An Arthritis Cure? WD-40?


WD-40 for Arthritis?

It was a Monday morning, and I was running / walking on a treadmill beside a friendly pharmacist and opposite a marathon runner. I had been congratulating myself on having the guts to actually get to the fitness center, when the marathon runner chimed in with how she had run 30 kilometers the previous day. That deflated my ego somewhat; what deflated it even more was the knowledge that it was only a practice 30 kilometers to get her psyched up for the real one.

About half an hour into our exercise, a new guy came in and began running beside the marathon runner. At the weekend, he had been a volunteer at a different marathon, at which an old guy had keeled over and died.

The peripatetic discussion centered on the old guy, and the volunteer said….. ‘And you can’t stop the old codgers running. They get very belligerent if you try to dissuade them. You’ve all heard the story….I’ve been running in this marathon for 35 years and you’re not going to stop me….which is exactly why they should get stopped, but they don’t listen. Off they go with their WD-40, leaving us to follow in their wake and pick up the bodies.’

The pharmacist agreed with him ‘…all these old seniors are the same. I’ve got a doddering old fool running beside me just now, haven’t I Mac…’

I ignored the jibe and wheezed in to the conversation, ‘What’s with the WD-40? Is it for the wheel chairs or what?’

Both the volunteer and the pharmacist gave me one of those, ‘where the hell have you been hibernating,’ looks. The marathon runner just shook her head, but they all answered at the same time.

The WD-40 is for the runners’ arthritis.’

‘How do you mean?’

‘They spray it on their arthritic joints before they begin the marathon.’

I literally stopped running in disbelief, and the treadmill threw me off. After getting the blood wiped off the machine and my arm bandaged, I got back to the subject, only this time I was standing on firm ground. ‘You mean people actually spray WD-40 on to their own joints in the belief that it will loosen them up?’

The pharmacist answered, ‘Yes Mac, they do. Some of them do it because they reckon they don’t have much time left anyway and others do it because they are as thick as two short planks. They truly believe that the spray will do them good, without having any side effects. They don’t seem to care that the spray is soaking through their pores and going straight into their blood stream.’

‘You wouldn’t do anything like that, would you Mac,” the pharmacist asked.

‘Hell No! For starters, I wouldn’t be in any marathon, and if I was going to spray oil on my joints it wouldn’t be penetrating oil like WD-40; I’d use lightweight lubricating oil like 5W-30.’ As I took my bandaged arm home, I heard the volunteer ask who the ‘smartass,’was.

At home I Goggled WD-40, and discovered a couple of things.

WD stands for the Displacement of Water perfected on the 40thtry. I also, by looking at the instructions on my own can of WD40, discovered…..

‘….CONTENTS HARMFUL. CONTAINER MAY EXPLODE IF HEATED. Do not smoke. Use only in well ventilated area. ……Do not swallow. DO NOT GET IN EYES OR SKIN or clothing. Do not breathe fumes.


If you’ve got arthritis for goodness sake take Celebrex or some other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). Alternatively, take soothing cream or pain killers…..and…..stop running marathons. Or you could wear compression pads for your knees, wrist and hands, or for your back; even a magnet. Anything except WD40............ OK!

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Comments 19 comments

mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 5 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

It's a solemn pact. No marathons, no joint spraying WD-40. You have my word.


John MacNab profile image

John MacNab 5 years ago from the banks of the St. Lawrence Author

I love it mckbirdbks. That's two of us in the same brotherhood -NMNWD- NO MARATHONS NO WD.


Larry Fields profile image

Larry Fields 4 years ago from Northern California

Another urban legend bites the dust! Voted up and funny.

I'd like to start another Internet rumor. This time it'd be about an invasive weed that's wreaking havoc in California. It's called Star Thistle.

A little-know fact: Star Thistle is a potent aphrodisiac. Forget about Viagra!


John MacNab profile image

John MacNab 4 years ago from the banks of the St. Lawrence Author

Thanks for reading Larry Fields, and thanks for the votes. I must research Star Thistle. It sounds very, very interesting.


