JUST FOUR YEARS AGO, WHEN FRED SAVAGE was crippled by osteoarthritis pains, he couldn't even find osteoarthritis in the dictionary.' Now Savage knows the strange word, formed from (bone) osteo and arthritis (joint inflammation), represents a very common ailment. According to Dr. B.E. Koehler of the B.C. Arthritis Society, osteoarthritis (often called "degenerative bone disease") probably reaches 12 percent of the population.

Initially unable to walk a block, Savage spent 30 months developing daily self-help exercises. He also evolved a variety of health habits related to diet, clothing, shoes, chairs, mattresses, posture, orthopaedic seats and backs, body mechanics and Trager bodywork.

"While I refuse to become a victim of osteoarthritis," says the retired engineer, "I have found that it is best not to fight it. I have simply learned to live with it:' His inspirational but down-to-earth book, Osteoarthritis: A Step-by-step Success Story to Encourage Others to Help Themselves, was written to explain how sufferers can minimize their discomfort. He has sold out two modest printings and he's adding to a long list of speaking and media engagements. Best of all, Fred Savage is walking a mile a day.

[Spring / BCBW 1989] "Health"