Glucosamine for knee pain ?

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  • Glucosamine for knee pain ?
  • IanMunro

    I use em daily, I can't say that they are of any benefit, but they don't appear to do any harm. The problem with these things is that it's notoriously difficult to separate any actual improvements from plain regression to mean.

    Evidence is 50/50, google "natures best" they do bigger tablets than most, and they're cheeper. No need to chew, MTFU and swallow (fnar fnar).

    Get ones with condroitin in them as well, no quite sure what it is (suspect it may be a fancy name for potasium chloride) but apparently it helps much more than glucoseamine on its own.

    Doc's oppinion was, "well it cant do you any harm so you may as well".

    And avoid rub in ibuprophen gel's, snake oil of the highest order and can actualy make things worse.


    buy "joint powder" from equiform

    and then just stick a teaspoon full in your morning cuppa.


    I've been taking some for about 3 months and they've done bugger all for my knee pain


    Probably not much better than placebo.
    You'd be better off with ibuprofen.
    Not sure how ibuprofen gel could make things worse but it is more effective orally. Can cause side effects though (heartburn etc)
    Studies tend to look at people with osteoarthritis taking it long term for pain relief- this is not you so you can't extrapolate those studies to your situation
    in plain language here
    more detail here- from a respected source
    Re the joint powder:
    everyone should read his book


    Doc's oppinion was, "well it cant do you any harm so you may as well".


    My ortho surgeon told me to take it for my osteoarthritis. His words:

    "There's evidence to suggest it's good for nourishing cartilage. Not very good evidence, but it's there."


    The positive stories I have heard are all anecdotal, even they rely on taking them over a long period. Personally I wouldnt bother.

    Ibuprophen Gel (cant qote papaers, this is what the doc told me)

    Evidence shows very very little of the ibuprophen actualy makes it into the body, not enough to work effectively.

    For muscule pain the placebo works just as well, just massage in some hair gell/massage oil/ sex lube for the same effect.

    For joints it can be worse, say you were suffering form ITB or another tendon/ligament pain, which can be miss diagnosed as cartilage in a 5 minute appointment with a doc, then rubbing it is going to make things a lot worse.

    His oppinion was if ibuprophen doesn't work for you, and arthrotec(sp?) is no better then take paracetamol for pain relief and just try to keep the load off it.


    then rubbing it is going to make things a lot worse.

    It's not rubbing the brufen gel in that's making it worse though, it's not treating the ruptured ACL or whatever.
    Brufen gel is safe, but like you say, pretty much a placebo.

    Premier Icon The Duke

    Currently off the bike at the moment due to a twisted knee, physio thinks it may be cartlidge damage. Just found an advert in WMB for a company selling chewable glucosamine tablets called Meltdown Sport Gold that are meant to help keep your cartilage healthy. Anyone used these before or have any opinions ?


    Since taking Glucosamine and Chondritin my sore knee and elbows have gone away. When I started taking it I had a period where I got a clicky neck when sat at the computer for a while but that seems to have gone too but returns if I stop taking it, i.e when I go on holiday and forget them. I also seem to get sciatica more often when I don't take them. For the few pennies they cost they are well worth it IMHO. Glucosamine seemed to give my old pooch a bit of extra mobility in his later years too.

    worked for me too, although during the time i was taking it i had a 20 mile commute so not sure if that made my knee stronger. anyways, has to be a good place to start as it's cheap and probably risk free

    alpine girl

    I think it works too. If I forget for a while I notice the pain in my knees getting worse. A friend of mine here (who is a sports injury specialist doctor) also says it helps a lot of her patients. I also tend to order mine from Nature's best – a lot cheaper than from a pharmacy/chemist.


    It is utter buncum. I used it with no benefit whatsoever.

    Following my blind acceptance that it will make my knees better, I seem to recall reading somewhere that when subject to robust scientific method the efficacy of glucosamine/Chondroitin pills was virtually identical with the placebo (not significant), leading to a suggestion that at best, the previously reported benefits were merely a placebo effect.


    I've taken it long-term, for knee cartilages wrecked by rock-climbing. Just one a day though, not the three it says on the packet, and with cod liver oil as well. The improvement happened slowly, two or three weeks, as did the reversal when I stopped taking it. That was when I went on holiday and somehow forgot it in the packing. Gradually my knees stiffened up, the drive home across France was tough. I've not repeated the mistake.

    For me it's helped back problems as well. YMMV. It has to be worth trying.

    Premier Icon cinnamon_girl

    I've been taking it for the last 15 years – glucosamine with chondroitin from

    Used to do a fair bit of running and it made a huge difference with recovery.

    Take 1500mg every day without fail. Over 50 here and no creaks whatsoever but then I don't take it for a specific problem.


    I'm a believer too. In 2003/4 I could barely walk after riding ten miles on a bike. Now I don't even think about knee pain anymore. I used glucosomine and cod liver oil daily for several years, stopped using spds and admitedly, i ride less than i did – but my knees are almost as good as new.

    My wife has early onset of osteo arthritus in her knee (aged 40).Consulatant says she will need a knee replacement at age 50 so has bee taking Glucosamine and choindroitin and has found that it has made a noiticeable difference and decreased inflammation and pain.


    been taking this for over a year after suffering knee problems from running, no probs now i take the glucosamine with omega oil, buy it cheap from asda.


    I haven't read the other threads however Mr MC takes them daily (large horse sized swallow and gag tablets). This is for a random clicky cartilage knackered thumb, he certainly notices the pain coming back when he DOESN'T take them, so he seems to think they assist. And to be honest Mr MC is the kind of bloke that normally wouldn't waste his time with lotions and potions! GIve it a go you can get them super cheap on line rather than say Holland and Barratt .

