T Nation


I’ve been experiencing pain in my right shoulder during bench presses, primarily inclines. Someone in my gym mentioned he was taking glucosamine and noticed some relief from his shoulder pain. Anybody out there have any experience with this supplement?

Lots of personal experience here. I didn’t take the stuff untill about 3 years ago, when I had surgery to remove a steel shard that shot into my right knee while splitting wood. After the surgery, I had pain in that knee when squatting. I started the glucosamine, and the pain went away. I only feel the pain when I stop taking the glucosamine (which just doesn’t happen any more). Also, my mother who is 72 this year has had a lot of arthritis problems. She’s taking the same glucosamine as me, and is feeling much better. Use 1500mg split into two doses (750 morning, and 750 evening). I first heard about this stuff when I read a report by an old lifter who had undergone open heart surgery. He said the doctors were amazed that his sternum had healed in about a third of the normal time, which he attributed to the glucosamine. A lot of the supplements out there have combine chondroitin. Doctors I’ve checked with say the chondroitin doesn’t survive the digestive process very well, and is of dubious value. Check a website called Consumerlabs.com for testing of various supplements. Many of the companies out there aren’t even putting into their capsules what it says on the label.

Thanks Brider, I really appreciate the feedback. I’m definitely going to give it a try. Anything is better than surgery.

I take it for my arthritis in my hips. It works very well, but can take some time to ‘kick in’. I started using it when our dog was dieing of cancer and the vet perscribed it for her. It actually helped the joints that were being destroyed by the tumors. Her shoulder was functional LONG after they thought she’d be unable to walk. Kind of a weird introduction to a suppliment, but the stuff can do a lot for joint problems.

Planner - Definitely go get yourself some! It works. And works well in animals also. I also keep any horse I have in training on supplementation as a preventative. Just about everyone does. All horses develop degenerative joint disease sooner or later, most performance horses sooner. Those who do have joint problems are able to continue with supplementation. Chondroitin works within a week if given IM compared to oral. There’s a lot of controversary regarding whether it is absorbed orally. One product (liquid) has been tested and does work within a week but the most sought after and used is glucosamine. I use them both combined orally.

Howdy - have you tried certain exercises to strengthen your rotator cuff? Perhaps you should look into that as a way to relieve (and repair) the pain rather than mask it (for want of a better word) with glucosamine. And perhaps some time off…

Glucosamine supposedly helps proliferate cells for production of new cartilage. After 2-3 months of supplementation this supposedly occurs.
I’ve yet to read anything substantial that proves this theory through research study. In addition, if new cartilage is actually produced, then why would we think that it is instantly stored at the damaged sites?
OK, I’ve made it clear that I think this stuff is crap. If cartilage were to help it would more likely be at a hinge joint at the knee/patella vs. a ball/socket joint at the shoulder. Articular cartilage degeneration is more likely at the knee (chondromalacia) than the shoulder (I haven’t heard of pre-surgery art. cartilage damage here).
You most likely have rotator cuff damage, impingement or limited ROM. My advice is to see a doc, get phys therapy and remedy it immediately or surgery may not be too far off. Good luck.

Mark has a good point – if you’re pain is caused by a degenerative condition, go with the glucosamine. If it’s muscle or connective tissue related, try the L-flyes. As a conservative measure, do both. L-flyes are a good idea for EVERYONE, as it strengthens the small muscles and connectives in the shoulder.

If you’ve seen my old posts you’d know I was having some bad pain in both elbows. I started taking this stuff a few weeks ago and its actually cleared up my problem. Weird.

I got another positive experience to report from using Glucosamine-Chondroitin. A few years back I had pain in both my knees that bothered me constantly, even when just sitting. I started taking a Glucosamine-Chondroitin combination and within a few months the pain was gone and hasn’t returned since. As mentioned previously, I’m not sure how it would work in shoulder joints, but I think it’s worth a try.

Thanks for the replies. Seems though as opinions vary among people. As far as L-flyes go, I do those as a warm up prior to bench. Part of the problem is that the pain is in my right shoulder which is also my dominant hand so the shoulder gets a lot of activity even when I’m not lifting. I’ve currently switched to dumbbell presses instead of barbell and am avoiding inclines altogether and doing cable crossovers instead. All this seems to have helped. Again thanks for responding.

Planner, from your last post, it sounds like you might have figured this out on your own, but… I used to have really bad pain in my shoulder when I did inclines w/ a barbell. After a couple of weeks I switched to dumbbells, and I haven’t had a problem since!