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I am considering trying a joint, glucosamine and/or chondroitin, for my knee's. I'm 57 and have a long history of running. I currently am getting started with running again. Although I recently just got over a Lateral Meniscus injury I'm in pretty decent condition. My knee's tend to get sore more often these days. When I kneel down or sit for long periods of time my knee's get a little stiff. There okay after a few steps. Okay, I know I'm getting older : | I would like to hear from any runners who have experience with this kind of supplements. There seems to be a million of them out there. I'm thinking maybe I should just stick to aspirin when I need it. Oh, and I'm cheap so i wouldn't want to get started on supplements if they don't really help.
"Peace" Long May You Run
There are so many on the market, it is difficult to find the right combination, but I highly recommend supplements because they do create a positive influence. A quality product including glucosamine with MSM would probably make a difference or maybe look at Synflex, for example. I would also recommend increasing Omega 3 Fish Oil along with Celadrin and (of course) increasing Vitamins C & E together.
I take a lot of natural supplements, but it did take some experimentation and time to identify the right products. As you stated, they are expensive and we all know there are marketing "promises" of miracle cures with a lot of things out there. I also have hip and knee issues, so I can tell you that I also started on Inositol (powder form), and it really did help in combination with the other things mentioned.
Overall, I would say the correct natural supplements are certainly worth the investment, but they also require patience in terms of the results over a more extended period of time. They really do help...it just takes awhile and a careful choices.
I've taken glucosamine for a couple years (I'm 64) and honestly, I haven't noticed any difference. If my knees bother me it's from being lazy with my stride/footplant. The study results are ambivalent at best. I won't take chondroitin because it is often made from the cartilage from cows' spines. Again, studies don't show enough to justify what risk exists. Omega-3 is the only one I've seen that studies seem to support some benefits. All the others, MSM, etc., have no legitimate science to support them, that I could find. If you want "natural" vitamin c, eat an orange. There are also good food sources for other vitamins.
On the other hand, be cautious with pain relief, particularly NSAIDs (aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen). Avoid taking then before a run and don't take any more than necessary.
Progress gradually as you restart your running. Avoid "too much, too fast, too soon". And have fun!
A newly released study found that they do no good and are of no value for joint disease or pain. You are better off taking omega 3 and turmeric both anti inflamatories. In addition strengthen your VMO muscle and anterior tibialis.
Thank you Jasko, Ultimatehlth and Len. Nice to see your still here Len. I've decide not to take glucosamine or chondroitin. I'll stick to Fish Oil/Omega3 and continue with my leg strengthening exercises. I am so grateful to be able to run again. I plan on starting out very easy and just keep my mpw to 25 - 30.
"Peace" Long May You Run
Extreme endurance runner Dean Karnazes promotes Joint Juice, which is basically a liquid Glucosamine/Chondroitin supplement, but I suppose that may have as much to do with the fact that there's not much money in extreme endurance running without an endorsement or two.
I wonder sometimes if the desire to add something to the diet in order to control joint pain is as effective as finding things to eliminate from the diet. Sugar, for example, promotes inflammation in many of us, more so in those with a predisposition for diabetes. The wasting effect on the limbs due to the inability to control blood sugar is well known.
Joint problems are often the result of an autoimmune condition, and can be one of the first signs. Anything that causes your immune system to attack its own tissues is an autoimmune condition. Evidence has been presented to suggest that some dietary components that contain substances to which the immune system reacts are behind the targeting and destruction of tissues within the body. This science is evolving, but I would not wait for a final word before attempting an elimination diet to rule out or highlight dietary components that may or may not have an effect on your joints.
57 is not old enough for natural wear and tear to be a given. Even in cases where there is a "genetic predisposition" for joint problems, concomitant factors that force such gene expression cannot be easily dismissed. You may have what your daddy had, but some similarities in lifestyle too, that contribute to joint degradation. In addition to simple starches and sugars (which are quite addictive and hard to avoid in the common food supply), I would look at common allergens in grain and milk products as soon as possible. There is also data to suggest that genetically engineered foodstuffs can provoke an immune reaction when these alien substances become part of our tissues.
Behind every abnormal health problem, there is an explanation. You can go the route of having a lot of tests done, or take the matter into your own hands and try to do something. It's true that studies of joint building products are often inconclusive, but there is so much more involved with joint health than the presence or absence of a finite number of dietary components, too much for a simple study to yield credible results.
Don't make the mistake too many studies do, and widen your focus to a whole-health approach. I'll second the mention of Turmeric and its Curcumin component, along with the related root Ginger, for the anti-inflammatory effect that works along the lines of a gentle systemic NSAID without the major risks. Ditto for Omega 3s. It can take a long time for tissue to become unhealthy, and it can take a long time to change what you are made of. Avoid the quick-fix mindset, and find out as much as you can about dietary effects on joint health. Doing every positive thing and avoiding every negative can slow or stop the degradation of your joints, and may even begin to turn things around.
Having said all that to address your question, I have a question for you.. Are you sure the pain you feel in your joints is actually coming from the joints themselves? In my line of work, it is very common to encounter fake joint pains that are actually muscular in origin. The nervous system is wired in such a way that dysfunction in the muscle tissue that moves our joints often is interpreted as coming from inside the joints they move. It's called referred pain, and knee pains coming from tissues outside and acting on the joint are quite common and easily addressed. Don't assume the pain comes from where you feel it. If it fools health professionals, it can fool you. Bone up (so to speak) on referred pain to the knee joint, and determine what combination of massage, exercise, and stretching may actually solve a lot of those pains, if not all of them. You now have plenty work to do to replace that lost mileage. Good luck.