BRUNY SURIN: STAYING HEALTHY WHILE TRAVELLING WITH OSTEOARTHRITIS OF THE KNEE, AND FINDING KNEE PAIN RELIEF

Hear how Olympic gold medal winner Bruny Surin stays healthy while travelling, lives with osteoarthritis of the knee, and finds pain relief with Synvisc®​ hyaluronic acid injections

You may have heard Bruny’s story as an Olympic athlete when he first discovered he had knee osteoarthritis.

Though pain and injury had always been part of Bruny’s life, eventually his knee pain was so intense that he had trouble walking. Naturally, he went to see a doctor. With X-rays showing the damage, the diagnosis was clear: osteoarthritis of the knee.

Fortunately, with the help of his doctor, Bruny found a treatment option that was right for him. An effective and non-surgical treatment via injection: Synvisc-One®.

A treatment that provides knee pain relief

For Bruny, Synvisc-One®​ provided relief for joint pain associated with osteoarthritis of the knee, allowing for more extensive movement of his knee.

He experienced relief for a little over 6 months from a single injection, which allowed him to maintain his usual activities; walking, long bike rides, training at the gym, swimming, and travel.

“Synvisc-One®​ seemed like the right treatment for me. For the past 9 years, it’s been a simple injection that I get approximately every six months.”

As an accomplished businessman, being able to travel is especially important to Bruny. So how does he manage to live with OA when he’s on the road?

Bruny Surin,
Olympic Track & Field Star

  • Summer Olympics Gold Medalist, 1996 – 4x100m relay
  • Inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2008
  • Two-time World Champion Gold Medalist, 1995 and 1997 – 4x100m relay
  • Activities: Motivational speaker, commentator, author, athletic wear designer, philanthropist, family man

Staying healthy with OA during your next day trip, weekend getaway, or while travelling abroad

On a recent trip to Tokyo for work, Bruny found himself very busy. But he made sure to keep up his healthy routine while living with OA.

Here are a few tips from Bruny himself:

  • Make sightseeing active:​ As you explore, try to fill your days with activities. It’s easy to lose sight of the benefits of exercising for osteoarthritis when you’re busy sightseeing. Try visiting shops or landmarks by walking or cycling during your vacation.
  • Use your resources:​ Travel doesn’t have to trip up your exercise routine. With a little planning, you can stay active on vacation – and you won’t have to sacrifice your precious R&R time. Visit your hotel’s gym or fitness facilities to enjoy cycling or swimming to stay active during your vacation.
  • Enjoy healthy meals:​ As you sample delicious local dishes, aim for meals with plenty of vegetables, foods high in healthy fats and vitamin D (like fish, olive oil, and egg yolks), and try to avoid processed meals.

Change your osteoarthritis story

There are many potential causes of joint pain, especially in weight-bearing joints like the hips, knees & ankles. But if your osteoarthritis story includes knee problems similar to Bruny's, or even hip osteoarthritis, ask your healthcare provider what treatment options or pain medications may ease pain and could be right for you. Talk to your doctor about exploring a multimodal treatment approach, where you can combine various treatment options for osteoarthritis such as diet, exercise, medication, bracing, etc.

Asking for an x-ray of the affected joint at a physical examination is a good place to start if you're experiencing symptoms of osteoarthritis or arthritis pain. Make sure to take one while standing for knee OA, so your doctor can see the space between the bones and examine the cartilage. Certain risk factors like carrying excess body weight, being female, obesity, and having a damaged joint due to injury are commonly linked to this form of arthritis.

You might consider consulting a physiotherapist, physical therapist, or occupational therapist to discuss your mobility, appropriate low impact and strengthening exercises, and physical therapy. This may be especially relevant if you've had a knee injury – one of the common causes of knee pain. A physiotherapist can help you with personalized exercises. A Certified Orthotist or brace fitter can provide you with a brace, orthosis or orthotic. ​

In general, low-impact exercises like tai chi are well-suited for this type of arthritis (OA). Overall, exercise programs are also very complementary to other treatments, as is maintaining a healthy weight (or weight loss if necessary). Consult a fitness and nutrition specialist to help find the right exercise and diet plan for you. Don't underestimate the impact that lifestyle changes can have!

You can also visit an orthopedic clinic to assess joint damage (or for general medical advice). Or your family physician may be able to refer you to a medical professional who specializes in the care of joints, ligaments and bones, or a musculoskeletal specialist. This may include sports medicine physicians, orthopedic surgeons, rheumatologists, and physiatrists.

Be sure to discuss any side effects of treatment you're considering, and ask about options that may be tried before knee replacement surgery or joint replacement surgery (also known as arthroplasty). It's your own wellness, so don't hesitate to speak up about painful joints, OA pain, arthritis symptoms in general, or your treatment plan!

About SYNVISC®​ and SYNVISC-ONE®

  • Synvisc®​ and SYNVISC-ONE®​ (hylan G-F 20) are gel-like fluids that contain a derivative of hyaluronic acid. They are used as a temporary replacement and supplement for joint fluid. They are not corticosteroid injections, but a different type of joint injection called viscosupplementation.
  • Derived from hyaluronic acid, SYNVISC®​ and SYNVISC-ONE®​ are the only viscosupplement injections that have a formulation which mimics the elasticity and thickness of synovial fluid.
  • Viscosupplementation with SYNVISC-ONE®​ is a treatment to decrease OA pain and discomfort, allowing more extensive movement of the knee joint. Viscosupplementation with Synvisc®​ is a treatment to decrease OA pain and discomfort, allowing more extensive movement of the joint including the knee joint, shoulder, hip joint, or ankle.
  • SYNVISC®​ and SYNVISC-ONE®​ have been shown to reduce pain from osteoarthritis for up to 6 months.
  • SYNVISC®/Synvisc-One®​ are the most widely-used intra-articular hyaluronic acids in Canada and can be used for all severities of osteoarthritis.

To learn more about SYNVISC®/SYNVISC-ONE®​ injection treatments, click here.

This product may not be right for you. Consult your healthcare professional.

* Actual case study. Results may vary for each individual.

Synvisc®​ is only intended for intra-articular use by a physician to relieve pain associated with osteoarthritis of the knee, shoulder, hip and ankle.

References:
1. Swagerty, GL and Hellinger, G. Radiographic Assessment of Osteoarthritis. American Family Physician 2015(64:2): 279-86.
2. Arthritis Society. What is Arthritis? Accessed online at www.arthritis.ca [06/22/2021].
3. GLAD Canada. Treatment for Osteoarthritis. Accessed online at www.gladcanada.ca [06/28/2021].
4. Joint Health, Arthritis Consumer Experts. Arthritis: Diet and Nutrition. Accessed online at https://www.jointhealth.org [06/28/2021].
5. SYNVISC
® Instructions For Use. Sanofi 2014.
6. Mayo Clinic. Osteoarthritis. Accessed online at www.mayoclinic.org [07/15/2021].

 

Share this article by accessing your social media account