Joint Pain: Scams, Lies, and Exaggerations, Part 1

Matthew Bilancia, U.S. Air Force team member, straps on his knee brace as he prepares for track and field events during the 2011 Warrior Games in Colorado Springs, Colo., May 17, 2011. The track and field events are the first ones during the weeklong Warrior Games. Via Wikimedia.

As an Orthopedic Nurse Practitioner I see a constant stream of joint pain complaints. They stem from a variety of sources: injury, age related changes, lifestyle issues and autoimmune disorders. Patients will often Google their problems and/or their symptoms, and like most medical issues you can find truth on the Internet, but it is never easy or quick. A lot of what I do with patients is teaching, with a good deal of that time spent addressing long-standing myths or marketing scams. I find the most prevalent and pervasive pseudoscience in orthopedics revolves around joint pain. Although Dr. Harriet Hall has occasionally reviewed some of these myths for Science-Based Medicine, she has made a few minor errors on some subjects and in my opinion been uncharacteristically generous with her opinion of glucosamine and chondroitin supplementation. Since this is my field of expertise, I felt it was finally time to dole out some advice and data on some of the more commonly marketed joint pain treatments.

Knee osteoarthritis is a difficult condition to treat and it is by far the biggest woo category. With conditions like chronic pain, the more difficult to treat and subjective a problem is, the more woo laden it is likely to become. Knee arthritis has good treatments, but no cures. Nonetheless, persistent knee-pain opportunists try to take advantage of people. I will try to focus on some of the more common questions related to knee pain.

a cross-section of the knee, seen from the front, on an angle. Via Wikimedia.

To have a discussion about what is effective I will have to review some basic anatomy and describe, in simplified terms, the workings of the knee. Your functional knee is made up of essentially six structures: bone, cartilage, ligaments, tendons, muscle, and synovium. For the purposes of this discussion we will ignore other essential anatomical structures such as lymphatic and vascular structures. Your knee has three basic working surfaces: the medial compartment (where your knees touch each other), lateral compartment (outside of the knee), and the patellofemoral (under the kneecap). Minor injuries commonly involve inflammation of the tendons and muscles. Moderate injuries are usually to the soft and hard cartilage and, to a lesser extent, the bursa. Severe knee injuries usually involve broken bones, torn ligaments and tendons.

Treatment is complex, partly based upon the injury, but there are many factors in deciding treatment choices, including your age, your weight, lifestyle, athleticism, your type of work, and your pain. You don’t treat granny’s injuries with the same regimen used to treat her grandson, even if their injuries are identical. Although I work in a surgical practice, I strongly believe that surgery should often be the last option, not the first. Most people think of themselves as a machine—if something’s broken, it must be fixed to work correctly. But we’re humans, not machines, and why we hurt and what type of treatment we need is far more complex than “fixing a problem.”

Knee pain is a complex disorder. Sometimes it is due to specific injury, sometimes it’s due to slow, degenerative changes, or a combination of both. There are no hard and fast rules to treatment. And just as the injury is specific to the patient, the treatment should also be customized to them as well. I am eternally dismayed by the quick and easy answers often spread on the Internet and television. For instance: despite what quack websites say, you can cure pain, bones can heal completely, you can reconstruct the joint, but degenerative changes are irreversible. Anyone or any product that promises knee restoration be very suspicious.

Lets start with one of the more current popular knee pain fads.

Copper-woven compression stockings/braces provide better knee pain relief.
Marketing claims include alleging that some products are:

“designed to provide excellent support to the muscles and joints of the elbow and knee. Built to reduce lactic acid buildup, improve circulation and send more oxygen to the heart, Copper sleeves help you perform better, and reduce the chance of stiffness and soreness. Wear your sleeves during exercising, regular activity or sports and you’ll experience the difference.”

That was for Copper Fit brand, marketed by As Seen on TV, which is better known for promoting cheap plastic googaws than sophisticated medical devices. Vendors will often make suggestive claims about the qualities of copper, such as, “Copper is an essential trace element vital to all living organisms.” That’s true, but only as far as we consume copper; wearing copper doesn’t provide any nutrition. Woo purveyors will also often lean heavily on anecdotes such as this, from Copper Wear: “Colleen has been practically pain free. She no longer needs pain killers or physical therapy. She feels comfortable and amazing!” That’s good news for Colleen, but we don’t know if she’s just a paid actor, and it’s not scientific evidence of the product’s efficacy.

