Ƥain ɐnd Ƥlacebo

Portrait of muscular senior man lifting dumb bells

My knees hurt.”

My elbow hurts.”

It’s hard standing up from a chair.

I can’t open a jar like I used to.”

I hear these and more daily from my clients. My #1 answer:

Your muscles are weak.”

Sure, there may be other reasons, but mostly, it’s muscular weakness – and no one likes to hear that.

If its muscle, then that means you need to exercise; but not just any exercise.  Strength training is the most effective way to ease joint discomfort and pain.  Simply put: Get stronger.

Many with joint pain will take glucosamine.  It’s sold as a be-all / cure-all supplement.  Yes, glucosamine is good for the body, being one of the building blocks of cartilage, tendons, and ligaments (where you feel and hear those creaky, popping joints).  So manufacturers work with marketers to convince us that we need to take glucosamine to stop all the snap, crackle, and pop.

Thing is, when a “study” is carried out by a company, then glucosamine becomes a “wonder”. But when a study is done by an actual medical facility with no business or corporate advantage, then glucosamine loses every time – Every Time – to exercise.  In all, there are NO definitive confirmations of glucosamine’s effectiveness; meaning its “safety and effectiveness have not always been proven”.

That’s right: You may not need glucosamine at all, just strength training.

I can access any number of studies to show that, when a study group of people are given either glusocamine or a sugar pill, the placebo ‘works’.  Seriously, the test subjects who take the sugar pill, will confirm they have a ‘significant reduction in pain’ – over 50% of the time! Even the American College of Rheumatology states: “We do not recommend chondroitin or glucosamine for the initial treatment of osteoarthritis. Chondroitin and glucosamine supplements alone or in combination may not work for everyone with osteoarthritis.”

Conversely, those study groups given exercise and nutritional advice, see a reduction in pain of 80% or higher.  And that means a REAL pain reduction (not a sugar pill).

Bottom Line: “At this time, glucosamine hydrochloride cannot be recommended based on the available clinical data.”

So if your joints are sore, don’t waste your money on supplements – or, if you want, take a daily sugar pill, at least it would be cheaper.  But if you want real results, if you are serious about seeing and feeling a difference, then start an exercise program that involves weightlifting (to include bodyweight exercises).


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s