We often hear about dietary supplements which supposedly are effective at dealing with various health conditions. Gingko biloba for memory loss, St. John’s wort for depression and echinacea for the immune system are examples of supplements which seem to have lost some of their following after becoming fad favorites, and it's not clear as to whether they in fact have any value. However there is one supplement which I eagerly will stand for as the poster boy, glucosamine for the relief of arthritic knee pain.
It was 15 years ago and I began to experience extreme kneecap pain from prolonged sitting. Football games, airplane trips, and even automobile rides of over an hour were events of extreme discomfort for me. Then I heard of glucosamine, so as much as out of desperation I started taking two pills daily. The very next day my knees felt better, though that was either coincidental or the power of suggestion, as my pain quickly returned. And after more than two months, I saw no results and was about to stop taking the pills. But I decided to stay with it a little long, and am I sure glad I did. For in that third month, the knee pain disappeared. Now I can sit for hours on a transoceanic airplane ride or a sporting event and not go through the agony that I did 15 years previously.
About the same time that I conquered that pain, I also bought a treadmill and started running daily 7 to 8 minute miles. However, while my kneecap pain from sitting was cured, I was now beginning to experience pain from running, particularly on the outside and back of the knees. I just chalked this up as part of the cost of running on a daily basis, perhaps the onset of arthritis, and didn’t think any more of it.
Indeed, I went along like this for 10 years, living with the minor knee pain, and skipping my run on more painful days. Obviously I’m a slow learner, for it wasn’t until after 10 years of relief from my kneecap sitting pain that I asked myself the question as to why the glucosamine pills didn’t alleviate the pain in my knees from running. So I thought about it and I concluded that maybe it was because my dosage wasn’t large enough. So I doubled my intake of glucosamine to four pills a day. And guess what? The pain from running also completely went away. I now run my daily mile (slower than I did 10 or 15 years ago) and never have any knee pain at all. That is certainly proof of the miracle of glucosamine.