The makers and marketers of such products aren’t allowed to say their copper-woven merchandise directly treats any condition, but they do try to strongly imply it. In typical crank fashion they produce anecdotes and science-y sounding words hoping to provoke an implausible conclusion by you, the consumer. Tried and true scam quackery.

Copper woven into elastic material has no plausibility as a joint pain treatment. It has been studied. The debunked copper bracelet is an example of a previous copper scam. It was researched and consistently failed. The best study was done on 70 people with rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. They wore four different devices over a five-month period and reported on their pain, disability, and medication use throughout. Participants also provided blood samples after wearing each device for five weeks so the researchers could look for changes in inflammation. The devices tested included a standard magnetic wrist strap, a demagnetized wrist strap, a weakened wrist strap, and a copper bracelet. Participants were told the purpose of the trial was to test the effects of magnetic and copper bracelets, and that one or more of the devices might be a placebo. The research, published in the journal PLOS ONE, shows that both the standard magnetic wrist strap and the copper bracelet provided no meaningful effects.

The manufacturers have provided no meaningful reason to believe that this reincarnation of copper for joint pain will be in anyway different. Copper is flexible but it is not inherently elastic, it has no plausible mechanism to improve the performance of the compression part of the compression stocking. Perhaps it can improve the device’s durability, but I’m not a materials scientist and consequently can’t aver a guess. Even if it does, however, that hardly correlates with the marketed benefits.

So what you have is a simple compression stocking with impressive marketing. Prior research shows that sleeve braces do help joint pain slightly, but not in all cases. Severe osteoarthritis does not seem to benefit from braces of any kind, including compression stockings. At best, copper-woven sleeves are a sexy-sounding symptom reliever. Probably not worth the premium price of $30.00-$40.00 each. If you want to try compression for your joints buy a simple sleeve brace at your local pharmacy.

Stem cell injections to the knee repairs degenerative conditions
The next myth is even sexier sounding, plus it is marketed by medical doctors. Stem cells are harvested from your bone marrow and injected into your knee. The stem cells are then supposed to “reverse” degenerative changes in the knee. This expensive treatment has some plausibility. It has minimal research, which is always suspicious. It lacks a clear mechanism of action. Use seems to only produce subjective results with no objective improvements. Despite tons of marketing suggesting restoration of knee structures from these injections there is no evidence for that.

The current evidence shows that the treatment may have an anti-inflammatory effect. There is no compelling reason to believe that it is a better anti-inflammatory than cortisone injection, which is certainly less traumatic. In my opinion, stem cell injections provide subjective results, as determined by a paucity of research, and there’s no plausible mechanism, all of which are qualities consistent with sham treatments. It doesn’t matter if the treatment is offered by a doctor or not: no one has shown any good data showing structural improvement in the joint. Also the marketed mechanism of activity is very shaky. Although injecting stem cells into a joint may sound impressive, using stem cells as a medical treatment is very complicated, especially non-pluripotent stem cells, such as those harvested from bone marrow. While pluripotent stem cells (like those obtained from embryos and other procedures) can easily turn into many kinds of specialty cells, non-pluripotent cells harvested from bone marrow are not as flexible in their differentiation and consequently have even less likelihood of showing useful results.

Plus, injecting them into the joint and hoping they know what to fix is implausible and highly unlikely. Your knee is a joint, not bone marrow and not a repair shop. Those cells taken from the marrow generate your blood cells. Most successful stem cell treatments require pluripotent cells properly encouraged into a useful form and implanted directly into the tissue. What we have here is an expensive, implausible, under-researched, hypothetical treatment. Save your money. When anyone, even a doctor, rushes a treatment without properly vetting, more often than not it is useless.

Arthritis supplements do all sorts of things.

Supplements have tons and tons of marketing and the list of supplements grows longer all the time. The oldest and best known for joint pain are glucosamine and chondroitin. And, given the success of those two, supplement companies have steadily tried to add more substances. Each added compound puts an additional spin on the benefits of the supplement. I will list a few here but the list gets longer every week:

∙Calcium L-Threonate
∙fish oil
∙omega-3 fatty acids
∙borage oil

I have done whole articles on supplements, and each boils down to the same three problems: lack of good research, implausibility and unlikeliness of action, and an absence of data about safety, effective dose, or quality. A recent attorney general investigation in New York some brand-name manufacturers aren’t even putting into supplements the substance they claim is effective.

