Best Supplements for Eliminating Joint Pain

Best Supplements for Eliminating Joint Pain

Chronic joint pain, such as in the knees, hands, elbows, and shoulders, is not a rare condition. Often, osteoarthritis, the most common type of arthritis that affects almost one-quarter of people in the United States, is the culprit. Osteoarthritis is a “wear and tear arthritis” and occurs when the protective cartilage at the ends of your bones wears down over time. Osteoarthritis most commonly affects weight-bearing joints such as the big toes, knees, hips, and spine. Individuals who have experienced sports injuries are at a greater risk of joint degeneration. However, everyday activities do wear down the joints, and if you are above healthy body weight, this wear and tear are compounded further. Maintaining healthy body weight is an essential step to maintaining healthy and pain-free joints. Stretching and strengthening exercises help to stabilize the joints, and aerobic exercise increases the diffusion of oxygen and nutrients to the joints, helping to keep them healthy. While pain medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen are often used for joint pain relief, there are also many supplements on the market that claim to treat joint pain. In this article, we will take a look at the best supplements for eliminating joint pain.

1. Glucosamine

Glucosamine is a component of cartilage. Cartilage is connective tissue and serves an important structural role in the body. Cartilage is found between bones (at the joints) and prevents bones from rubbing against each other, which causes pain and inflammation. Glucosamine may also help prevent the breakdown of cartilage that can occur with arthritis.

Glucosamine found in supplements comes in two forms: glucosamine hydrochloride and glucosamine sulfate. Studies have shown that while glucosamine hydrochloride does not have a significant impact on joint pain caused by osteoarthritis, glucosamine sulfate does improve symptoms. Over an extended period of time, glucosamine sulfate may even help to slow the progression of osteoarthritis. One way it may do this is by slowing down the narrowing of the joint space, which is a marker of the progression of osteoarthritis. Therefore, if you decide to try a glucosamine supplement, make sure it contains glucosamine sulfate and not glucosamine hydrochloride.


2. Chondroitin

Chondroitin is also a component of cartilage and may help prevent the breakdown of cartilage that occurs with osteoarthritis. Clinical studies have shown that chondroitin can decrease joint pain and stiffness from osteoarthritis. Like glucosamine, long-term chondroitin supplementation may slow the progression of osteoarthritis by slowing the narrowing of the joint space.

3. SAMe

S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAMe) is often used for both depression and osteoarthritis. SAMe is naturally produced by your liver from the amino acid methionine. SAMe helps produce and repair cartilage. SAMe can help ease joint pain caused by osteoarthritis and may even be as effective as the anti-inflammatory drug, celecoxib.

4. Turmeric

Turmeric has become one of the most popular supplements for treating pain and inflammation. Turmeric contains the chemical compound called curcumin, which is the component of turmeric that seems to have pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effects. A review of studies found that turmeric improves the symptoms of joint pain and maybe comparable to ibuprofen.

If you are looking for more information about turmeric, check out some other articles on our blog where we dive into the amazing health benefits of turmeric.

turmeric veggie capsules

5. Boswellia

Boswellia is also known as Indian frankincense and is often used for arthritis pain. Chemicals in Boswellia called Boswellia acids have anti-inflammatory effects. Clinical studies have shown Boswellia extracts reduce osteoarthritis pain more than a placebo.

6. Fish Oil

The omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil, docosahexaenoic acid, and eicosapentaenoic acid, have anti-inflammatory effects. A review of research showed that while fish oil seemed to reduce joint pain in those with rheumatoid arthritis, it did not reduce osteoarthritis symptoms. While you can supplement with omega-3 fatty acids, you can also find them in many foods such as fish, nuts, seeds (chia and flax), walnuts, almonds, and eggs.

Fish oil

7. Methylsulfonylmethane

Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is a common ingredient in some joint pain supplements. One study showed that MSM decreased pain and increased functioning in those with osteoarthritis more than a placebo.

8. Green Tea

Though not a supplement specifically for joint pain, green tea contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that could help your joint pain. Green tea is also used for weight loss and may have multiple health benefits.

Japanese Matcha green tea

9. Vitamin D

Vitamin D is crucial for strong, healthy bones and preventing injuries from falls. Research has shown that individuals with low vitamin D levels may have increased joint pain. Vitamin D has also been shown to fight disease, reduce depression, and even boost weight loss, so it is worth considering adding to your supplement routine.

10. Ginger

Again, though not specifically a joint pain supplement, ginger is an herb with anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and anti-atherosclerotic effects.

Ginger root and ginger powder

Clearly, there are many types of supplements for joint pain, and many supplements will contain multiple ingredients. Remember that a long list of ingredients does not mean the product is of better quality. Vitamins and minerals have safe upper limits as well as recommended daily allowances. Dangerous interactions between medications is always a risk, and joint health supplements can interact with some medications such as blood thinners. Make sure you ask your doctor about the dosage and/or follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. Use the information in this article and consult with your doctor or pharmacist so you can make the best choices for your health.

Doctor explaining vitamins benefits

With age, you will most likely experience joint wear and tear and the pain and discomfort that accompany osteoarthritis. The good news is that a healthy, anti-inflammatory diet and appropriate vitamins and supplements can help reduce pain and stiffness in the joints. Plus, a healthy diet full of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-rich foods will support a vibrant, energetic, and healthy life with a plethora of benefits.


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