Knee Pain from Running - Stretching and Glucosamine

It’s already December 16th, leaving us only fifteen days more in 2008. I’ve started to think about how my 2008 has been.

In regard to health, I feel I’ve got weaker this year. It’s got harder for me to run long distance and it’s got more painful after I do it. These days I run very slowly, run less, do alternative cardio workouts or don’t exercise at all!

I’ve run less and less after my knees started to bother since last month. It’s not like I ran a half marathon. I just ran 45 to 50 minutes and I felt discomfort on my knees. It wasn’t really painful, but uncomfortable enough to make me ponder over what was wrong and what I need to do to avoid this knee discomfort.

I’ve listed what I need to do to reduce / remove my knee issue and run long distance better.


I’ve neglected to stretch even when I am aware how important it is to do before and after running.

Stand upright and lift your right leg in a 90 degree and extend it forward slowly. Keep the toes pointing upwards. Repeat this a few times.

Stretching Exercise for Knees

We can do stretching exercise anytime and anywhere, even at work. Also, we don’t necessarily need to stand up for this. If preferred, sit on a chair and do the same thing.

If possible, lie on your back, keep your back flat, and pull one leg toward your head with your hands. Hold behind your thigh, not behind your knee joint.

Stand and touch one hand on wall, a tree or other solid object for balance. Grasp one foot behind you and pull it to your rear end.

Lower back

1. Cobra Stretch
Lie on your stomach, place your hands shoulder-width apart. Gently lift your body off the floor on your hands extending your back.

2. Child’s Pose
Sick back on your heels and move your arms over your head.

Rules of Stretching Exercises

  • All stretches should be done slowly and smoothly to avoid sudden movements.
  • Hold the stretches for 15-20 seconds. Don’t bounce while stretching.
  • Stretch only as far as you feel comfortable. Avoid over-stretching.
  • Keep your balance.

Glucosamine and Chondroitin

Will Glucosamine cure it? Or at least be helpful?

It’s controversial if glucosamine works or not for runners’ knee pain or more importantly, if it’s a good idea for runners to take glucosamine. There were medical studies about this, but it’s hard to tell how accurate and objective they were because most of them were funded by the supplement manufacturers and criticized due to shortage of participants, and short duration. Some doctors even ask a question if knee pain (osteoarthritis) is caused by running.

Despite this uncertainty, I’ve decided to give it a shot, mainly because the overall opinion is positive among runners.

The regulation in the US over the glucosamine supplements is weak. It’s recommended to go with big-brand names and well-reviewed companies. I’m sure there are many products that are reliable, but I’ve found these three products trustworthy to try.

Food that are good for joints and bones

Both glucosamine and chondroitin are naturally produced in the human body and extensively found in joint cartilage. I believe the natural glucosamine and chondroitin produced in the body must be
absorbed into the body much better than supplements.

So I will do my best to include these foods into my daily diet. They are known to be good for

Soybean good for bones and joints
Rich in calcium, Vitamin E
Have lots of tofu or add soybeans when you make brown rice.

Pepper good for bones and joints
Rich in vitamin C and B6

Banana good for bones and joints
Rich in potassium and folic acid

Shrimps good for bones and joints
Rich in vitamin D, C, B12, and omega-3 fatty acids

Green Tea
Green Tea good for bones and joints
Rich in vitamin C, and anti-oxidants to ease joint pains

Carp Fish good for bones and joints
Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, potassium, and calcium

Cheese good for bones and joints
Rich in calcium, vitamin B6, and folic acid

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2 Responses to “Knee Pain from Running - Stretching and Glucosamine”

  1. Blair Slavin Says:

    Hey, I use to have knee problems as well. I would like to share some stuff. First I changed over to using a treadmill. Now my knees don’t bother me very much if at all. Something about not running on heavy ground helps. Be sure to elevate the treadmill so it compensates for the motorized track which is like running downhill. So set the angle to 2.5 and above.

    Also, I jump rope to take impact off my knees (jump on a rubber matt or grass). 10 minutes of jumping = 20 minutes of running.

    Finally, in massage school I learned Thai Chi - just the short form. Doing this exercise/meditation daily actually cured my bad knee. As it has for some others I know. Hope this all helps.

  2. mykoreandiet Says:

    Thanks very much for the info. I’ve been looking for some alternative exercises myself. I’ll try jump rope and look further info in Thai Chi. Thanks again!

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