In my opinion, even if you throw out every objection I just gave, supplementation is unlikely to produce useful therapeutic results. A pill that cures joint pain probably won’t be found on the shelf of your local grocery store or pharmacy for a very simple reason: profit motive. The same companies that make and market those substances would understand the immediate immense value of their pills, and charge for them accordingly. They could produce unequivocal data supporting treatment with their substance, verifiable by independent analysis; they would patent their drug and get FDA approval and would make a fortune. It would literally be a license to print money: the demand for daily doses would never end and money would just keep on rolling in. The reason why these supplements remain supplements and not drugs is because the manufacturers know they just don’t work. So they don’t want to check it out. There’s no incentive to spend millions of dollars studying and developing a drug that shows no real promise of effectiveness.

Joint pain, backaches, headaches—we all get them. If anyone is offering simple solutions to complex problems you have good reason to be skeptical. Talk to your doctor; if he/she thinks you need to see a specialist then do so. Please don’t just Google it and self treat. You’re wasting your time, money, and maybe doing something dangerous.

Part 2 will focus on some of the common alternative/complementary joint pain modalities.

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Disclaimer: This post is my personal opinion, it is not a substitute for medical care. It is for informational purposes only. The information on Skeptoid blog is not intended nor recommended as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your own physician or other qualified health care professional regarding any medical questions or conditions. This post does not reflect the opinion of my partners, professional affiliates, or academic affiliations. I have no financial conflicts of interest to disclose.

About Stephen Propatier

Stephen Propatier is a board certified acute care nurse practitioner specializing in spine and sports medicine. He is a member of the Society for Science Based Medicine.
This entry was posted in Alternative Medicine, Pseudoscience and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

37 Responses to Joint Pain: Scams, Lies, and Exaggerations, Part 1

  1. Susan says:

    My husband has had stem cells and is doing terrific !!! He couldn’t get out of his chair before! At his age having a knee replacement is too traumatic….BUT Docs definitely get MORE $$$ with doing total knee replacements ..The Insurance companies should wake up and try this less invasive treatment !!!

    • George says:

      Wow, good stuff. Next week I’m going to Nigeria to have some stem cells injected into my brain. They say it will push my IQ into the hundreds.

      • Callita says:

        Hi, did the IQ improve? lol, or do you think stem cells are useless?

      • Den Von says:

        Nigeria. ????
        Really the country is full of scam artist of kinds. Many are very dangerous too.
        Plus there are gangs who kidnap westerners and rich African nationals for ransom and even after it’s paid many just disappear.
        The government and police are so corrupt.
        I’d stay out of the place, in fact you could not pay me again to go back there. I was an expat worker there for 4 years and the last time I left I was held at the Lagos airport security offices for over 60 hours because I didn’t have enough money to pay the bribes they wanted, departure fees, $5000 is what they were demanding. All I had was $300 finally the took that and my suitcase of work clothes.
        That caused me problems in London and NYC with the Custom agent who seem to think traveling with no luggage is considered ” suspicious”
        So I got the 3rd degree from agents in both airports.

      • Edd says:

        George never come back

  2. m_weathers says:

    “Air Force team member, straps on his knee brace as he prepares for track and field events during the 2011 Warrior Games in Colorado Springs, Colo., May 17, 2011”
    I do not agree. Read that – Malissa

  3. Neelam Kumar Shukla says:

    Good read, addresses all the concerns of gullible and ill informed readers like me, before we shell out huge dollars into the bank account of the supplement, one week remedy and as seen of TV firms. I have a degenerative osteoarthritis and the pain is in the knees and knees alone. Probable cause is hard surface running with inappropriate footwear (Boots) and excessive squash with little regards to bodily indications of pain.

    I have been on Glucosamine HCL with Boswellia and Chondroitin for almost a decade now. There is absolutely no pain when I don’t run or play my favourite games, however irrespective of how many days I have been on rest and consuming the supplements the day I hit the court, the pain is back grounding me for weeks.

