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Friday, April 24, 2009

what is the best glucosamine supplement for our worn knees?

Hi Gary
Which supplement(s) do you think would be best for us:

Active couple, in mid 40's. Keen trampers/MTB and try to keep running but our getting sore
knees...pain under patella and some swelling at times.

We both suffer on downhills, doctors say we're worn....

In my case I've additionally got some bone damage in my ankle (Talar dome) for which I'm
trying to avoid an Op. Can just see it in MRI.

We do still run offroad but I suspect it makes things worse. Usually 2 runs a week. I've found
leg extension exercises help the knee.

Kind regards
Gary responds:
John, if your knees hurt and swell during a form of exercise such as running and hiking, then it is advisable to modify, restrict or cease the offending activity. The pain and swelling tell you that damage is being done and the arthritic processes are being needlessly accelerated. Of course, I am not about to tell you both to stop hiking and running; but you may need to back off for a year or so while you get your joints into better shape. You have a lifetime to go, so what's a year or so spent getting the body set up for the long haul?

Glucosamine, chondriotin and MSM

Gluosamine, chondroitin with MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) is definitely beneficial for even advanced cases of joint arthritis. I have been prescribing various formulations for well over 10 years now and I can tell you that these supplements do work when applied with patience and combined with other supplements and sensible approaches to exercise.

The best formulation for older joints with arthritic changes is Nutra-Life Joint Factors 4500. Take 2-3 servings per day for 3 months then ongoing once a day.

Other supplements depends on the individual with the most useful usually being coenzyme Q-10. (These products are available from this website store)

Reduce the impact and strain on joints

Formthotics Shock Stop for athletes should be fitted to all your hiking, walking and running shoes. These support the foot and ankle and reduce impact on all the joints of the legs. The other measure is to get a pair of Nordic walking poles and use these when walking and hiking. These poles are especially effective for reducing knee strain when walking downhill.

Give the knees a break
It is a sure recipe for disaster to be a one trick pony when it comes to exercise and recreation. Running, hiking and walking are too similar. Introduce other activities such as cycling, canoeing, swimming and aquajogging. Do upper body workouts. This is particularly important for women as they get older to ensure the thoracic spine is kept strong, supple and straight.

If your knees need a rest at any time, you have plenty of other exercise options sitting there in the wings that you can switch to in an instant. Spend more time exploring on your mountain bikes (When a bike is set up properly, there should be no wear of significance on the knees).

If the knees are sore - give them a break!

If you apply these suggestions and give the knees time, they will settle with time and they will give you many years of faithfull service, including running and hiking the Great NZ Outdoors.

Smash them continuously and you will be facing expensive plastic replacements by 60 years and the rest of your years restricted in your activities. While the plastic knee technology is getting pretty damn good, it is still a poor second to the real ones.

Look after your genuine pins - Love them.

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