Originally Posted by TonyB
I had knee problems a few years ago. Serious pain. It LITERALLY felt like my left knee was on fire every minute that I was on the court. I thought it was my sneakers, so I switched and it helped a little. But the pain was still there. I could not sleep comfortably, I had to sleep 100% on my back to relax my knees overnight. I could not stand up straight for more than 10 minutes at a time. I actually thought it might be early-onset arthritis, it hurt so bad. I finally considered going to the doctor for possible surgery. I took glucosamine/chondroitin for a few months, thinking it would help "rebuild" my knee. These were HUGE horse pills, too. It did nothing whatsoever.
The best benefit that I found was doing knee strengthening exercises and non-impact activities. I stopped playing tennis for 6-8 weeks and just worked on non-impact strength. I stopped taking pills entirely. My knees healed perfectly and I've never had a problem since then, even after re-starting tennis and playing hard for the last 4 years.
Most people who take these pills also do other rehab activities. They are also more careful when playing tennis or doing other sports. So, it's not really clear whether the pills do anything at all.
Bottom line: forget the pills and work on strengthening the musculature around the knee. Stop impact-heavy activities (even tennis). Once you are COMPLETELY pain-free, then start playing again at a reduced pace. Gradually build up to full-speed.
what specific exercises where you doing to strengthen the knees? I have patella tendonitis where if I split step or jump once I land the lower knee cap hurts. Softer insoles and knee braces have helped a lot but it's still painful even when I split step.