Calling all folks with knee knowledge! I've been training for almost 10 months, and I've had knee issues on and off for the past 6 months. I finally went to the sports doc and started physical therapy in September, which helped immensely. However, I seem to have developed a whole new knee problem. At our last seminar, I had a sharp pain under my knee cap when I did a round kick on someone, and since then my knee hasn't been the same. I spent a week in Canada at a conference shortly after the karate seminar, and walking up stairs was pretty painful, even occasionally just walking hurt. One day I forgot to take my anti-inflammatory and I spent the whole day wiggling around because my knee would hurt if I left it in any one position for too long. I resumed therapy when I returned and it's helping, but I also followed up with the doc who suspects I have some softening of the articular cartilage that lines the groove which the patella sits in, which is causing irritation and pain. We have to do a little hoop jumping to get my insurance to pay for an MRI, so we don't know for sure what's going on in there right now. He suggested I try a supplement called CH alpha which is supposed to help restore softened cartilage and continue with physical therapy for a month, then we'll start bugging the insurance company for an MRI if there's no improvement. So my questions for all of you knee people - has anyone used CH alpha and did it do what it claims? Let's say it does help... what's the likelihood of developing more cartilage issues down the road, especially if I stop taking it? The stuff is $55 for a 30 day supply... that's more than my monthly karate dues! Thinking about my physical therapy, we're mainly focusing on fixing muscle tightness and imbalance and strengthening muscles around the knee. It seems to be pretty standard therapy for a few different knee problems. How have other people made out that have done this kind of therapy? Mostly, I'd just like to know if there's a good outlook for this. I'm feeling pretty down because I've been out of class a lot lately because of the pain, and when I'm in class, my performance is pretty terrible. My stances are shallow, my turns on the affected leg are slow, kicks are pretty lame, I have little power, and really everything just feels off because of my lower body being off.