Thursday, September 21, 2006

Supplements for Knee Pain

Glucosamine and chondroitin are two of the most popular supplements that are used for osteoarthritis and knee pain. Annual sales is estimated to be near $700 million, but do these supplements really work?

The evidence is a mixed bag of results. Some studies have shown that 3 years of therapy with glucosamine slowed progression of osteoarthritis as seen on xrays. The GAIT study showed that no benefit was seen in patients with mild pain, but that the pain was reduced significantly in patients who had moderate to severe pain and who received a combination of glucosamine plus chondroitin. (I received many phone calls from patients wanting to know if they shoud continue their supplements after the results of this study came out because it was not clear in the news reports that some patients did indeed benefit). Finally in a new study presented at the 10th World Congress of the Osteoarthritis Research Study it was concluded that 1500-mg daily dose of glucosamine relieved pain significantly better than a daily 3000 mg dose of acetominophen (Tylenol).

Bottom line is that since it is difficult to predict which patients will benefit from these supplements and since there is data to support their efficacy as well as their low side effect profile then it may be reasonable to consider a 3 to 6 months trial of a combination of these supplements in addition to exercise and physical therapy. If symptoms improve then consider continuing the supplements otherwise it may not be indicated to take them.

To read this in Farsi, click here.
References: please see specific links.
Photo: courtesy of eorthpod.com

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

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reards
amirhossein

Anonymous said...

I have bookmarked your blog for further reading. I read your posts on knee supplement pain and thoroughly enjoyed it. I also have a blog at: dandruff It's nothing much but hopefully I can get as organized as you:)

Billy said...

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atwoods said...

I enjoy the blog.
I suffer from a bit of knee pain and did not see any results from glucosamine concoctions.
I did however get great results from 2 things:
1. Strength training of the quadriceps - more support for the knees.
2. Chiropractor - a visit during a flare up does the trick every time. Flares up less thanks to #1.

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iza said...

Hi Dr Razavi,

My wife complaining she sometime feel pain on her knee. Reading your blog make her more understand the important of supplements for knee pain. Thanks for the great informations.

From Cancer Type

TheBuGz said...

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TheBuGz said...

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Nice blog !
Here is mine.
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Do visit it to keep your knees Healthy
Dr Knee

Anonymous said...

PHORA-HR / SF-HR

seyma said...

Thanks

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