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Is Glucosamine Good For Back Pain

Supplement And Herb Guide For Arthritis Symptoms

Glucosamine Benefits | Arthritis & Heart Health

Learn about popular supplements for arthritis and how they may help with symptoms.

Interested in supplements to ease arthritis symptoms but dont know where to start? Youve come to the right place. This guide provides thorough research of the most popular supplements and herbs used for arthritis to help you figure out whats right for you. While some of these supplements may help treat arthritis symptoms, nothing can substitute doctor-prescribed medications, a healthy diet and exercise. And remember always talk to your doctor before adding a new supplement to your regimen. Just because something is natural doesnt mean its without side effects or safe to mix with your medication. For more tips on choosing safe supplements, read this article.

Rated For Degenerative Disc Disease Report

Started on this for my knees. . . Back when I was able to run, it was a popular prophylactic and treatment for cartilage issues amongst runners. Now it actually has been found effective not only as a prophylactic, but also as an analgesic for cartilage issues, the only excuse you have not to give it a shot is allergy to shellfish.

Rated For Knee Pain Report

Considering there is nothing else really that has a disease modifying effect,& the possible negative and dirorienting info by interested parties, I have after much study and constant monitoring found that Glucosamine Sulphate over a period of 2 years has helped me markedly, though I must mention I took 1500mg of it along with 1300 of Chondroitin for the 1st year, and then 1750 mg Glucosamine with 650 Chondroitin. I have 2 further inputs. The first is the caveat about the quality of the product here I have a simple approach…go for someone with a name, say for instance Walgreens. Secondly, it has been recently found that some of the osteoporosis medications like Calcitonin are the only other agents that clinical trials have shown to have a disease modifying effect.

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Is Glucosamine Actually Good For Joints

by Andrew Lavender, The Conversation

Pharmaceutical companies have been promoting glucosamine supplements as a treatment for osteoarthritis for many years. Taking glucosamine for osteoarthritis is one of the most common forms of complementary medicine in western societies.

Osteoarthritis is a condition in which the cartilage lining the surfaces of the joints wears thin due to the bones rubbing on each other for a long period. It’s also caused by reduced production of proteoglycan, an essential component of cartilage, as we age. This results in joint pain and stiffness.

Glucosamine and chondroitin occur naturally in the body and are required for the biosynthesis of proteoglycan. It’s been suggested supplementation with these products increases the amount of cartilage and fluid in the joints, and/or reduces the rate of decline in these substances leading to relief of pain and improved joint health.

Glucosamine and chondroitin have both been developed as prescription drugs for treating osteoarthritis. And there are many products available as over-the-counter medications and dietary supplements. These vary greatly in the quantity of glucosamine and chondroitin they contain.

While osteoarthritis is usually associated with an older age group, there are other risk factors including genetics, obesity, joint injury, occupational or recreational activities, gender and ethnicity.

Glucosamine formulation

Glucosamine as a preventative measure

Chondroitin sulfate

So what’s the verdict?

Latest Chronic Pain News

Glucosamine Chondroitin Turmeric MSM Boswellia 2100 mg ...

HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, July 6 — The popular supplement glucosamine offers little or no relief for sufferers of chronic lower back pain caused by osteoarthritis, a new study finds.

The Norwegian trial seems to be another knock against glucosamine, with other recent studies showing similar results.

“The study answer the questions: ‘I have suffered low back pain for a long time , will a 6-month intake of glucosamine help me?'” said lead researcher Philip Wilkens, a research fellow in the orthopedic department at the University of Oslo. “And the answer according to this study is no.”

On the up side, “glucosamine appears safe to use,” he added. “And more research is needed to answer if glucosamine is beneficial to prevent chronic low back pain or have benefits in longer term, like 5 to 10 years.”

Osteoarthritis affects more than 20 million Americans, and the number is expected to increase, the researchers note. Glucosamine is a common over-the-counter treatment for osteoarthritis, even though its use has been controversial.