    I have now, after reading this informative article, decided not to spend my hard earned money on the OTC and fancy supplements and instead, respect the natures degenerative process and stick to less strenuous, (on the joint) exercises.

    Thank you for the article.

    • Medwin Bowry says:

      Have you tried the raw gelatin treatment….home cooking home remedies…its something you can prepare yourself…

    • Karl T says:

      Neelam, I use Glucosamine with Chondroitin (1 table spoon in my muesli every morning) for 10 years now and can say it held my arthritis in check. However, I noticed that Apple-Cider-Vinegar works wonders. Whenever I feel some moderate pain the day after long tennis matches I put 10mL of if into my tea with a bit of honey. If I drink this for a few days the moderate pain goes away. It works every time!! Maybe I drop Glucosamine/Chondroitin?
      Apple Cider Vinegar apparently feeds the right bacteria in my gut and that family of bacteria fights any inflammation in the body. I know of more people who have success with this.

      • Noah Dillon says:

        I know that when I have joint pain from overexertion, if I wait a few days it just goes away on its own, which is how our bodies work. Don’t get me wrong, I cook with apple cider vinegar sometimes, for taste. But it doesn’t really make sense that it’s miraculously making your body heal at the normal rate it would heal anyway.

        • Karl T says:

          Noah, I believe that you have the right balance of gut bacteria because your body heals itself. The frequency of my experience (as described before) is too convincing. Therefore I stick with the formula that works for me. As I said, I also know of several sportspersons in my circle who do the same and report the same results.
          What you eat makes all the difference. If one eats mostly junk food the chances are high that joint pain and arthritis will follow. There is a video on Ted-Talk, “Healing through diet”. I’m sure the pharma industry does not like it.

    • Jay says:

      Thank You for telling the Truth….

  4. Howie Subnick says:


  5. Tony Baloney says:

    I have tried Vital3 and many other ‘Supplements’.
    With one Metal knee the other knee (natural one) is on the blink and I can see from X-rays the unusual joint expansion.

    Ive paid $100′ of dollars and tried Nigerian Doctors? remedies including digesting Broken Glass and Aluminium Foil among ‘other things’.

    THE UFO Society has suggested I send them money for ‘ALIEN’ Treatments. Confidentially, I DID try one and now have 13 toes on my left foot, but it does not help my knee pain.

    Perhaps PRAYER and simple meditation and losing weight is a better option.
    I am not recommending anyone take off their own leg!
    Good Luck!

  6. Dr Bayne says:

    People… beware the sceptics esp when they start spouting “evidence-based medicine”. These people are just trolls of a different order, posing as the priests of science, but trolls nevertheless.
    So called evidence-based medicine is plagued by one huge problem and that is ‘reproducibility” of results. So much so that a particular landmark cancer study have been swallowed whole by the med community, only to find many years (and million$) later that the original study was on a misidentified cancer-cell line. But no-one talks about that trifling small error do they.Then there is the CDC-vaccination-autism whistleblower that came out and exposed a criminal withholding of critical data, on the grounds of ‘race’.
    There are plenty of profit-minded researchers in the field of medicine who will tell you anything (cherry-pick the data), withhold adverse data etc to recoup their costs (eg Vioxx deaths) and still get their gear into the market… it’s called ‘tobacco- science’. Much of medical success is placebo… the honest scientists will tell you that.

    • Noah Dillon says:

      You’re a doctor?

    • Chris says:

      Agreed! Great comment! Check the facts people, but you must dig deep to find the real facts and truth. Don’t forget that on the Web nowadays you can buy website names and you can Use them to claim that your claim is true! I see it all the time with medications supplements, ITC. So did deep deep deep and look into verifiable and real research journals. Unfortunately it’s hard to get any true information out there so you must be very careful & do your research. Side note: Biggest cover up in history and biggest denied story in history of mankind.. UFO’s. For all you skeptics out there, why are people still so skeptical, and why make fun of people who believe in them? It’s all about What the government wants us to believe and part of their cover up is discrediting and making fun of people who do say they believe in anything to do with UFO’s.. (do your research!! it’s amazing what you can find) Good luck and thanks again for the good comment

  7. Martha Brady says:

    Thank you so much for your very informative suggestions. I was practically ready to buy a supplement (3 Drops a day thing)but decided to find out more about all those claims.When you said supplement a bell rang! Thanks for saving me all that money! Stephen! (((-;
    Herzlichst Marta

