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Glucosamine
to strengthen joints?
by Kate Pophal

Dear Kate,
I ran my first 10-miler in April (in less than favorable weather conditions). Though I was in great shape and had trained well, the outside of my knee began throbbing at mile 6.

I was in a lot of pain for the next day or two. The pain subsided and I took a couple weeks off to let it rest. Occasionally I still feel a twinge, though I ran a five-miler on the Fourth and had no pain.

A friend who runs daily suggested I take glucosamine to strengthen my joints. Would you advise and does it have any side effects?

Thanks,
Wendy

A. Wendy,
Congratulations on your 1st 10 miler, especially in that terrible weather!

An over the counter agent derived from shark cartilage, glucosamine sulfate is helpful in decreasing the joint pain from degenerative or wear and tear arthritis (osteoarthritis). But there is no evidence that it decreases the muscular pain associated with training or over training.

Many of my running friends that have tried glucosamine don't recall it helping nor having significant side effects. But, if you do decide to take it, thoroughly read through the instructions and see if the possible side effects out way the possible benefits.

If you do decide or decide not to pursue the agent, remember that RICE is highly recommended for any muscular pain - rest, ice, compression and elevation.

Good luck!


Ask Kate a Question by e-mail at run@ClevelandWomen.Com




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