For example, a University of Pittsburgh study presented at a rheumatologists‘ meeting in October found the supplement did not prevent loss of cartilage in osteoarthritic knees, while studies published in 2008 in Arthritis& Rheumatism and the Annals of Internal Medicine found glucosamine had little or no effect on arthritis of the knee and hips, respectively.

Copyright © 2010 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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Does It Really Work

Though broad claims are made about glucosamines positive effects on many diseases, available research only supports its use for a narrow range of conditions.

Currently, the strongest evidence supports glucosamine sulfate use for long-term treatment of osteoarthritis symptoms. That said, it may not work for everyone .

According to available data, its less likely to be an effective treatment for other diseases or inflammatory conditions.

If youre considering using glucosamine, keep in mind the quality of the supplement you choose as this could make a difference in how it affects you.

In some countries including the US there is very little regulation of dietary supplements. Therefore, labels may be deceptive .

Its always best to check for third-party certification to ensure youre getting exactly what youre paying for. Manufacturers willing to have their products tested for purity by a third party tend to have higher standards.

ConsumerLab, NSF International and US Pharmacopeia are a few independent companies that provide certification services. If you see one of their logos on your supplement, its probably of good quality.


Most research supports the use of glucosamine-sulfate solely for managing osteoarthritis symptoms. Its less likely to be effective in other applications.

What Are Glucosamine And Chondroitin

Glucosamine and chondroitin are structural components of cartilage, the tissue that cushions the joints. Both are produced naturally in the body. They are also available as dietary supplements. Researchers have studied the effects of these supplements, individually or in combination, on osteoarthritis, a common type of arthritis that destroys cartilage in the joints.

More information

Cartilage is the connective tissue that cushions the ends of bones within the joints. In osteoarthritis, the surface layer of cartilage between the bones of a joint wears down. This allows the bones to rub together, which can cause pain and swelling and make it difficult to move the joint. The knees, hips, spine, and hands are the parts of the body most likely to be affected by osteoarthritis.

For more information about osteoarthritis, visit the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases Web site at For more information on complementary health approaches for osteoarthritis, see the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health fact sheet .

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What’s Behind The New Advice To Stop Taking Glucosamine For Arthritis

by Nial Wheate and Joanna Harnett, The Conversation

The Australian Rheumatology Association this week warned people not to take the supplement glucosamine for their osteoarthritis due to possible allergic side-effects.

What’s the evidence behind this latest advice? And do you really need to stop taking it?

How did we get here?

For years, glucosamine has been marketed as a treatment for osteoarthritis, which can occur when the protective cartilage in the joints wears down over time.

This is despite conflicting evidence on whether the supplement works. Yet many patients may buy glucosamine, presuming that even if it doesn’t help, at least it’s “natural” and so won’t do any harm.

But an Australian study, which has been online since last year and was cited in one of this week’s media reports, has given us more information about glucosamine’s safety.

The study found hundreds of allergic reactions to glucosamine have been reported to Australia’s medicines watchdog, the Therapeutic Goods Administration .

So is it safe for you to take glucosamine? In short, if it works for you and you haven’t had any side-effects, and your doctor and pharmacist know you are taking it, it is likely to be safe based on the multiple trials conducted to date.

What is glucosamine?

Whether it works to manage osteoarthritis seems open to debate. The most recent evidence suggests little to no clinical benefit.

Is glucosamine really as dangerous as people say?

Conflicting advice

So, what should I do?

Glucosamine For Low Back Pain From Osteoarthritis

Glucosamine Chondroitin MSM – Joint Pain Relief

Glucosamine for Low Back Pain from Osteoarthritis?

Abstract & Commentary

Synopsis: A number of studies suggest that glucosamine sulfate may help relieve pain and possibly repair cartilage damage in large joints affected by osteoarthritis. By extension, many patients use glucosamine to treat their chronic nonspecific lower back pain. The results of this study, which includes long-term follow-up, suggest there is little if any therapeutic value of glucosamine for chronic low back pain.