  8. Gary says:

    whats the raw gelatin treatment? Will I not then get jelly belly? Oh and is joint pain different in the southern hemisphere to the northern hemisphere [I’m only thinking this because fluids flow in opposite directions in the hemispheres. Gravity means Water goes down the basin clockwise in Australia but anti clockwise in USA.As joints are fluid lubricated and the human body is gravity based will there be a difference? OR am I onto something here for a product……Drug companies/Supplement Warrior…I have copyright!!!
    Dr Aussie

    • Goofy's assistant says:

      Wrong! In the southern hemisphere water is going down the gurgler ANTI-clockwise.

    • Alexandria Nick says:

      Gravity has nothing to do with what direction water swirls in the toilet, but neither does the hemisphere you’re in. The Coriolis Effect doesn’t work on that scale. Heck, water draining out an exit doesn’t even being to rotate until it reaches a certain relationship of mass and speed.

      Back in my dishwashing job days, I just to use my scrub brush and circle the drain in the opposite direction of the rotation of the drain to force it to go the other way. Then turn it back the way it was. Dishwashing is boring work, but it also seemed to cause the suds to disperse faster and make it easier to clean out the sink at the end of the night.

  9. Ryszard Kaczmarczyk says:

    A major flaw omitted in this article, big pharma will only primarily seeks a proprietary drug that they can make major profits from. Any non-proprietary supplement will not be explored and researched appropriately.

    • Noah Dillon says:

      Then why do they also make large amounts of money from non-proprietary drugs like aspirin, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, etc? A major flaw in an argument like that is that it assumes a business model that doesn’t exactly exist, such as that you need a patent to make a profit, or that supplements aren’t tested, or that testing only occurs by drug companies, or that an active ingredient can’t be extracted and purified or synthesized or improved upon. Or it assumes that the supplement industry isn’t raking in billions of dollars, or that pharmaceutical companies don’t also produce and sell supplements.

      You can make money from non-proprietary drugs. You don’t need a patent to make a profit. Supplements are tested. Groups other than drug manufacturers do clinical trials and research. Active ingredients in natural materials are routinely extracted, purified, synthesized, or developed into better analogues. The supplement industry makes billions and billions and billions of dollars. Pharmaceutical companies often have subsidiaries that produce supplements.

      • Alexandria Nick says:

        That “Pain Relief” constitutes an entire aisle over at the CVS or Walgreens, stocked with mountains of name brand versions of the same exact substance pressed into slightly different shapes is a titanic blow to that idea.

        Here’s two: I had a nagging cough a few weeks ago and I walked over on my lunch break to get some Mucinex. They were out of the small box of the version with a cough suppressant and only had the big box. House brand was out of stock. So I’m holding the expensive box of name brand Mucinex Fast-Max Day Severe in my hands, thinking of its fancy and flashy TV ad campaign, and wondering “what’s actually in this stuff?” I flip it over and see the four active ingredients. Remembering ANOTHER fancy and flashy TV ad campaign, I pick up a box of DayQuil Severe.

        The same four actives, in the same four doses. Nothing more, nothing less.

        Makes one wonder why these massive, multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical titans are out there hocking the same exact product through extensive and presumably expensive advertising left, right, and center during cold season, if there was no money in something they can’t patent. Reckitt Benckiser and Proctor & Gamble aren’t exactly nobodies fighting for every scrap.

        • Noah Dillon says:

          Coca-Cola and Pepsi and RC Cola and Jolt Cola and Faygo Cola aren’t interested in selling bottled water because they only want proprietary formulations! Yeesh.

  10. Morgan M. Audetat says:


    Public service message perfection.

  11. skyler says:

    Who gives a flying … what you think ! Any person minimally trained in Nutritional medicine knows there’s abundant evidence for the anti-inflammatory and therefore pain reducing effect of all your mentioned natural supplements: ∙frankincense, bromelain, Calcium L-Threonate, omega-3 fatty acids, MSM, Devil’s Claw etc.

    The BIG pharos uses halv-studied goofs like yourself to discredit any non-patentable, natural alternative to their synthetic medicine with all it’s proven side-effect

    You’re obviously a paid medical shill, like all the pother skeptic website ! Get a real job.
    Yeah, go ahead and censor my comment

    • Noah Dillon says:

      Are there any supplements you would recommend for anger management and paranoia?

