Know This – Many Pain-Free People Have Terrible-Looking MRI’s

c/o NPR. If you or someone you know has back pain, read this. And consult a PT you trust!


Happy New Year!

Wishing you all a Happy and Healthy New Year – from all of us at Hershey Orthopedic & Spine Rehab!

Consider These One-Legged Exercises in Your Workout Program

Brett Contreras makes some good points here in pointing out why most of us should include these exercises at some point in our exercise programs (for me one important reason is that many times you will find side to side differences, which you will want to address to lower your chance of injury).

I’m not saying you need to load up like some of these guys in the pictures are shown, but they can be modified for your ability level.


“An athlete must have a sound and trained body, and only after, indulge in sport he prefers.” – Albert Azaryan, World Champion Gymnast

How do you approach preparing yourself for the sport or activity you love to do?

Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate For Knee Arthritis – Should I Try It?

We get this question a lot.

A recent review in the January 2009 issue of the Journal of Arthroscopy reviewed the use of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate for knee osteoarthritis.  Considering the vast amount of people suffering from knee arthritis and the increasing cost of medical care for these patients, the use of any type of supplement to reduce symptoms is welcome.

Research into the efficacy of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate is certainly not new – studies date back to 1969.  However, the literature has been filled with many poorly controlled studies. Some were funded by glucosamine manufacturers themselves! This particular paper reviewed the results of 23 studies that involved double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized control trials as well as several meta-analyses.

The overall results of the review show that there are inconsistent results, but that the results do favor improvement of pain and joint function in patients with arthritis.  The authors also note that one of the most consistent trends between studies involved the length of use of the supplement.  The best results from glucosamine appear to occur after several months of use.  Studies are referenced that show positive results in 3-6 months and even up to 9 months.


A potentially more important finding of the current review was that the use of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate appears to be safe.  The most common side effects occur that have been reported are gastrointestinal in nature, such as upset stomach, nausea, heartburn, and diarrhea. Taking glucosamine and/or chondroitin sulfate with food seems to reduce the incidence of the above side effects.

To date, no significant side effects have been reported, although long-term studies on the safety of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate supplements still need to be completed.

Recommended Use

Below are guidelines that were developed by the Osteoarthritis Research Society International. These are basic guidelines – so make sure you consult with your personal physician before starting or trying glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate.

  • Glucosamine should be taken with chondroitin sulfate to maximize it’s effectiveness
  • Supplements that include magnesium and vitamin C may help the absorption rate of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate.
  • To date, the specific brand that has received the highest recommendations appears to be Cosamin DS.
  • Dosage should vary based on body weight:
    • If less than 120 lbs: G 1000mg + CS 800mg
    • Between 120-200 lbs: G 1500mg + CS 1200mg
    • If greater than 200 lbs: G 2000mg + CS 1600mg
  • Supplements should be taken for at least 3 months for noticeable results.  If no response within 6 months, may discontinue.