Supplements for Osteoarthritis

If you hear cracking or grating or popping sounds from your knee joint, you may be heading for osteoarthritis (OA). There are several options for arthritis knee pain treatment such as pharmaceuticals, herbal remedies, nutritional supplements, exercise therapy, weight loss or surgery.

Surgery can involve either one of:

  • Arthroscopy– a keyhole surgery of the joint
  • Osteotomy– cutting the bone for correction of alignment
  • Joint fusion or arthrodesis – a procedure where movement of the joint is stopped permanently by fusing the two bones.
  • Joint replacement or arthroplasty– making new joint surfaces to improve mobility. It can be an artificial substance or natural material taken from the patient’s body

 However, surgery should always be the last resort!

Common pharmaceutical medications used for osteoarthritis treatment are acetaminophen and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). However, although NSAIDs and analgesics are only moderately effective;they can cause side effects and adverse effects from interactions with other medications.

Chondrotin sulphate

Chondrotin sulphate is a common nutritional supplement that is available from many health stores for treating arthritis knee pain. Chondrotin sulphate is a natural product extracted from animal cartilage (e.g. bovine trachea). The proposed mechanism of Chondrotin sulphate supplement may work through restoring the extracellular matrix in the cartilage which prevents further cartilage breakdown which reduces joint degradation.

A combination formula of glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate supplements are often used as Glucosamine sulphate also increases production of cartilage, thus the combination of supplements may have a synergistic effect.

CAM Research

Now a recent research study has shown that high-grade grade chondroitin sulphate is a safe and effective first-line treatment for knee osteoarthritis pain treatment.

In this clinical trial of 604 patients with symptomatic knee osteoarthritis were recruited from five European countries. The participants were randomly assigned to one of three daily treatments and then monitored for 6 months.The daily treatments were:

  • Chondroitin sulfate;
  • NSAID celecoxib; and
  • Placebo tablets.

The results published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases showed that pain and joint function improved significantly with all three treatment groups over the 6-month trial period. However, pain reduction and improvements in joint function were significantly greater after 6 and 3 months, respectively, in patients treated with either chondroitin sulfate or celecoxib. Joint function improved more quickly in patients taking celecoxib, but there were no overall differences in the effectiveness of either active treatment, which were highly rated by patients. All three treatment approaches were very safe.

The researchers concluded that high-quality (pharmaceutical grade) chondroitin sulfate is as good as a widely prescribed non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (celecoxib) for the treatment of painful knee osteoarthritis. The researchers concluded, “In conclusion, the CONCEPT study provided evidence that daily administration of 800 mg of 4 &6 CS in patients with symptomatic knee OA lead to improvement in pain and function superior to placebo and similar to the NSAID celecoxib. In addition, we confirmed the excellent safety profile of CS that has been previously observed by others. This compelling benefit-risk profile, in light of the known clinical risks associated with chronic usage of NSAIDs and paracetamol, underscores the potential importance of pharmaceutical-grade CS in the management of knee OA, especially in this older population requiring long-term treatment”.

So, this study has shown that chondrin sulphate is a recommended treatment option for knee osteoarthritis as it provides the same benefits as leading pharmaceutical brands but has a leading advantage in that there are no concerns regarding the side-effects of chondrin sulfate at the recommended doses.

It is also important to note that high quality nutritional supplements are essential to deliver good therapeutic outcomes. This again shows the importance of practitioner -grade products. Apple A Day RX has access to many practitioner grade products. Please contact Apple A Day RX for further information.