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News & Events Supplements for Joint Pain

Supplements for Joint Pain

As an orthopedic surgeon, I am routinely asked about the best ways to alleviate joint pain.   As an orthopedic surgeon in LA, I am often asked about the best ways to naturally alleviate joint pain.  There are many answers to this, and I try to individualize my recommendations based on patients’ goals. Some patients are unable to take traditional non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs; i.e. ibuprofen, naproxen, aspirin) due to underlying medical conditions or other medications they are on.  Some prefer a more holistic approach.  In this month’s update, I wanted to discuss supplements for joint pain and arthritis.  

A quick Google search for ‘supplements for joint pain’ yielded about 390 million hits.  Remember, as with all supplements, these are not strictly regulated by the FDA and the amounts and concentrations of the products contained within may vary by brand.  Talk to your doctor about what is right for you.  

Here are some of the more common supplements used for joint pain:

Tumeric

Sold as a capsule or powder, this spice contains curcumin which is a biologically active compound that has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects.  Sometimes combined with ginger, this supplement is generally safe to take orally but may potentiate the effects of blood thinning medications. 

Green Mussels

This shellfish native of New Zealand was brought to my attention as an effective joint pain supplement from my patients both in Minnesota and LA.  Taken as a capsule or oil, it can be taken daily to reduce inflammation. The exact mechanism of action is unknown. 

Type 2 Collagen 

The cartilage in our joints is made up of primarily type 2 collagen.  When taken as a supplement, research shows that type 2 collagen can reduce pain and improve function and quality of life compared to taking a placebo or Tylenol alone.  Most of the collagen in these supplements comes from chicken.  

Glucosamine Chondroitin 

This is the supplement I get asked about the most. Glucosamine and chondroitin are part of the building blocks of cartilage and have been marketed for joint pain relief. They are thought to help reduce inflammation and help protect the cartilage cells.  Research has not shown proven benefit over placebo.  

Schedule Your Appointment with Glendale Orthopedics

If you are having joint pain, call Glendale Orthopedics today at 818-547-0608.  We use up-to-date, evidence-based care to discuss which treatment options are right for you to improve your pain and quality of life.

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