    • Alexandria Nick says:


      You mean like all of their top selling products? Take a look at the list of the most common OTC meds: Acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen, guaifenesin, dextromethorphan, pseudophedrine, phenylephrine, oxymetazoline, and so on. Not a single patentable material there.

      Americans spend more than $500 million a year on Advil. Just Advil. It is simple ibuprofen, of which there are two major brand names (Advil and Motrin) plus dozens and dozens of house brands. Clearly, Pfizer isn’t too worried about it being “non-patentable.”

      • Mark McClure says:

        “Acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen, guaifenesin, dextromethorphan, pseudophedrine, phenylephrine, oxymetazoline, and so on. Not a single patentable material there”

        Wrong. They were patented but the patents expired (only good for 20 years). Each of those drugs are drugs, not “supplements”. They went through the vigor of FDA approval and were found more effective than not with “acceptable” side effects.

        Btw, who do you think work so hard at bringing effective treatments to people? Chemists, Pharmacists, and Biologists dedicating their lives, usually for substandard pay btw – read some their gripe boards, who are striving to find effective and safe treatments. Just smart people trying to do interesting and good work.

        Yes, I am a patent attorney.

        • Noah Dillon says:

          I think his point was more that patents are not always a driving force in economic decisions in medicine. There is often the accusation that drug companies try to like suppress supplements and medical woo because they are not patentable and, bingo-bango, not profitable, making the assumption that the former is necessary for the latter. A typical response by the scientific skeptic is that lots of things (“acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen, guaifenesin, dextromethorphan, [pseudoephedrine], phenylephrine, oxymetazoline, and so on”) that cannot be patented are nonetheless profitable, such as drugs whose patents have expired but are nonetheless still manufactured and sold by drug companies.

          Or like, water can’t be patented, but that hasn’t stopped the bottled water industry from making a killing, right?

          • Alexandria Nick says:

            Yeah, that’s what I was doing. “They can’t patent it, so they suppress it!!!” doesn’t work in the face of reality.

    • Chris says:

      Amen for your comment! I really believe people are becoming much smarter nowadays and more educated to the drug companies scams and how money hungry they all are. They are not to be trusted even more so than natural supplements. True, there are many many scams out there for natural supplements and you have to be extremely diligent in your researching and homework when buying any supplements. Just like with medications there are varying strengths and different side effects which I only know a few with natural supplements but there are some, but you do need to be very careful to find ones that are actually legit and have The supplements in them that they claim to have.

  12. David says:

    I’m retired but worked for many years for one of the largest orthopedic company’s in the world. I’ve witness hundreds of total hip, knee and shoulder replacement procedures, together with an untold number of trauma cases over a roughly 35 year period. I’ve seen it all. At present I am unaware of an magic elixir in the form of an OTC supplement that actually worked and/or lived up to all the marketing hype. An othopedic surgeon recently reported the results of a study he did whereby half of his patients in the study group received pain medication while the other half got a placebo. Not surprisingly, both test groups reported some pain relief. The mind-body connection is a powerful ally in the fight against pain. Sadly, joints can (and do) wear out and may require joint replacement.

  13. Chris says:

    I must disagree with what you have stated, as you cannot patent a natural substance and therefore you cannot just simply take it to the FDA and get it approved as a drug. Also what is your medical background & how do we know that you don’t work for the FDA or the drug companies who are only after money and power & don’t give a dam if the medications cause serious side effects or cause millions of people to become addicted to them without any warning on the labels or from the doctors? How are those drugs any better for us than natural supplements? I have been severely damaged by medications that my doctors have sworn work for people and there’s been proof over the years, but yet the proof is only from the drug companies manipulating their findings in research to benefit themselves. I wish you would have put more real facts in your opinion essay.

  14. Thomson Burtis says:

    I’m a former football player and weightlifter. When my grandmother began to fail, her doctor told me to put a little Jack Daniels in her milk. Over a three month period I gradually increased the bourbon in her milk and watched as her walking became much less painful and she seemed to enjoy our family activities far more. When I asked her how much she enjoyed her new milk regimen, she surprised us all at the dinner table when she blurted out, “Whatever you do, Thomson, don’t sell that cow!”

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