Glucosamine No Remedy for Lower Back Pain, Says Study


[ABC News, July 06, 2010] Glucosamine has looked like salvation to many people with joint pain, but it proved no better than a sugar pill at reducing pain, disability or improving quality of life in a study of people plagued by chronic lower back pain and degenerative osteoarthritis.

Because a quarter of Americans with chronic low back pain turn at some point to glucosamine, researchers wanted to know more objectively if it could help. The latest findings came from Philip Wilkens at the Oslo University Hospital in Norway, a country where glucosamine is a prescription drug.

Dr. Gregory Plotnikoff, senior consultant for integrative medicine at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, said vitamin D deficiency could be skewing the results, given Norway's extreme northern latitude and lack of sunshine during winter months.

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