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Q. I keep reading about doctors prescribing Glucosamine for arthritis. Will this medication help my back pain?
A. Studies show that Glucosamine can help relieve the pain of knee osteoarthritis. However, these were short-term trials spanning a four to eight week period. Since osteoarthritis is a chronic problem, more studies will need to be done to investigate the long-term benefits of Glucosamine. A second question is whether people with osteoarthritis of the spine will get the same benefits as those with knee osteoarthritis. At this time, no one knows for sure. Some doctors feel there are enough benefits to encourage their patients to supplement with Glucosamine. Although you may find some relief, there are no studies yet that show with certainty that your back pain will be relieved by taking Glucosamine.
As with all medications, be sure to discuss the use of Glucosamine with your doctor before beginning to take this supplement.