T Nation


A while back there was a thread started on Wobenzym. Being that I have been having bad knee pain for the last few months, I ran out and bought some. I am posting this message to backup the good comments made about this product. If anyone is interested I can post the details of my problems and the results I found from taking Wobenzym. But right now I just want to say that anyone having joint pain should absolutely try Wobenzym.

Post the details.

yeah, post the details, I have knee pain, too.

Details please…

OK. About 3 months ago I began having bad knee pain that prohibited me from squatting. The right knee was especially bad. Felt like a knife sticking in the inside part of my kneecap. It was very painful to squat. I could get through leg presses but then for two days after it hurt to walk up and down stairs (more on down than up). Leg extensions did not hurt but I got a burning sensation in both knees. So I tried 3 tablets of Wobenzym twice per day after seeing some posts here. After about 1 week I could walk up and down stairs with no pain. That is when I first posted this message. I was psyched! So yesterday I did some squats and had some discomfort but was able to do them. However, today I again have knee pain but not quite as bad as it used to be. Maybe I tried squatting too soon. I don’t know. I’ll see how they feel before next leg day. So it seems the Wobenzym certainly helped but upon resuming squatting the same pain occurred again. I will probably try laying off the squats again for a while and see what happens while Leg Pressing and taking Wobenzym.

Is it possible you guys could have gotten the same results using NSAIDS instead?

I have been a proponent of Wobenzym also but go to wobenzyme.com now and apparently the product is no longer available in the States. Even if it were it seems the product does not pack the punch it used to back in the good ole days. Anyway at the web site you’ll find an even better product (according to Dr. Wobenzyme anyway) named Vitalzyme. I am currently taking it and can vouch for its effectiveness. I am glad Wobenzyme worked for those who took it, its a shame the company seems to have fallen by the wayside.

I had tried Ibuprofen and even prescription Vioxx with absolutely no help. I bought the Wobenzym at Vitamin Shoppe.They had plenty of bottles. It is the Wobenzym N product advertised on the womenzym.com page. The cashier did say something about not getting more in stock other than what they already had for a while. I thought he was just trying to get me to buy more. But maybe not.

Well, since Wobenzym is a German product to begin with, it wouldn’t seem too difficult to try a search and look for German pages. (A lot of them have companion pages in English.)

Anyone else try Vitalzyme? Any thoughts?

I dug up this old thread. Anyway have any positive experiences using Wobenzyme to help heal an injury?

Wobenzym on an empty stomach works well for joint pain, and great for food digestion when taken with food. Just make sure to follow these protocols depending on what you want to get out of it. Chondroiton is my recommendation for joint pain and it is great for fat loss/muscle retention as well.

Thanks for the reply loopfit. Do you know if this works for muscle injuries as well as joint injuries? I injured my ribs and upperback eight months ago and I still have not been able to return to weightlifting. I am currently seeing a chiro. once a week which seems to be helping somewhat. I started taking Celebrex yesterday to deal with the inflammation. I figured I would try the Celebrex in the short- term, but may try Wobenzym in the long-term. Is it possible that I have a considerable amount of swelling after eight months and that’s why the injury will not heal? I had an MRI six months ago and the doc said everything looked fine. He diagnosed it as a muscle strain and told me to go to a chiro to have my ribs looked at. I have tried ART, manual adjustments, and adjustments with an activator…nothing seems to work.

MizzDawg, not likely to help your situation as it won’t have effect on muscle tissue. Your question is beyond the scope of my training, and I would not be looking to take advice from strength coaches such as myself. I know the limits of my knowledge and would not want to mess around with the health of anyone, whether I know them or not. Seek the help of a professional who is familiar with your situation.

  1. NSAIDS (ibuprofen, etc) decrease the pain/acute inflammation but actually accelerate the cartilage destruction, not a good idea.

  2. Wobenzyme is one of a number of proteolytic enzyme products i.e. products which contain high doses of protein digesting enzymes. When taken away from meals throughout the day(with meals it just helps you digest the protein which may not be a bad thing especially if gas is a problem) it help decrease inflammation. This is useful if you’ve just had surgery (check with your doc), broken a bone, or have acute or chronic joint pain due to inflammation. If you have knee pain because you have worn away all the cartilage in your knees, then no this will not help.

WARNING: if you have an active ulcer, or problems with heartburn do not take any of these products unless you want them to digest a hole in your stomach/esophagus. Likewise if you start taking them and develop stomach upset, then stop taking them (this is very uncommon).

Oh and yes it works for muscular pain. Any appication where there is ongoing inflammation would theoretically be amenable to these products. There was even a study done and they reduces DOMS.

MizzouDawg, why do you think you still have inflammation 8 months after an injury? Have you been diagnosed with arthritis? Anti-inflammatories would be used either shortly after an injury (usually OTC), for the acute inflammation that accompanies the injury, OR for chronic inflammatory conditions such as arthritis that should be definitively diagnosed. Otherwise, it sounds to me like your doctor doesn’t know what else to do and is simply prescribing Celebrex because you have pain, it is a painkiller, and it is heavily promoted by Pfizer.

The COX inhibitors, including the newer ones like Celebrex, have serious side effects, including destruction of cartilage. So I would avoid them.