Wilkens P, et al. Effect of glucosamine on pain-related disability in patients with chronic low back pain and degenerative lumber osteoarthritis. JAMA 2010 304:45-52.

Results of research examining the use of glucosamine for the treatment of osteoarthritis of the hip and knee, although at times conflicting, offer promise for the relief of symptoms in some patients. It makes sense that many people would extrapolate that promise to the use of glucosamine for the treatment of lower back pain secondary to degenerative arthritis , the effectiveness of which the authors of this Norwegian double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial set out to investigate.

Another reason for taking note of this study published in one of our more respectable conventional medical journals is that the lead author is a chiropractor, his co-authors being an MD and three PhDs. Further evidence that good science knows no boundaries.

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Effectiveness Of Glucosamine And Chondroitin Sulfate For Osteoarthritis

Conventional medicine does not yet have a proven treatment to stop or slow the progression of osteoarthritis.

The nutritional supplements glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate have emerged as a treatment alternative for some patients suffering from osteoarthritis pain.

See Osteoarthritis Complete Treatment Guide

Perhaps the most important aspect of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate supplements is that they are thought to help slow or prevent the degeneration of joint cartilage, the underlying cause of osteoarthritis pain. Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate dietary supplements may also help alleviate existing joint pain. Presently, it is thought that unlike many medications available to treat arthritis pain and inflammation, glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate supplements have very few side effects.

However, glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate nutritional supplements do not offer the desired pain relief for all osteoarthritis patients. At the time of this article, the benefits and risks of taking glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate have not been definitively proven, and long term studies are needed to better understand their effects.

Combining Nutritional Supplements With Other Treatments

Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate may not provide sufficient pain relief for all osteoarthritis patients. Many patients find it is best to use glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate nutritional supplements in conjunction with other nonsurgical treatments , such as:

Additional non-medical approaches , Graston Technique , muscle energy techniques, proprioceptive neuromuscular rehabilitation , Nimmo method, massage, and others) may also be effective for some patients.

Sometimes rest or weight loss may be recommended for certain patients in order to reduce stress on the joints. Some patients may also require a short period of rest and medication to reduce joint inflammation before they begin to exercise.

The proper course of treatment will differ for each patient and should be supervised by a health professional.

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Dosage And Supplement Forms

The typical glucosamine dosage is 1,500 mg per day, which you can take at once or in multiple smaller doses throughout the day .

Glucosamine supplements are made from natural sources such as shellfish shells or fungi or manufactured artificially in a lab.

Glucosamine supplements are available in two forms :

  • Glucosamine sulfate
  • Glucosamine hydrochloride

Occasionally, glucosamine sulfate is also sold in combination with chondroitin sulfate.

Most scientific data indicates the greatest efficacy for glucosamine sulfate or glucosamine sulfate combined with chondroitin.


Glucosamine is typically dosed at 1,500 mg per day. Of the available forms, glucosamine sulfate with or without chondroitin is likely the most effective.

Glucosamine supplements are likely safe for most people. However, some risks exist.

Possible adverse reactions include :

Glucosamine & Chondroitin For Back Pain Cons:

Glucosamine Chondroitin Turmeric MSM Boswellia

> Any treatment that needs to ingested can be tricky often times the effectiveness of ingestibles varies with: dosage and users metabolism, sensitivity/tolerance, allergies, and unique bio-chemistry, etc> Doesnt provide immediate relief usually requires 2-6 months to notice a difference which can effect users motivation & willingness to continue ingesting> Many studies show ineffectiveness for reducing joint pain & increasing range of motion, while many studies claim its effective for the same> Studies show best results for participants with knee osteoarthritis> Side effects include upset stomach, heartburn, drowsiness, and headache, but not likely in lower doses. Still may be a good idea to consult your doctor before buying Glucosamine Chondrioton.> May be cost prohibitive for some if insurance will not cover> Doesnt address any form of mechanical misalignment which is the the leading cause of chronic back pain

