When it comes to choosing the best joint pain supplement, it can be difficult because there are so many options. The best advice is to look for ingredients that have been proven to improve painful joints and read reviews from joint pain sufferers like you.
This webpage contains links to external webpages. The publisher of this website may receive compensation through purchases from those websites.
According to the Nutrition Business Journal, in 2012, U.S. consumers spent $753 million on joint pain relief supplements. Most joint pain supplements contain a combination of glucosamine hydrochloride or glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin in the sulfate form. These are naturally occurring ingredients in our bodies and are found in and around the cartilage that protects our joints. Researchers have found that glucosamine and chondroitin act in concert to reduce pain in certain people with osteoarthritis, the degenerative joint disease that affects 27 million Americans by regenerating the cartilage that is eroded by the disease.
In a large, multicenter trial published in 2006, researchers found some evidence that glucosamine and chondroitin alleviated pain in patients with moderate to severe knee osteoarthritis, the most common type. But subsequent studies have not confirmed that finding. And treatment guidelines issued in May 2013 by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons don’t recommend glucosamine and chondroitin supplements for symptomatic OA in the knee joint, citing lack of efficacy. They made no statement regarding the continued use of glucosamine and chondroitin for other joints or for joint pain causes other than OA.
Glucosamine and chondroitin have shown a good safety record in studies of up to three years, but they may interact with some drugs, particularly blood thinners. So check with your doctor first if you take warfarin (Coumadin and generic) or another blood-thinning drug. At recommended daily doses, most provide about 1,500 milligrams of glucosamine salt and 1,200 milligrams of chondroitin sulfate. People who are allergic to shellfish should consider avoiding glucosamine derived from crustacean shells, a common source. Keep a daily pain diary to gauge whether the supplements are helping. If you’ve seen no improvement after three months, it’s unlikely that you will, our experts say.