Q: Shooting hoops is killing my knees. Can the supplements my grandfather takes to relieve arthritis help my knee pain?

A: Knee pain often stems from overuse, not warming up before or stretching after exercise, or conditions such as arthritis and gout. Another cause: not drinking enough water, which keeps joints and disks flexible. Supplements can help prevent and relieve knee pain, according to clinical trials reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Try Glucosamine Sulfate, Chondroitin Sulfate or MSM (methylsulfonylmethane), available at most health food stores. The benefits may not kick in for up to two months, so in the meantime, warm up and stretch the front and back of thighs to avoid further stress. Resistance training also can help by strengthening these muscles.