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  1. #1
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    Glucosamine for herniated disc?

    Anyone have input on this? I was looking at the wife's bottle (she takes it for early arthritis-type problems) and thinking that my healing herniated disc is made of the same material as the glucosamine is supposed to repair...

    Is there any benefit to taking this stuff? I'm 95% healed and exercising again but every now and then I get a warning twinge in my leg (indicating the disc is still in contact with the nerve and hasn't fully receeded).

    PS: I will also ask my doctor but hey... it's Saturday night and I gotta know right now!

  2. #2
    Bookworm on Wheels! lisasimpson's Avatar
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    It actually may help you. The annulus fibrosis that makes up the outer shell of the disc is mainly made of cartilage. Glucosamine is mainly known for reducing swelling in cartilage, hence why it relieves pain for arthritis victims. A herniated disc is the swelling of the annulus fibrosis. Because it is swollen it usually constricts the nerves and causes a lot of pain. If you were to take glucosamine it probably would help reduce some of that swelling and also relieve your pain. The only problem is that it takes a while to start working. Supposedly you have to take it for 1-3 months before feeling the effects. considering that time frame it may not be worth it for you. I would definitely double check with your doctor though as you suggested.

  3. #3
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    Thanks

  4. #4
    klondike300 klondike300's Avatar
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    I've been taking some stuff called "move free" for about 2 months now. My knees that I beat up on skateboards and the wrestling mats in high school haven't felt this good in years. I tried other glucosamine stuff but didn't get anything other than a lighter wallet. At least glucosamine is basically 100% safe from everything I've read so if you try it for a while, shouldn't be any problems if it doesn't give you any benefits.

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    Senior Member Faust's Avatar
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    My doctor recommended that I see a chiropractor for a herniated disc. I was surprised at the recommendation, and he responded that manipulation could take pressure off of the disc and allow it to decompress. I didn't see a chiropractor, but did begin a daily stretching program, and I have been considerably relieved of my back pain for some months now. "Stretching" by Bob Anderson, is my manual, available at Amazon.com for $11.53.

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    I've long believed that chirpractors just exercise the joints/muscles/tendons; something we can do ourselves. There's not much too lose in trying glucosamine. It had no impact on me, but it really helps the wife.

    I suspect that the majority of back problems are do to a lack of core muscle tone/strength. When I started doing heavy lifting stuff like backpacking and wilderness canoe tripping, I developed a weight training program heavy on stomack/back/side muscle building. It not only cured the lower back pain I've had periodically since childhood, but it's kept me injury free.

    Al

  7. #7
    Member johncc48's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Al.canoe
    I've long believed that chirpractors just exercise the joints/muscles/tendons; something we can do ourselves. There's not much too lose in trying glucosamine. It had no impact on me, but it really helps the wife.

    I suspect that the majority of back problems are do to a lack of core muscle tone/strength. When I started doing heavy lifting stuff like backpacking and wilderness canoe tripping, I developed a weight training program heavy on stomack/back/side muscle building. It not only cured the lower back pain I've had periodically since childhood, but it's kept me injury free.

    Al
    Boy do you have Chiropractors in a box! Did you ever ask us what we do or research the whole range of diagnostic and therapeutic modalities we have available?
    Porbably not!
    Chiropractic means "done by hand" eg manually applied methods. After 27 years of practicing Chiropractic I can say that maybe 10-15% of what I do daily for people they could do themselves! But why won't they? I don't know, but try as I might, they don't get it together to stretch and exercise. I hate doing their work for them..it's tedious and a waste of my time!
    OTO I had to have a disc surgery last spring because none of our methods would reduce the herniated disc! So where does that put core muscle strength? A good preverntative and a crummy treatment in my opinion!
    To stereotype one person's herniated disc is as foolish as saying all the guys in the Pro Tour Peleton are equally good. A good Chiropractor will not usuallyfind or do the same thing on 2 different herniaded disc patients. ure there are similarities and ofter similar starting points but the patient's response guides and refines the manual/electrical/thermal/exercise/nutritional efforts. So short of surgery and stomach/heart wrenching drugs.
    The best manual starting place for self care for disc injuries without professional help is probably inverted gravity traction! Good nutrition with lots of minerals especially Mn, ZN, Ca and Mg in proper ratios is important. Reducing the postural strains on the torso with good body mechanics and good core strength are also necessary. Also I have seen several committed roadies who start new riding styles herniate discs on their bikes. Our hip flexors pull right through our abdoment to attach on the lower back. So the ballistic yank of alternating the upstroke pull (especially the standing sprint or hill climb massive jerky efforts) are often causally related to the disc injury. Smooth spinning and even smooth power transfer on the upstroke is not what I'm talking about. Rather the person that starts out to strengthen the hil flexors by yanking up. So that's my 2 cents worth.
    Oldmanonabike

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by johncc48


    Chiropractic means "done by hand" eg manually applied methods. After 27 years of practicing Chiropractic I can say that maybe 10-15% of what I do daily for people they could do themselves! But why won't they? I don't know, but try as I might, they don't get it together to stretch and exercise. I hate doing their work for them..it's tedious and a waste of my time!

