The first time I went to a doctor with knee pain to find out that I did, indeed, have arthritis, I was given a prescription for Celebrex and a coupon for five dollars off on the purchase of a name-brand glucosamine product. "We don't know why glucosamine works," said the doctor, "we only know that it does work."
Well, the name-brand glucosamine product cost over $30 a month at Wal-Mart. I was to take two a day to start, then after a period of time, back off to one a day. I did this faithfully, but I never could see that it helped my knee pain. And for that much money, (insurance didn't help because it wasn't prescription) I wanted it to work.
After a year or so, I stopped taking it, and could tell no difference. Then last year I was talking to a man at church who said glucosamine had really helped him. And he bought his supply at Sam's Club, $10 for a bottle of 240 pills.
OK, I decided. I'd give it another shot, if it was that cheap. I was taking it when I went to the orthopedist who did arthroscopic surgery on my left knee, but still could not see that it helped me. At my last visit to see that doctor after my surgery, one of her instructions was to take glucosamine. "It really helps," she said... although she specified glucosamine chondroitin, and the product I take is glucosamine sulfate. She wanted me to buy the product from a shop up the hall, which is connected to her practice, and from which she gets proceeds, I'm sure.
I did not buy the chondroitin variety, since my family doctor told me there's no difference. "Just get glucosasmine," he said. And originally, the first tablets I'd taken were the chondroitin variety, and hadn't helped. Besides, I still had some of the cheaper kind.
Finally, I decided I was wasting my efforts, and decided to stop taking the stuff altogether. But because I still had half a bottle left, I decided to let Clifftry the stuff, and put it in his daily-dose pill-holder with the blood pressure meds he takes. I casually mentioned to him what I was doing. He wasn't enthusiastic (he hates taking pills and has little trust in doctors) but acquiesced, grumbling.
About two weeks later, he remarked to me, "You know, my shoulder and neck haven't been bothering me nearly as much, the past few days. And my thumbs haven't been hurting, either. (He has arthritis in these parts of his body from years of butchering).
"The glucosamine," I said. "It must be working for you!"
He'd forgotten all about the fact that he was taking it (just thought it was another vitamin), but agreed that had to be the reason for his considerably lessened pain. And now he's spreading the word.
So, if you are suffering from arthritis, spend $10 at Sam's Club and see what happens. It didn't help me, but it's done wonders for Cliff; he's a believer.