One area that doctors often know little about is the need for motor-control rehab after injuries. Another possibility is that the nervous system’s pain centers have been highly sensitized, sending signals to cause the muscle to spasm and prohibit movement, while the muscle spasm itself causes more pain, even when the structural injury itself has healed. In this case, you need to interrupt that loop.

Thanks for all the help. I honestly do not know what is wrong with my back. I still have occasional muscle spasms and some tingling in two of my fingers in my left hand(same side as the injury). I think I have ongoing inflammation in that are because that is what one of my chiropractors told me. I have seen one doctor and three chiro’s, but I get the sense that no one knows what is wrong. I have an appointment scheduled next Monday with a physiatrist(sp?) who is supposed to be amazing. I have not lifted a weight over ten pounds in about seven months, yet this injury continues to bother me. I do some light excercises that a physical therapist gave me to strengthen and stretch the area.

Andersons- what you say about breaking the pain cycle is interesting and something I have heard before. How do I go about doing this? I actually asked my doc for the Celebrex thinking it may help decrease inflammation, therefor break the cycle of spasms and tingling in my fingers. This is also what go me thinking that Wobenzym may help. I am trying to stay positive, but I feel like I am running out of things to try.

Mizzou, I am going to suggest some more things to try because I feel your pain. I don’t know everything, but I research my problems extensively by reading research-grade scientific literature. I value doctor’s opinions and particulary diagnostic technology, but sometimes I know more than my doctor about certain conditions. I continue to see doctors, chiropractors, ART specialists, physical therapists, etc. but I also keep reading, trying things, and asking questions.

MRI is not perfect, but it is the gold standard for diagnosis; soft-tissue injuries should be apparent. I would make sure that they have done complete MRI scans of all possible damaged tissue. Without the right angle or spine location, they may have missed something. You should get a second opinion on comprehensive scans of (at least) your entire cervical and maybe thoracic spine. The nerve roots in certain vertebrae there refer pain/tingling to the fingers. This is probably not your problem, but since you’ve come this far, get a second opinion on that MRI just to be sure.

In the meantime, you can identify the role of inflammation in your pain. Forget the Wobenzym for now and take maybe the Celebrex or another potent anti-inflammatory med for a week or so. No more than 2 weeks. Take it at even intervals exactly as recommended. Proper dosing amount and interval is very important for pain relief. You don’t want to wait till you feel more pain and then take the med; you want to keep dosing consistently. If your directions say “As needed for pain,” write back and I’ll try to find something more definitive.

Every day, rate your pain on that familiar 1-10 scale, and see how it responds to the Celebrex. If you see a significant pain reduction, you’ll know you do have inflammation involved. Then get off the Celebrex and try the Wobenzym. But if the Celebrex doesn’t help, the Wobenzym shouldn’t either.

I think there is a good possibility that your pain has a large component from anxiety. After 8 months, tissue injuries should have healed. Your MRI looks normal, supporting this (though you might want to double-check just to be sure). Yet you have avoided former activities, you are really upset by the pain, and you are losing hope. I understand how you feel! But your mindset is really important and can have a huge effect on pain, even perpetuating the pain after tissue damage has healed. For example, let’s say I injure my back so that sitting is painful. After awhile, the injury should heal, but in the meantime, I’ve become afraid of sitting. The fear-tension actually becomes a learned response (remember Pavlov’s dog?). Fear causes muscle tension, and prolonged muscle tension can cause spasm and pain! So it really, truly is possible to break this pain cycle through cognitive and relaxation techniques. For this I recommend reading John Sarno’s Healing Back Pain and perhaps even Fred Amir’s Rapid Recovery from Neck and Back Pain. I have written a lot about these books in another thread on back pain.

For more pain relief, I HIGHLY recommend walking. I think that walking is the most immediately beneficial therapy I have tried. A 15-20 minute walk will increase circulation and release natural mood elevators and pain killers. Walking is also beneficial for the endurance of certain spinal stabilizers, and reduces compressive forces on the spine. Walking can help restore motor patterns that might have been impaired from the injury, too. So that’s at least 6 different therapeutic benefits, and it’s absolutely free.

And please keep us posted on how you’re doing, and don’t hesitate to ask more questions!

Interesting that this thread has returned. Since my last post I have stopped the Vitalzym and returned to Wobenzyme with added serrapeptase. Serrapeptase is the enzyme that gives the Vitalzym its kick, and according to Dr. Wong it is the strongest proteolytic enzyme on the planet that has been discovered so far. The Vitalzym formula was super strong, I don’t know how many times I would tweak a wrist or shoulder or knee and just by upping my doseage a bit I would be fine by the end of the week. That was with the tablets. Unfortunatly the company has decided to only manufacture the capsules. Problem is the serrapeptase has to be absorbed in the duodenum because it will be destroyed by the stomach acid and thus ineffective. I can attest to this as I found the capsules completely useless and so did many of my lifting buddies. Using alka-seltzer to nuetralize the stomach acid and help speed up thier transport to the intestine did help some, but was still not as strong an effect as the tablets. Its much easier to just take the serrapeptase with Wobenzyme, it seems the Wobenzyme gang has gotten their act together and are putting out a good product again (the catalyst in the Wobenzym formula is the chymotrypsin, a strong enzyme in its own right but far inferior to serrapeptase, the ineffectiveness of the Wobenzym formula was a result of this enzyme not being extracted from its bovine source properly) so there ya go. Hope this helps.