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Crappy young knees and Glucosamine HCl

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I'm 18 years old and plan to race this season. However I noticed whenever I walk up stairs or walk for extended periods, I can feel kind of a pressure from the inside of my right knee (probably from abusing them sailing all summer). Someone recommended I take Glucosamine, so I went out and got 1500mg (giant) glucosamine HCl pills. I've been taking 2 per day for the past week or so.

-Should I be taking this? Will it make my knees any better/stronger for ski season?
-I've taken it for about a week now and my knee already feels better--it feels more stable, comfortable, and "thicker." Could it actually be working already? I'm convinced it's a placebo.
post #2 of 16
Taking it will not harm you. Whether it helps or not is for you to decide based on how your knees feel.
post #3 of 16
There is no evidence that glucosamine has any beneficial effect on human joints (recent large double blind study showed no effect) although there is apparently some benefit in dogs. Unless you are of the canine persuasion, don't waste your money. Also, you are 18 years old- if you are having knee pain it is not likely to be osteoarthritis, and you need a diagnosis (which is not likely to arrive over the internet from posters like the one above who should have the good sense not to give advice on a topic about which he is completely unqualified). See a doctor!
post #4 of 16
Au contrare... although there is conflicting evidence that glucosamine has any pain reduction effect on patients that are suffering from advanced arthritis, there is strong evidence in long-term (2-4 year) peer reviewed studies (such as the Reginater study published in the Lancet) that shows administration of 1,500 mg of glucosamine sulphate daily to patients in the early stages of osteoarthitis, reduces and even prevents the narrowing of joint spaces, versus subjects in the control groups that showed continued degeneration of the joints.

Any of the studies I've seen that question the efficacy of glucosamine, were short term studies measured in weeks, not years, on people who were already suffering from advanced osteoarthritis.... poor study design guaranteed to show a negative result. If a drug company held a patent on glucosamine sulphate, and could make a buck on it, you could be sure there would be a raft of long term studies showing that it was effective in combating the effects of osteoarthritis.

The biggest reason to take glucosamine is for prevention, not to find a miracle cure.
post #5 of 16
I took Glucosamine for the last 5 or 6 years daily. I stopped a few months ago, & notice 0 difference.
(results of my own 5 year study, others findings may vary).

JF
post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4ster View Post
I took Glucosamine for the last 5 or 6 years daily. I stopped a few months ago, & notice 0 difference.
(results of my own 5 year study, others findings may vary).

JF
Perfect example of the poor logic I mentioned. See how you feel after five years of not taking it, not a few months. Your joints won't mysteriously degenerate overnight.

I've been taking it for close to 20 years after showing early symptoms of osteoarthritis in my hands. It has kept it completely in check. No way will I stop taking it.
post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by exracer View Post
Perfect example of the poor logic I mentioned. See how you feel after five years of not taking it, not a few months. Your joints won't mysteriously degenerate overnight.

I've been taking it for close to 20 years after showing early symptoms of osteoarthritis in my hands. It has kept it completely in check. No way will I stop taking it.
Hey, I didn't say the study was over . I have friends who stopped, & said that they felt an increase in pain within days. I will take what you say into account. I was just thinking, maybe I didn't need the stuff in the first place. I have never been diagnosed with anything, just have joint pain. At 18 the OP should probably check with an MD.
Thanks,

JF
post #8 of 16

Ace knee braces

Always wear knee braces when you ski. They add a lot of support for your quads making skiing easier and protect your knee during a fall. Cheap insurance that helps every ski day.
I wear them EVERY day on the snow, just don't forget to put them on before your boots.
Ace knee braces are cheap, under $10 a leg, fancier braces should only work better.
I have noticed a difference with glucosamine but I only take it for a few days. The US government sais it doesn't work.
post #9 of 16
Sometimes the pain comes from different causes. For inflammation issues try Phenocane and/or Celadrin (they work differently so can actually use both). Phenocane reduces inflammation like a NSAID, Celadrin lubricates the joint. Neither rebuilds the joint, but they can really help when the knees feel old.
post #10 of 16

Glou

I have a good friend (also skier) that is a biophysicyst (sic) and she says if you use buy the Glu with sulfate not HCL it is a better compound and works better.
post #11 of 16
Diagnosis before treatment.
post #12 of 16
I use Naproxen for inflammation/swelling. But many I know have had ulcer issues with its use.

Since so young, a good orthopedic sports doctor may be best.

I use the glucosamine chondroitin and so does my dog. It has worked miracles for me - shoulder/elbow chronic pain for years. I take it sporadically.
post #13 of 16
I have been using Move Free Advanced -- which has glucosamine, MSM, chondroitin, uniflex, and hyaluronic acid -- for about a year. My knees are doing better, but I've also altered my routine in some other ways, so I'm not 100% sure what is causing what.

I also had surgery on my big toe, which was as much to help my knee and hip as much as my toe, and although my toe still hurts, my knee and hip are much much better.

I do know that the arthritis that had started in my fingers has disappeared. I was having pain and swelling in the middle knuckles of my ring and middle fingers, and that is completely gone. So I'm inclined to think the glucosamine is helping, b/c I haven't done anything different with the hands.
post #14 of 16

so what's wrong with a placebo?

it works 40% of the time,has few (not zero) side effects, and is available over-the -counter. safer than aspirin.

of course this 18yo probably doesnt need either
post #15 of 16
I was advised (by my GP) that if taking Glucosamine to make sure that it also had chondroitin. Anybody know why?

And yes I would say there has been improvement of both my arthritic knee and the fingers of my left hand since I started taking it 6 months ago.
post #16 of 16
I think the thing to keep in mind (about both glucosamine and chondroitin) is that most of the studies done have looked for changes in patient's pain symptoms (this is rather subjective).

Both compounds are currently being investigated (radiographically) to determine whether they actually do anything to the architecture of the joints. Meaning, are they either stimulating cartilage growth or prevented breakdown (both hypothesized mechanisms).

On the plus side, they both have few (if any) interactions and if it makes you feel better there's no reason not to stick with it.

Although if you're 18 with chronic knee pain you really need to see a doc before you spend another season skiing on them.
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