JimTxMiller profile image

JimTxMiller 3 years ago from Wichita Falls, Texas

Personally, I kind of like the smell of WD-40, but then, too, I've been known to get off on diesel fumes back in younger days. Even then, I knew marathons were a health hazard to be avoided.

Gotta wonder about that star thistle, though, Larry. I mean, most all thistles are characterized by some sort of DOWN, right?


John MacNab profile image

John MacNab 3 years ago from the banks of the St. Lawrence Author

Join the club Jim. I love the smell of diesel; it's comforting - almost as conforting as the smell of the old fashioned petrol. Thanks for visiting and commenting Jim. I've been meaning to look up star thistle - or should that be look 'down' star thistle?


Bremma profile image

Bremma 3 years ago from USA

I suppose these guys like to think of themselves as "well oiled machines"! It never ceases to amaze me how far people will go for their sport and competition in general. Watch out folks, here comes the WD-40 guys! God forbid if they won some sort of competition, they would have to be banned from future competitions and would be a public disgrace. Just to think, we thought the 'dopers' were bad. Watch out for the WD-40'rs!


John MacNab profile image

John MacNab 3 years ago from the banks of the St. Lawrence Author

Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Bremma. Perhaps those 'well oiled machines' already exist under cover of the team name - like the

'Edmonton Oilers' ice hockey team?


Bremma profile image

Bremma 3 years ago from USA

LOL, good one! Thanks also for stopping by my hub. Appreciate your comment!


eugbug profile image

eugbug 3 years ago from Ireland

LOL! - I supposed if you drilled holes into the joints , stuck the red tube in and squirted, it would do wonders to loosen everything up!


John MacNab profile image

John MacNab 3 years ago from the banks of the St. Lawrence Author

eugbug: Thanks for stopping by and commenting, eugbug. I'm glad you had a laugh. I think if you stuck the red tube in, red cells might squirt out faster then the WD40 squirted in.


TinaFayFox profile image

TinaFayFox 3 years ago from Newell, South Dakota

I can tell you I had a father in law that swore that WD-40 was the only thing that worked for his arthritic knees! Of course, I would look away and roll my eyes and have as yet to try this so-called remedy myself. But, to each his own!


John MacNab profile image

John MacNab 3 years ago from the banks of the St. Lawrence Author

TinaFayFox: As you say Tina, to each his own. But anytime I get WD40 on my skin it just seems to run off . How on earth did your father-in-law get it to penetrte the skin? Thanks for stopping by and commenting; much appreciated.


TinaFayFox profile image

TinaFayFox 3 years ago from Newell, South Dakota

John, it beats me how he did it! All I know is he said he rubbed it on his knees. All I could think was, I'm glad I didn't have to wash his clothes!


John MacNab profile image

John MacNab 3 years ago from the banks of the St. Lawrence Author

Tina: LOL. I just had this vision of trousers soaked in WD40 - yeuch!

One thing, your father-in-law wouldn't have squeaky legs, and if it ran down his legs, (which it must have done) his ankles must have been silent as well. If he'd convinced himself it worked, it probably would have - it's all in the mind. Thank you for stopping by and commenting again.


quotations profile image

quotations 3 years ago from Canada

Even if this works in the sense of actually lubricating their joints, I suspect the long term effects - likely cancer, tissue degeneration of the joints, liver damage, etc - will far outweigh any benefit that they get in running a marathon. I feel sorry for people who try this. But perhaps this is Darwin's way of thinning the herd.


John MacNab profile image

John MacNab 3 years ago from the banks of the St. Lawrence Author

LOL, quotations. You could be right about the thinning of the herd - perhaps its the new thing now that smoking has taken such a hit. Can't you just see people shuffling into shops and whispering 'can I have a medium WD40, to go.'


jmw 2 years ago

wd40 is a lot less costly than synvisc for the knees. I did find drilling the hole to insert the straw somewhat painful.


John MacNab profile image

John MacNab 2 years ago from the banks of the St. Lawrence Author

jmw: It is certainly cheaper, jmw, but isn't it too oily? I've heard that drilling the hole at the back of the knee is the easiest way; that way you can cork it without anybody seeing it. I'm surprised you could find the right size of drill. Thanks for the visit and comment.

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