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SpecialistMichael, MS, CSCS
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 508
Experience:  Senior Information Specialist
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Wow, a Fitness Specialist and a gardener...right there with

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Wow, a Fitness Specialist and a gardener...right there with you! Thanks.
On the fitness side, what supplents would you reccomennd for overall joint pain and specifically in the knees?
A lot joint pain, especially in the knees is very common through all age ranges. One of the biggest, relatively easily correctable issues is quadriceps muscle balance, and improving the way the patella(the knee cap) tracks over the joint. These conditions bother everyone from teenage females, to career runners to even weekend warrior fitness fans. So a major issue would be to make sure your muscular balance and tone is where it should be and making sure your walking gait is reasonably good - along with appropriate footwear. Hydration is a major issue as well because as people age, joint space can decrease a little, total body water goes down and all that "cushion" can become less and less.

If you are dealing with an age related pain(very common as we are on our legs and feet our whole lives so the forces get absorbed by a lot of different tissues. Keep in mind, joints want to be moved and a lot of the tissues inside some joints that don't have the greatest blood supply are actually nourished from intra-joint pressure changes. This means activity and walking and intermittent load bearing exercise is good for them. Thats why doctors with osteoarthritis patients will tell them activity is good, no activity is bad.

So on to the supplements. I would really recommend making sure your essential nutrients are covered preferably through meals and quality foods in place of supplements. With age, a calcium and vitamin D supplement is sometimes recommended and is a good thing if you aren't getting enough through diet. Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids can be introduced as they play a role in moderating inflammation(of all different types, not just injury related) that can cause some discomfort, but overloading on these actually cause the reverse effect.

Other than that Glucosamine and chondroitin are the 2 most commonly recommended supplements and many people actually experience relief. Keeping in mind that with some supplements the difference made can be psychological(even if no objective data supports it) when coupled with a different lifestyle change, together can do a great job. Usually, since G and C are designed to help support cartilage and sometimes bone matrix health, it can take some time to start to feel an improvement simply because a body change takes time - like a slow remodel of a house. I always try to recommend lifestyle changes in place of supplements just because they can be hit or miss for alot of people depending on what they are and who the person is.

Instead of focusing on just supplement, changing the situation so that a group of "positive" factors(rounding out your diet to be healthier), making sure you're getting enough fluids, exercise. Also, shedding any excess bodyweight will lessen the load on the knees, each step. Its impossible to change the past, but making sure you're wearing quality footwear(because all forces are transfered up the leg through the knee), maximizing your diet, supplementing with glucosasmine and chondroitin, while also making sure you are hydrated and healthy overall - you should see a tremendous change.

Do all these changes(both together and individually) make sense on how they all come together to reduce joint pain?
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