When I first heard about the OSMO Patch, I was so excited because it looked like a great alternative for relieving (if only temporarily) some of my chronic knee swelling. I’ve had excess fluid around my knees for about 6 years and feel like I’ve tried every method of relief, including aspirations, medications and natural therapies. The extra fluid around each of my knees keeps me from being able to bend my lower legs more than 90 degrees. The swelling makes it difficult to exercise or even get up and down from a seated position to standing. Lack of movement and adequate exercise has led to atrophy in most of my upper leg muscles. My hope is to find a way to relieve the swelling in my knees to regain movement and once again re-build strength in my legs. So far, long-term prednisone, cortisone shots and aspirations made small advances in reducing inflammation, but even when the fluid was removed, it always came back. Treatments for Lyme disease, coinfections, parasites, leaky gut and possible dental infections are still on the table and it’s a work in progress to find the cause for the knee inflammation.
The main reason I wanted to try the OSMO Patch on my swollen joints was the manufacturer’s emphasis on using 100% natural ingredients. I figured it was worth a try because there seemed to be no risk for side effects or additional toxins from medication that would later need to be removed by my filtering organs like the liver and kidneys. They also do a good job explaining the science behind tourmaline and how it works to encourage removal of excess joint fluid through osmosis. And of course, no needles are required! While it’s impressive to see the doctor insert a giant syringe into the knee and extract 90 cc’s of fluid, I prefer not to have the pain killers and costly doctor bill each time I need a little relief.
Inside the box is an easy-to-read instructions booklet outlining a pretty simple step-by-step process on how to apply the patches. Also included are 10 palm-sized patches and 10 adhesive squares to lay on top of the patches and hold them in place. The instructions recommend wearing the patches for 8-10 hours, placed on the skin before bed and discarding in the morning.
Testing the Patches
Prepare yourself before opening the powder-filled patches. They’re sealed in a plastic envelope to keep out moisture before use. The patches smell like smoked fish so it might be best to warn anyone close by before opening the package. I decided to try one patch on my right knee each night, right above the kneecap where most of the swelling occurs for me. Each night for one week, I applied the patches, went to sleep and removed them after waking up. The first few nights I tried just one patch above my right knee. After a couple days I tried two patches on the same knee. I also tried adding patches to both knees during the night later in the week.
I found the patches stayed on through the night without any additional help, but later in the week decided to wrap them loosely with an ace bandage to help hide the smell and encourage more sweating. Before the test I measured the circumference around each knee at the largest point above the kneecap where most of the swelling resides. Each morning after removing the patches and wiping off the extra goo from the patches I re-measured my knees. The residue from the patches was wet each morning, and wiped off easily. Here are some photos from each day during the test and a video of the result throughout the week.
The right knee, which is the one I applied patches to consistently every night during the week, did not change much. The circumference started at 16 5/8″ at the beginning of the week and ended at 16 1/8″ but fluctuated slightly throughout the test. During the testing period I took daily walks but did not add any extra stress or activity to my knees that might cause additional swelling. It is possible, that each night the patches did remove excess fluid from my knees, only to be replaced again the next day. This has happened each time I’ve had them drained so it wouldn’t surprise me.
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Overall I found the OSMO Patches easy to use with no side effects. The only downside is that they smell pretty unpleasant. For some, they may work better than they did for me. Unfortunately I did not see a significant change in my knee swelling after each use or after a week of consecutive applications. While I had hoped to see a reduction in my knee effusions, the patches still may have been helpful in other ways. The OSMO Patches are also designed to stimulate blood flow in the area applied. I did try applying moisture to the skin under the patches later in the week as recommended in the instructions to help the patches make good contact but did not see a difference with each attempt. Because everyone is different, some treatments may work well for one person but not at all for another. If you compare the price of an aspiration, especially if paying a few hundred dollars out-of-pocket, the OSMO Patch is definitely worth a try to see if it works for you.
If you have chronic joint swelling and are unable to figure out the cause I would first recommend seeking the help of a nutritional counselor and/or physician that is well-educated in functional medicine and a holistic approach to healing. For more information and videos about the patches you can take a look at their website. If you have tried the OSMO Patches on swollen knees or inflammatory arthritis I would like to hear how they worked for you.