Degeneration of the Joints
The progressive mechanical stresses that are placed on the joints can result in the development of degenerative joint conditions. These conditions are characterized by the destruction of the cartilage, that cover the surface of the joints. This can then result in impaired joint movement as well as pain, swelling and even disability.
Clinical studies have shown that there are many significant health benefits of supplementing with natural compounds, to help with joint disorders. Supplements for joint pain can help maintain healthy cartilage, revitalize the synovial fluid, and improve joint mobility.
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and is a degenerative disease associated with disability and poor quality of life. People suffering from osteoarthritis often take joint supplements to protect mobility and prevent pain.
Studies have shown, that joint pain supplements are an emerging treatment for osteoarthritis, through their ability to improve pain and function outcomes. In fact, even people with no history of arthritis can benefit from joint support supplements to help prevent the onset of arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints. It is the most common autoimmune disease of the joints and is characterized by inflammation of the joints and their subsequent loss of function.
Supplementation with joint support not only improves pain outcomes, but is also a natural remedy that will help promote quality of life through improvement in patients' mobility. In addition, through the reduction in pain and increased quality of life, mood and mental health can also be improved.
Conservative Joint Care
Joint pain can be conservatively managed to help alleviate pain as well as even modify the course of arthritis. Measures to manage joint pain can include many lifestyle adjustments, including loss of weight, exercising, having better nutrition and taking joint support supplements.
All of these measures can help a person alleviate joint pain and maintain full range of movement. By actively taking control of these self-help pain relief strategies, conservative care management can effectively support overall physical and mental health.
Joint Pain Supplements Health Benefits
Joint pain supplements have been scientifically proven to naturally assist the maintenance of optimal joint health, reducing age-related degeneration and improving joint pain after injury.
Supplements that reduce joint pain come with the following health benefits:
- Replenish synovial fluid in the joints
- Promote joint cushioning
- Improve ease of mobility
- Reduce joint swelling
- Reduce joint stiffness
- May help rebuild lost cartilage
- Reduce joint pain in rheumatic patients
- Reduce joint pain that is exercise-induced
- Reduce symptoms of osteoarthritis
Joint Pain Solution #1 – Glucosamine
Glucosamine is an essential building block for the synthesis of glycoproteins and glycolipids (proteins and lipids with sugars attached). These substances are found in high quantities in the cartilage and synovial fluid of the body's joints.
Oral glucosamine supplements come as either glucosamine hydrochloride or glucosamine sulfate. These compounds have been approved as a registered drug in Europe for the treatment of osteoarthritis and have been shown to be effective at relieving inflammation and joint pain.
Daily supplementation with glucosamine supplements promote healthy joints primarily through the alleviation of joint pain and joint swelling. Glucosamine is observed to have anti-inflammatory and anti-catabolic effects that give people a more effective management plan for living with osteoarthritis.
- Relieves arthritic joint pain
- Improves joint mobility
- Improves joint range of movement
- Helps maintain healthy joints
- Supports recovery from joint-related injuries
Joint Pain Solution #2 – Chondroitin Sulfate
Chondroitin sulfate is one of the most common and widely used joint support supplements available. It is often combined with glucosamine as this combination has been shown to be an effective analgesic.
Studies show, that chondroitin and glucosamine supplements have anti-inflammatory properties that are beneficial for people with degenerative and age-related joint disorders.
Chondroitin sulfate is enriched in sulfur-containing amino acids, which are essential building blocks for many compounds used to make new cartilage. Chondroitin supplementation therefore effectively supports the joints through maintenance, by inhibiting cartilage degeneration, which is often the source of joint pain.
- Improves joint pain
- Prevents degradation of the articular cartilage
- Restores lost cartilage
Joint Pain Solution #3 – Collagen
Collagen is a group of fibrous proteins that are abundantly found in the body's connective tissues. Collagen is a structural component found in cartilage, the skin, blood vessels, tendons, and many other parts of the body.
