Anyone tried glucosamine/chondroitin for knee pain?

My knees were creaky before I started running, and if anything they're a little better since I've done C25K and beyond (I've had a proper gait analysis and my trainers are super-comfy). But after my 10k last week I took the opportunity of a free massage (thanks Bupa!) and as I mentioned the knee issue the guy concentrated on my knees. It was quite painful, but when I walked away I could hardly believe how different it felt - just no pain or 'creakiness' at all (and I'd just run 10k!). It didn't last more than a few hours though, and I'm now keen to recapture that 'just-massaged' feeling as I've realised how much constant pain I'm putting up with.

So has anyone tried supplements such as glucosamine and/or chondroitin? I know you have to take them for a couple of months before you notice a difference, so I thought I'd check what others have found before I splash out!

Ta all xxx


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11 Replies

  • I haven't tried this myself but I have a good friend who took chondroitin (prescribed by a doctor) for three months for hip and knee pain. It worked really quickly and after finishing the treatment she is still painfree after two months. Of course, she doesn't know if the effects will last. She took it for pain caused by osteo-arthritis.

  • My mother used them - she has a knee that was pinned - she took them for about four months and has never looked back. She also took turmeric as an anti-inflammatory. So I would give it a go. Also are you getting enough omega 3 oils in your diet? Very powerful anti-inflammatory action. Certianly worth trying before regular pain killer use.

  • My Dad took this for years for hip pain and swore by it so I was very suprised to hear recently that it is not reccomended. I looked for some evidence and found this BMJ article.

    The conclusion was

    "Compared with placebo, glucosamine, chondroitin, and their combination do not reduce joint pain or have an impact on narrowing of joint space. Health authorities and health insurers should not cover the costs of these preparations, and new prescriptions to patients who have not received treatment should be discouraged"

    Maybe save your money for an occasional massage with a sport therapist instead! ....and my Dad ended up with 3 hip replacements.....

  • I have never taken them but I have spoke to a lot of people that have. If you decide to try it get a good quality one, at least 1000mg glucosamine and 500mg chondroitin. And at least 3 months. Some people don't notice the effects until they stop because they are so gradual.

  • I have been taking glucosamine for about 3 months now to help with aches and pains and only recently have developed creaky knees since I've been taking it! I'm sure this is down to other things but I'm disappointed that it's happened since I've been taking it. But I know everyone is different, so it may be different for you and worth trying?

  • I take glucosomine regularly, I wasn't sure how effective it was but noticed the difference when I stopped for a while. To be honest, I think running has improved things more than the supplements but the supplements help.

  • I also take glucosamine (for about two months now) and I think it has helped with my joints generally. I did a 6.5mile run last Friday, and did a good 5k tonight with my legs feeling quite fresh; in fact, they felt great - the best they've felt since before the half marathon at the beginning of May. Two years ago this month I couldn't walk 100 yards thanks to two slipped/cracked lumbar discs so to be able to run 13.1 miles is a miracle to me.

    The human body is a wonderful thing.


  • I started taking both glucosamine and chondroitin but it's too early too tell but a friend of mine was a martial arts enthusiast and he was badly injured quite a few years ago and was told to give up martial arts as he would always suffer pain and discomfort. Not a man to be told he can't do something, he then went on a program of high strength glucosamine and chondroitin daily....and he has never looked back! He swears by them...he tried stopping them just out of interest and within a few weeks, he felt niggling pains in his knee so went back on them, and in a few weeks, the knee was back to normal again! It may vary with individuals but I can't see them making it any worse.

  • I have just started taking this supplement in the last few days. To try and ease the early morning pain I get. Hope it works.

  • I have been taking Glucosamine for my creaky knees for a few weeks now, and can honestly say there has already been a big improvement. I don't have the Chondroitin in them, just the glucosamine. I buy them in bulk when the store has special deals! 1000mg is the best strength to start with and make sure you have the tablets with food too.

    Mind you, I take so many supplements I will start to rattle with my runs....they are all brilliant though.

  • Thanks folks - this is all really helpful! I think I'll give the glucosamine a go, but will also pay a visit to my friendly physio. It's interesting that I wasn't aware of any knee problems till I had my bunions done nearly 3 years ago - I wonder whether the change in gait has had an effect? Or maybe my feet were so painful I just didn't notice my knees till the feet were fixed.....

    This is so interesting: on the one hand, I feel like running is causing all sorts of problems, on the other, I realise that I had all these problems already but running is making me aware of them (and encouraging me to get them fixed!!). Body awareness..... ;-)

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