Do you suffer from joint pain? If so, you're not alone. There are millions of Americans who experience discomfort caused by arthritis or the normal wear-and-tear that comes from aging. According to a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 30 percent of American adults said "yes" when asked if they had experienced joint pain or stiffness in the past 30 days. If you fit into this category, you may need options for how to control your pain, which is where glucosamine and chondroitin supplements may help.
These substances may help relieve joint pain without causing side effects, because they are already naturally present in your body. According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine an (NCCAM), glucosamine is an ingredient present in cartilage, which is the connective tissue between the joints that helps them move comfortably. Chondroitin is a substance that helps cartilage retains water.
Healthy cartilage allows your joints to move freely over each other without pain, yet when this substance starts to break down it causes pain and conditions such as osteoarthritis. This is why a common treatment for joint discomfort is a glucosamine and chondroitin supplement, which may aims to help improve cartilage.
A study conducted by NCCAM set out to determine the effectiveness of glucosamine and chondroitin supplements. It found that 79 percent of individuals with moderate-to-severe joint pain who took these natural pills experienced significant relief.
"People with osteoarthritis should work with their healthcare provider to develop a comprehensive plan for managing their arthritis pain: eat right, exercise, lose excess weight, and use proven pain medications. If people have moderate-to-severe pain, they should talk with their healthcare provider about whether glucosamine plus chondroitin sulfate is an appropriate treatment option," said study authors.
If this isn't enough reason for you to try these natural supplements, consider the alternatives. While there are many prescription medications out there that can help control pain, they can come with unpleasant side effects.
For example, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs are commonly used to treat arthritis pain. However, according to the American College of Rheumatology, these drugs can come with side effects including stomach bleeding and ulcers, high blood pressure, fluid retention, as well as heart and kidney problems.
So before you turn to NSAIDs or other painkillers like opiates, which can carry the risk of addiction, look into taking natural glucosamine and chondroitin supplements to help ease joint pain.