Collagen is characterized by its unique mechanical properties, which contribute to the integrity, shape and strength of the tissues it is found in. In joint cartilage, especially Collagen Tpye 2 forms a matrix that provides strength and support for healthy joints.
Collagen supplements have been shown to help relieve joint pain, associated with exercise, injuries and arthritis. However, collagen supplements not only help individuals with joint pain but may also be beneficial at reducing swelling and inflammation.
Collagen supplements may also benefit people who are physically active and have no history of joint disease. This is because collagen supplements are believed to naturally support the maintenance, repair and regeneration of healthy joints.
- Improve joint pain outcomes
- Help maintain healthy joints
Joint Pain Solution #4 – Hyaluronic Acid
Hyaluronic acid is a large polymeric glycosaminoglycan that is widely distributed throughout the connective tissues in the body. It is particularly concentrated in the synovial fluid of joints, where it serves as a lubricant to reduce friction during joint movements.
In osteoarthritis, levels of hyaluronic acid are notably diminished and it is common for osteoarthritis patients to have hyaluronic acid injections into their joints. These injections can prevent further deterioration of the joint cartilage, however, these are quite invasive.
Oral administration of a natural hyaluronic acid supplement is less invasive and has been shown to be just as effective as injections. Therefore, hyaluronic acid supplements offer a real alternative to painful injections and regular hospital visits.
Furthermore, there are several randomized double blind clinical trials that show oral supplements of hyaluronic acid to be a very effective joint support supplement. Hyaluronic acid supplements not only reduce knee discomfort and pain but also improved mobility and greater range of movement compared to placebo.
- Improves joint lubrication
- Effective joint support
- Improves joint movement
- Relieves pain associated with arthritis and inflammation
- Reduces joint discomfort
- Enhances mobility and therefore improves muscular strength
Joint Pain Solution #5 – Methyl Sulfonyl Methane
Methyl sulfonyl methane (MSM) is a concentrated and highly bioavailable form of sulfur, that provides the body with enough sulfur to optimize the formation of compounds necessary for cartilage regeneration.
The organic sulfur in MSM supports processes, that help reduce inflammation and pain in the joints as well as strengthen and repair connective tissue. In one animal study, MSM was shown to significantly inhibit arthritis-related cartilage degeneration.
- Improves cartilage repair
- Reduces wear and tear of cartilage
- Assists in regeneration of healthy strong cartilage
The Boswellia Serrata tree produces a resin that is used to make the traditional Ayurvedic medicine, frankincense. Frankincense is a natural resin that produces an aromatic smoke used in many cultural and ritualistic ceremonies.
Frankincense was also used as a remedy for a variety of ailments including dysentery, asthma, ringworm, cardiovascular disease, jaundice and many other issues. More recently, studies show, that frankincense contains many potent anti-inflammatory compounds.
Frankincense is enriched in six types of boswellic acid, the most potent of which is called 3-acetyl-11-keto-B-boswellic acid (AKBA). These boswellic acids have been found to inhibit the production of pro-inflammatory substances found in areas of inflammation and pain.
Furthermore, research shows that its mode of action is different to other more common painkiller drugs or NSAIDs. Boswellia extract supplements can naturally help relieve pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints and thus promote freedom of movement.
- Potent anti-inflammatory properties
- Reduces swelling and stiffness in the joints
- Reduces pain associated with arthritis
- Supports proper joint movement
Oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPC) are a group of natural bioflavonoids that have potent antioxidant properties. OPC compounds are found enriched in many natural extracts, including grape seed, red wine, pine bark and green tea.
Antioxidant compounds help the body's defense against oxidative stress—the pathophysiological process behind many age-related and chronic ailments. In particular, degenerative disorders such as arthritis are not only caused by mechanical wear and tear, but also reactive biochemical metabolites.
Grape-seed extract is a naturally enriched source of antioxidants such as proanthocyanidin, which have been shown to have many therapeutic uses. These extracts can scavenge free radicals, thus inhibiting oxidative stress that is associated with inflammation in conditions such as age-related joint disease.