    OTO I had to have a disc surgery last spring because none of our methods would reduce the herniated disc! So where does that put core muscle strength? worth.
    I'd put that percentage closer to 70% and I'm not to sure about that remaining 30%. When one discusses their techniques and why they do certain things, you get a lot that "manually applied" hand-waving. You also get literature promoting lots of repeat visits.

    Your surgery puts core muscle strength in the category of "prevention". Once the disc has slipped, it's a little late to hit the heavy weights. I also have done 40 years of aerobics for the prevention of cardiovascular problems. I wouldn't expect jogging to replace the need for a bypass or open heart surgery once the damage has been done. It does work for rehab for some, however.

    Al

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    I used Glucosamine with successful results when i had arthisthis in my wrist from my boxing days. I saw results after 2 months, i used the cheap cvs brand.

  10. #10
    Member johncc48's Avatar
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    Does the diabetic need insulin because it's in their head? Does the roadie need to continue to do intervals to keep their 'form'?(maintain the positive benifit of exercise) Does the paitent with congestive heart failure need to continue on diuretics?(prevent the guaranteed worsening of a permanent defect) Of course and so do some patients of Chiropractors..and what do you know about it to put a number on it?
    Oldmanonabike

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by johncc48
    Of course and so do some patients of Chiropractors..and what do you know about it to put a number on it?
    What do I know? Enough to counter one speculation with another. I would add: some personal experience, friends/relatives experiences, staying informed and common sense.

    Also, where did you find the statement that "no one" needs a chiropractor? I certainly didn't write it.

    Al

  12. #12
    Senior Member GreyGoat's Avatar
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    my mother has spind$%^%$osis(that deal where the nerve passage thru disk narrows) and was taking advil on a regular basis, was already taking glucosaimin/condreiton on a regular basis for a bone on bone situaiton in her ankle.. a friend told her about sam-E..
    (it's an amino acid) she tried it and has been pain free.. and able to climb stairs again in a very short time.. you might want to look into this... the glocosamine didn't help her pinched nerve pain but the sam-E has..
    also from what my DO tells me, most people that will get any releif from Glocosamine/Condrieton.. would get it from Glucosamine alone.. it's a small percentage of people that will get releif with both and not glucosamine alone.. so you shoud always try glucosamine alone for 1-2mos first to see if it works, it cost half as much.. if it doesn't then try the combination..

  13. #13
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    My orthopedic surgeon said that the only way Condroiton can help is if it's injected directly into the joint.

    Al

  14. #14
    Senior Member GreyGoat's Avatar
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    but that doesn't surprise me.. very few doctors will back the idea that any over the counter supplement can releive pain.. other then the usual bad guys aspririn,tylenol,advil etc.. they just don't beleive in this 'snake oil' stuff.. there is no money in it for them..

  15. #15
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    I bought Glucosamine amino sugar in Walmart and used it for a month. I can say that Glucosamine reduced herniated disc pain. But it is not able to solve all herniated disc related problems.
    Last edited by lirokoriko; 03-15-11 at 05:56 AM.

  16. #16
    Faster than yesterday
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    Quote Originally Posted by lisasimpson View Post
    A herniated disc is the swelling of the annulus fibrosis.
    It's a tear or other weakening in the annulus fibrosis. Not inflammation. Though there may be inflammation involved, treating the inflammation wouldn't resolve the herniation.

  17. #17
    ECT
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    I didn't find Glucosamine or chiropractic medicine to help my herniated disc at all. In fact, the chiropractor actually made my pain worse. Spinal fusion was my cure (knock on wood).

  18. #18
    Senior Member slide23's Avatar
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    I guess I'll be the rain on the glucosamine parade. Studies are woefully inconclusive and find that a placebo is just as effective.

    New England Journal of Medicine Article.
    Annals of Internal Medicine/Netherlands study.

    The upside is that even if it is a placebo effect, glucosamine sulfate is relatively safe and not overly expensive.
    "Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

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