Although there are many causes of joint pain, one of the most common is osteoarthritis. When it comes to treating the joint pain associated with arthritis, more people are turning to the use of natural supplements to avoid using anti-inflammatory medications long term. Anti-inflammatories are known to have significant side effects including an increased risk of intestinal bleeding and may increase the risk of heart disease according to recent studies. Here are some natural supplements for joint pain that appear to hold promise.
Supplements for joint pain: Glucosamine and chondroitin
One of the most well studied natural supplements for joint pain is glucosamine sulfate. This supplement can be purchased at most health food stores and is one of the most frequently used natural treatments by patients with osteoarthritis. Although studies looking at the effectiveness of this supplement for joint pain have been inconsistent, when evidence is pooled, it appears glucosamine sulfate modestly decreases joint pain in people suffering from osteoarthritis. This supplement is often seen combined with another component known as chondroitin. Chondroitin doesn’t appear to be as effective as glucosamine sulfate in terms of joint pain reduction. Thus, using glucosamine sulfate formulations with added chondroitin offers no advantage over use of a glucosamine supplement alone.
Supplements for joint pain: Ginger
That tasty spice hiding in your cabinet known as ginger may be another useful supplement for joint pain. Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties which may play a role in reducing joint inflammation. Although pain improvement doesn’t seem to be dramatic with use of ginger supplements, it appears to offer some modest benefit in terms of pain reduction. Ginger extracts can be purchased in most health food stores and are considered to be safe.
Supplements for joint pain: SAMe
This supplement for joint pain is expensive but has been shown to be effective in the treatment of joint discomfort associated with osteoarthritis. In fact, studies suggest it may be as effective as traditional anti-inflammatory medications and may reduce cartilage damage in the affected joints. This supplement should be used with caution if you’re taking other medications as it can interact with certain drugs. It can also cause anxiety and agitation in some people.
Supplements for joint pain: Devil’s Claw
This joint pain supplement is derived from an African plant. Like other natural joint supplements, it has anti-inflammatory properties. Preliminary studies have demonstrated its effectiveness in relieving arthritis pain, but its long term safety is unknown. Although this supplement holds promise, it should be avoided until more studies demonstrate its safety.
Always talk to your doctor before starting any supplement for joint pain due to the potential for drug interactions.