    Premier Icon uphilla

    Another vote for Healthspan – Glucosomine with Chondrotin and MSM – makes a big difference, knee pain I had a month or so back now gone…


    I just started taking them and fish oils after this thread of mine a week or so ago:

    I ordered from zipvit and took advantage of their intro offer again for some cheap recovery and energy bars, a bottle and some pills.

    and the cheap intro offer:

    Too early to say if they are having an effect but right now, the symptoms seem reduced at least. I bought a years supply to give it an honest go.


    I use the liquid glucosamine/chondroitin from Healthspan. I used to have a lot of pain after kneeling/crouching this no longer the case. I still have knee problems so its not a cure as such, but I found it helps.

    On the basis that most people have the beginnings of Osteo arthritis by their mid-late thirties, and being 36 I've started taking Glucosamine/chondroitin and cod liver oil as a precautionary measure, but also because I've got a compressed disc, damaged cartilage in one knee and generally clicky, creaky joints

    I can't say its made a massive difference, but my joints don't click and I don't have aching knees – Even my back is a little improved, but thats probably more down to a recently embarked program of poncy looking core stability exercises that are bloody difficult!


    The placebo effect is real.

    See the GAIT study, the largest Glucosamine/Chondroitin study to date:

    ~ 60% of those taking placebo reported a 20% reduction in pain.
    ~ no significant, statistical difference between placebo and either chondroitin, glucosamine or the two combined
    ~ celecoxib reduced pain more than placebo
    ~ a subset of participants did have improvement with combined Glucosamine and Chondroitin but as the subset was small the results are not valid without further confirmation.


    As long as my knees feel beter I dont really care whether its a placebo effect or not.


    I had a headache last week, well I had a big mac for my tea, and next day the headache was gone. Try rubbing special sauce on your knee 🙂

    I’ve used them for 2 years after a broken wrist and thumb. If I stop taking them my wrist gets achey inside a week / 10 days. So I go back to taking them. Anecdotal I know. BTW beer has the same effect for me – only there a slightly shorter effect 😉


    I use them daily and my Dad uses them daily also. He had crippling pain in his legs after a quadruple bypass (they crack open the ribs and it messes with lots of stuff) and it really helped him. Highly recommended. I get mine from Healthy Direct or whoever they are now.


    to late mate , damage is already done,


    Took them for 6 month’s all they gave me was constipation 😛

    i felt no different when i stopped taking them. i took them to try and cure an on going problem with my hips which i still have now. losing a little bit of weight and exercising more helped me the most…


    My Knee surgeon told me to take some daily, at least 1500 to 2000mg daily though! As stated above it wont do any harm but I think they help as I notice when I forget to take them for a few days.


    helps my knee alot i stopped taking them and my knee kicked off again but co insided whth me not commuting on the bike the last 2 weeks, started taking them again and knee is a lot better

    i also take devils claw herbal anti inflamatry


    used to be prescribed on the nhs for osteoarthritis. No longer as no evidence, although some patients swear by it (from my gp wife)

    Premier Icon cinnamon_girl

    Been taking it for donkey’s years. Certainly helped with recovery wheh I was running anything up to 6 days a week.

    Use glucosamine with choindroitin, 1500mg per day, from Healthspan. Considering my age, I’m able to get out of bed without help and certainly don’t have any joint stiffness. 🙂


    I had knee pain on and off for ages, still get it when I run, took glucosamine, MSM, Chondriotin, cod liver oil etc. Didn’t make the blindest bit of difference.

    I was convinced my knees would just keep deteriorating and in the end I thought to hell with it – I’ll have the use of them while I’m still young and if they’re nailed when I’m older then so be it.

    Now I ride more than I ever have, train 5 days a week and ride/race lots of big mile enduros, stretch lots and my knees have never been better. On a similar note I finally took the time to properly stretch my hamstrings and back recently (like an hour of stretching, a 2hr ride and another hour stretching) and was amazed how fluid my pedalling style on the road bike had become this week. Feels dead smooth and easy.

    I’m not sure about the whole ‘well it can’t do any harm’ argument – I mean you could send me some cash and I’ll pray for your knees. I’m not religious like but it can’t hurt…

    Premier Icon bigjim

    Same story – started taking them after injury but looked at the actual evidence for any benefit, which is 50/50 at best for old fogies basically, and then found out what they are made from and stopped taking them straight away. Didn’t notice any difference on or aff them.

    The placebo effect of taking them might help you though, if you don’t mind burning cash. Cod liver oil might make more sense. Speak to your doc anyway, ibuprofen might help but isn’t a long term solution and can really mess up your stomach. Ibuprofen gel is a total waste of time and money according to my GP, I can’t imagine it would do much on a knee anyway with the bone in the way!

    Oh and google what they are made from…

    Premier Icon Twodogs

    There’s little evidence that it makes any difference…but there’s little evidence that it doesn’t either. When I looked into it recently there was a big study going on in the States (I think), which is a real double-blind trial etc, so might get some real evidence either way from that.
    After I had my shoulder op (which found the cartilage on the top of my arm was pretty much destroyed) I asked surgeon about it…he said it was a waste of money. On the other hand, he did confess to giving it to his dog and his wife was convinced it worked!


    I sometimes use these if I’m doing lots of training/riding –

    High 5 Joint Protect

    It’s difficult to prove if they work or not but they seem to make a difference for me. They’re fairly expensive though as a pack only lasts a month so I don’t use them all the time. I do think they make more of a difference than regular glucosamine and/or cod liver oil tablets that I’ve tried from the supermarket.

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