Glucosamine for Osteoarthritis

Glucosamine: A Potential Relief for Osteoarthritis

What are the Benefits of Taking Glucosamine?

Osteoarthritis (OA) stands as the most prevalent form of arthritis, affecting various joints including the hands, hips, shoulders, and knees. It occurs when the protective cartilage on the ends of your bones wears down, leading to pain and swelling. While both drug and non-drug treatments can mitigate these symptoms, glucosamine emerges as a potential supplement.

Naturally present in the body, glucosamine aids in building cartilage and is available in various forms such as glucosamine hydrochloride or sulphate. Recommended typically at 1500 mg daily, it’s considered a dietary supplement that might also be administered via injections.

Physiotherapist discusses knee arthritis and potential for Glucosamine
Physiotherapist Discusses Knee Arthritis With Patient

What Does Research Say?

Recent high-quality studies suggest that glucosamine’s impact on pain may parallel that of placebos. However, a broader look at research, including older and less rigorous studies, particularly those examining the Rotta brand, indicates a more substantial pain reduction with glucosamine than with placebos. Similarly, while improvements in function varied across studies, some evidence supports glucosamine’s effectiveness over placebos.

Is Glucosamine an Anti Inflammatory?

No. But glucosamine and chondroitin may have anti-inflammatory properties. Further research is required.

The Caution with NSAIDs

It’s crucial to highlight the risks associated with Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs), commonly prescribed for OA. They pose significant side effects, including increased risks of stroke, blood pressure complications, and even potential damage to articular cartilage. Therefore, exploring alternatives like glucosamine becomes even more relevant.

What to Do?

For those navigating the challenges of osteoarthritis, consulting your doctor can provide tailored advice and treatment options beyond general guidelines. Your healthcare practitioners can assess your specific needs, considering the latest research and holistic approaches to managing OA.

The Latest Cochrane Review


While glucosamine offers a potential avenue for osteoarthritis relief, individual experiences may vary. It underscores the importance of professional guidance in navigating treatment options.

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