What are the best supplements for joint pain?
Joint pain can seriously impact your quality of life, but the right supplement could help to ease the aches, improve mobility and reduce damage over time.
Your joints can be injured during physical activity and affected by various illnesses. This restricts your mobility and causes pain, swelling and inflammation.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should consult your GP for a formal diagnosis and to discuss treatment options. Fortunately, there are also supplements available that may help your joints heal, or reduce painful and debilitating symptoms.
Your joints are complex, so joint pain has multiple causes and affects your body in various ways. The supplements listed below have different benefits and act on your joints in different ways – for example, they might be intended to reduce inflammation or boost natural collagen production – and so the effects will vary in each case.
- Boswellia (Indian Frankincense) is an effective anti-inflammatory that may help to preserve cartilage.
- Turmeric is another natural, highly effective anti-inflammatory which helps to support and maintain healthy and flexible joints.
- Omega-3, found in fish oils, might help to ease stiffness in people with rheumatoid arthritis. It may also reduce inflammation, which is a common symptom of various kinds of arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. According to Arthritis Research UK, you should try a concentrated supplement omega-3 supplement for three months to see if you experience any benefits.
- Capasaicin, taken from chilli peppers, is an analgesic (i.e. it reduces pain) that is often used as an arthritis treatment.
- Glucosamine naturally occurs in the body, where it plays a role in building and protecting your joints. Levels of glucosamine in the body tend to decrease with age. Glucosamine sulphate and glucosamine hydrochloride are commonly sold as supplements for people with osteoarthritis in an effort to nourish joints. Current evidence suggests that glucosamine sulphate is the better choice.
- Chondroitin sulphate is a natural anti-inflammatory. Osteoarthritis breaks down cartilage; since chondroitin is a natural constituent of cartilage, people with this condition often take it in combination with glucosamine as a way of slowing the damage. It may also used to reduce pain.
- Ginger extract is a potential analgesic that might help to reduce joint stiffness in the morning, which is a common symptom of rheumatoid arthritis.
- Vitamin D may be helpful, as vitamin D deficiency has been linked to rheumatoid arthritis and increased joint pain. It may have anti-inflammatory effects.
- Vitamin E might act as an anti-inflammatory, but it could also prevent damage to the cells in your joints.