Can supplements help reduce joint pain?

Scott D. Martin, MD
Orthopedic Surgery
Glucosamine is a substance normally found in both cartilage and synovial fluid, and chondroitin sulfate is one component of a protein that makes cartilage elastic which can help treat joint pain. It isn't clear how supplements of these nutrients might work, but some evidence suggests it reduces pain in some people with osteoarthritis. For example, a large study published in The New England Journal of Medicine concluded that glucosamine and chondroitin did not reduce pain effectively over all, but that the supplements did benefit a subgroup of patients with moderate to severe pain. Two earlier three-year studies in Europe found that people with knee osteoarthritis taking glucosamine had significantly less pain and narrowing of their joint space than those taking a placebo.
Marjorie Nolan Cohn
Nutrition & Dietetics

Glucosamine Chondroitin can help reduce joint pain. The body naturally manufactures glucosamine and chondroitin, both of which promote joint health and support healthy joint movement. Glucosamine is thought to promote the formation and repair of cartilage while it is believed that chondroitin helps prevent the breakdown of cartilage. Glucosamine supplements are derived from shellfish shells; chondroitin supplements are generally made from cow cartilage. Because binge eaters have an added risk of joint damage from carrying excess weight, glucosamine chondroitin can be taken to restore joint health and to prevent further damage.

Continue Learning about Pain Conditions

How can I prevent stiffness and pain in my joints as I get older?
Doctors Hospital of AugustaDoctors Hospital of Augusta
The number one way to prevent pain and stiffness in joints as you age is to stay active. If you don'...
More Answers
How do other illnesses affect central pain syndrome?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
Central pain syndrome is not a condition without cause. It is the result of an illness or injury tha...
More Answers
How is inflammation of the pudendal nerve treated?
Juan P. Villablanca, MDJuan P. Villablanca, MD
Inflammation of the pudendal nerve (a main nerve in the pelvis) can be treated with an injection of ...
More Answers
When is surgery the best option for joint pain?
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MDDr. Mehmet Oz, MD
When it comes to joint injuries, healing with steel is not the first choice. The major benefit of su...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.