Glucosamine pills do not provide relief for lower back pain. There was no benefit of glucosamine compared to placebo. You would get the same result from taking sugar pills as taking the real deal. Philip Wilkens, Research fellow at Norways Oslo University, Study was Published in July 7th 2010 Issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association

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Glucosamine For Facet Pain

In 2013, a review of published literature was published on the use of glucosamine supplements for chronic low back pain thought to be caused by facet osteoarthritis.ii Aside from one study that reported significant clinical improvement , the authors wrote that based on insufficient data and the low quality of existing studies, its not possible to say if glucosamine has any impact one way or the other.

That said, there is no evidence that glucosamine has harmful effects. If you have back pain and are considering adding glucosamine , we recommend:

  • Discuss this with your doctor or specialist before starting so they can note it in your records.
  • Consult your doctor on diet and exercise, both of which can have a big impact on reducing discomfort naturally.
  • Purchase your desired product from a reputable source, and only buy a well-respected brand. Many products state clinically tested on their labels, but this does often means the manufacturer referred to studies done by others, and not using identical ingredients.
  • Dont expect immediate results. Neither glucosamine nor chondroitin is formulated as an anti-inflammatory. If it works, it may be due to slowing further deterioration rather than actual rebuilding of cartilage, which has not been clinically demonstrated by x-rays or other imaging.

    Glucosamine For Low Back Pain: Worth A Try

    In osteoarthritis, cartilage in the joints degenerates. Glucosamine is a building block for the molecules from which cartilage is made. The theory behind glucosamine supplements is that taking them will slow or reverse cartilage degeneration.

    It’s a popular theory. According to the supplement industry group Council for Responsible Nutrition , 7% of Americans take glucosamine and/or chondroitin, a component of cartilage usually derived from animal or fish cartilage.

    And in an editorial accompanying the Wilkens study, Kaiser-Permanente researcher Andrew Avins, MD, MPH, notes that 25% of people with low back pain have tried glucosamine supplements.

    Even so, glucosamine is usually taken for kneeosteoarthritis, says Andrew Shao, PhD, CRN senior vice president for scientific and regulatory affairs. Shao notes that low back pain can be caused by a number of things besides osteoarthritis.

    “I know the researchers had to include some patients who had some degenerative joint issues in the back, but low back pain is a very broad kind of term. There can be a lot of reasons people experience it,” Shao tells WebMD. “It is a tall order for something to affect such a global condition.”

    Shao says it would be premature to conclude that glucosamine has no benefit for any patients with spinal osteoarthritis. But that’s pretty much the take-home message from the study, Avins suggests.

    Avins laments that while low back pain is a huge health problem, it gets scant research attention.

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    Does Glucosamine Really Help Joint Pain

    Lots of people take glucosamine to help them with pains in their joints, but is there hard evidence that it improves things, asks Dr Chris van Tulleken.

    Of all the supplements on the shelves purporting to aid one part of our body or another, the most popular by a long way are those that are supposed to help our joints – and most of those contain glucosamine.

    In 2014 the world bought over 29,000 tons of the stuff. Pretty impressive considering its benefits in clinical trials remain controversial. So what’s going on? Why do so many people swear by it?

    Glucosamine is certainly important in our bodies – it’s one of the building blocks of cartilage, ligaments and tendons – all possible causes of pain in a creaky joint. The theory is, then, that supplying our bodies with more of this building block might give it what it needs to make repairs. Since glucosamine is also one of the building blocks of chitin – the material that makes up the shells of crustaceans and shellfish – they are a convenient source for the supplement industry .

    When it comes to the evidence that popping prawn pills can help our joints, though, things get fishy. Usually the problem with supplement pills is lack of studies – there simply isn’t enough funding available for large-scale independent trials. Not so with glucosamine.


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