By Dana O'Neil, D.C
As a Chiropractor, I get to participate in the incredible healing miracle of our bodies on a daily basis using natural Chiropractic adjustments to restore the normal alignment and mobility of the joints of our spines. People are amazed to realize that there are over 100 joints just in the spine itself. These joints allow our spine to bend and twist while still protecting the delicate central nervous system contained within. Glucosamine is an integral part of a healthy joint making up the tough layer of the cartilage matrix overlying the surface of the bone which then connects to the adjacent bone with a joint. A tough elastic envelope called the capsule encircles the joint keeping the joint surfaces close together as well as keeping the synovial fluid in intimate contact with the cartilage. The rubbing of the cartilage ends against each other is what actually produces the synovial fluid within the joint. This is why exercise, stretching and chiropractic care are so beneficial to spinal problems because they encourage normal motion in the spine which produces synovial fluid which is like the lubricating oil in your engine.
Glucosamine is a naturally occurring compound and is plentiful in traditional foods like chicken soup, beef broth and seafood gumbo. Unfortunately, we seldom eat traditional foods anymore, leaving us short of this vital nutrient. Glucosamine Sulfate supplements are usually derived from shellfish like shrimp. Vegetarian forms of glucosamine are derived from fermented corn or wheat.
Glucosamine helps prevent the degradation of cartilage and with the aid of the proteins collagen and elastin, stimulates the production of cartilage. Scientific studies are not conclusive on the effects of glucosamine on osteoarthritis with more studies continuing, especially on the weight bearing joints. Observational science, however, is full of the positive effects glucosamine has on joint pain and mobility which reflects the personal experience I had myself. At the age of 40, I had to give up running because of knee pain. It was at that time that I researched and began taking Glucosamine Sulfate at 1500 mg a day along with my other vitamins. It took approximately one year before I noticed a complete lack of knee pain or discomfort. I did not take up running again until I was 49 and had decided to do the Louisville Ironman when I turned 50. I did that successfully that year and the next without any knee discomfort.
I have recommended thousands of my patients to start on Glucosamine supplementation as a way to aid their restoration of joint mobility and retard age related degradation of their joints. The number one reason we become disabled in this country is because our joints wear out before we do. Supplementation along with regular exercise and regular chiropractic care helps to keep your joints healthy and happy.
O'Neil Chiropractic Center * 3613 Lexington Road * Louisville, KY 40207 * 502-896-6171