Many people deal with chronic joint pain in their knees, hands, elbows, shoulders, and elsewhere. In most cases, this is caused by the most common type of arthritis, osteoarthritis. This form of arthritis affects almost one-quarterTrusted Source of people in the United States.
Pain relievers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen (Advil), are usually the first choice for joint pain relief.
There are also dozens of supplements that claim to treat joint pain, but which ones actually work? Here’s a look at 9 of the best options and what the existing research says about them.
Glucosamine is a natural component of cartilage, a substance that prevents bones from rubbing against each other and causing pain and inflammation. It might also help prevent the cartilage breakdown that can happen with arthritis.
Many supplements aimed at treating joint pain contain glucosamine, which is one of the most well-studied supplements for osteoarthritis. But despite this research, there are still some questions about how well it works.
There are two types of glucosamine found in supplements: glucosamine hydrochloride and glucosamine sulfate.
One meta-analysisTrusted Source found that products containing glucosamine hydrochloride don’t do much to improve joint pain caused by osteoarthritis. Another study trusted Source shows that glucosamine sulfate does improve these symptoms, so it may be a better option than glucosamine hydrochloride.
When taken over a long period of time, glucosamine sulfate may also help to slow down the progression of osteoarthritis. Studies suggest that it slows down the narrowing of the joint space, a marker of the condition getting worse when taken for up to three years.
Try it: Glucosamine sulfate is typically taken once daily in a dose of 1,500 milligrams (mg). If this upsets your stomach, try spreading it out over three doses of 500 mg each. You can find glucosamine sulfate supplements on Amazon.
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