Sarah Colyer of Rheumatology Update, an Australian medical newsletter, recently wrote this informative article about glucosamine and low back pain:
No proof for glucosamine benefit in low back pain
Glucosamine does nothing to
reduce low back pain associated
with degenerative lumbar osteoarthritis,
Patients randomised to glucosamine
for six months had no
improvements in pain-related
disability or pain scores compared
with those given placebo, a doubleblind
controlled study found.
The finding persisted at six
weeks, three months and six
months after treatment initiation,
as well as at six months posttreatment
in the study of 250 adults
with MRI-confirmed degenerative
joints in the low back.
Patients were given a daily dose
of either 1500mg of glucosamine
sulfate capsules or placebo
and were able to continue using
analgesics and concomitant
therapies throughout the study.
Writing in the Journal of the
American Medical Association,
the Norwegian authors said
their results suggested it was
“unwise” for doctors to recommend
glucosamine to all patients
with chronic low back pain and
degenerative lumbar osteoarthritis.
“Glucosamine may be more effective
in other body articulations
than in the lumbar spine,” they
said, such as the knee and hip.
However, they added the evidence
for this remained inconclusive.
Differentiating the study from
several previous studies were
the combination of its doubleblind
design, a high adherence
rate and lack of industry
involvement, they said.
But Professor Graeme Jones,
medical director of Arthritis
Australia, said glucosamine might
still work in patients whose pain
was proven to be due to facet
joint osteoarthritis, as the facet
joints have a synovial lining.
Degenerative change was
virtually ubiquitous in people
over 65, he said, but was only
likely to be the cause of back
pain in 5-10% of cases.
This is a members-only site, so I cheated and ran the entire article instead of using a link. Speaking of links (and back pain), I wrote about my recent MRI results and surgical consult yesterday on my multiple myeloma blog: Results From Last Week’s MRI: Kyphoplasty Is A Viable Option For Me Now Or In The Future.
I use glucosamine daily. I take 1000 mg in the morning and another 1000 mg at night. Not sure if it helps my back pain, but I do know it helps my knee and other joint pain a lot. Dr. Kari Smith from Osceola Medical Center originally suggested I try the supplement five or six years ago, and I have used it ever since.
The few times I have tried dropping it I noticed the difference in three or four days. That’s enough evidence for me!
Feel good and keep smiling! Pat