off course me and my son's new adventure https://mediax.photography ...and love flying my drone - DJI Phantom 4 Pro For those interested, this blog is my database of all my fitness and transformation knowledge. And NO (!) I am not getting any money for it and neither do I promote anything on it or getting sponsored by anybody. My blog is simply where I want to help other guys living a healthier life and become the best they can be, inside and out and ultimately it is my legacy I want to leave my one and only son – now 13 y/o and already eager to get his 6-pack! So donations very welcome! Just click the donation button... I started my healthy living after a very close call with death at age 40. After much hardship one of my main aims now is to assist other guys with healthy living and transforming themselves inside and out. I don’t know how much grace will still be given me, but I live now every moment to be the best I can be. To be the best bodybuilder I can be, the best father, best husband and best friend to those whom my paths crosses. I want to live a life worth living and not just do what excites me or pleases me. Feel free to contact me directly if you wish. Reading this far, the last bit important info on me you need to know, is that my anchor in life is Jesus Christ. Please bear in mind, English is my 2nd language and as a result their might be spelling, grammatical and other language errors in my blog – I do apologise for this! Wish you all many blessings. Gert Louw

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