- Reduce injury-related joint swelling
- Prevent age-related degeneration of the joints
- Promote and support healthy ageing of the joints
Who Should Use Joint Pain Supplements?
Joint pain supplements can help people with the following health issues:
- Rheumatoid patients
- Osteoarthritic patients
- Athletes experiencing pain during movement
Joint Pain Supplement Side Effects and Risks
Joint pain supplements appear to be safe and non-toxic when taking at the recommended doses even in the long term.
However, the following side effects and risks have been reported:
- Glucosamine supplementation may affect blood sugar levels and therefore diabetics should consult their doctor prior to taking glucosamine.
- People who suffer from shellfish allergies should not supplement with chondroitin because chondroitin is derived from shellfish sources.
Joint Pain Supplement Interactions
- Glucosamine may reduce the efficacy of some chemotherapy drugs such as doxorubicin, etoposide and teniposide.
- Glucosamine and Chondroitin may interact with some blood thinners such as warfarin.
Joint Pain Supplement Combinations
- Glucosamine and chondroitin are regularly combined together due to this combination having superior anti-inflammatory and anti-catabolic effects.
- Minerals such as manganese and zinc are often included with joint support supplements to improve bioavailability
Why Take Joint Pain Supplements
Supplementing with natural therapeutics for joint pain has the following benefits:
- Relief from joint pain
- Slow joint degradation
- Slow the progression of arthritis
- Reduce symptoms of osteoarthritis
- Reduce the risk of developing arthritis
- Reduce joint swelling and stiffness
- Enhance recovery and rehabilitation from joint injuries
- Improve joint motion
- Improve range of movement of joints
Studies and References
1. Lippiello L, Woodward J, Karpman R, et al. In vivo chondroprotection and metabolic synergy of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate. Clin Ortho Relat Res. 2000; 381: 229-240
2. Kimmatkar N, Thawani V, Hingorani L, et al. Efficacy and tolerability of Boswellia serrata extract in treatment of osteoarthritis of knee--a randomized double blind placebo controlled trial. Phytomed. 2003; 10(1): 3-7
3. Uebelhart D, Malaise M, Marcolongo R, et al. Intermittent treatment of knee osteoarthritis with oral chondroitin sulfate: a one-year, randomized, double-blind, multicenter study versus placebo. Osteo Cart. 2004; 12(4): 269-276
4. Usha P, Naidu M. Randomised, double-blind, parallel, placebo-controlled study of oral glucosamine, methylsulfonylmethane and their combination in osteoarthritis. Clin Drug Investig. 2004; 24(6): 353-363
5. Keefe F, Somers T. Psychological approaches to understanding and treating arthritis pain. Nat Rev Rheumatol. 2010; 6(4): 210-216
6. Igarashi M, Kaga I, Takamori Y, et al.Effects of glucosamine derivatives and uronic acids on the production of glycosaminoglycans by human synovial cells and chondrocytes. Int J Mol Med. 2011; 27: 821–827
7. Park J, Park M, Oh H, et al. Grape-seed proanthocyanidin extract as suppressors of bone destruction in inflammatory autoimmune arthritis. PLoS One. 2012; 7(12): e51377
8. Henrotin Y, Lambert C. Chondroitin and glucosamine in the management of osteoarthritis: an update. Curr Rheumatol Rep. 2013; 15(10): 361
9. Ezaki J, Hashimoto M, Hosokawa Y, et al.Assessment of safety and efficacy of methylsulfonylmethane on bone and knee joints in osteoarthritis animal model. Bone Mineral Metab. 2013; 31(1): 16-25
10. Fransen M, Agailotis M, Nairn L, et al. Glucosamine and chondroitin for knee osteoarthritis: a double-blind randomised placebo-controlled clinical trial evaluating single and combination regimens. Ann Rheum Dis. 2015; 74(5): 851-858
11. Oe M, tashiro T, Yoshida T, et al. Oral hyaluronan relieves knee pain: a review. Nutr J. 2015; 15: 11