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Osteoarthritis : Best Supplements ?

I never thought it would happen, but it did, old man time caught up with me. For the last several years I have had some knee pain, but this year proved to be the exception. I have a physical job in technical sales that requires me to be on my feet for the majority of the day. Also, I carry material that weighs 100 lbs in and out of customer locations. I also ride a bike and walk in the evenings with my wife.

A few weeks ago I started to have severe knee pain in both knees while walking and finally went to the doctor. The diagnosis is mild osteoarthritis in one knee and moderate in the left. She injected both knees two weeks ago and it hasn't helped at all. She also suggested that I start to take Glucosamine to help. I have tried every over the counter cream and nothing seems to help either. I am scheduled for another appointment in two weeks. In the time until my appointment, I am looking for an over the counter cream and recommendation for supplements. I understand this is not a forum for medical advice, but I have been to a doctor and I am hoping that the forum has some real world experience that will help.
 
Osteoarthritis began to hit me around 35 or 40 years old. Since then, I have had one knee replaced but that was because of torn cartilage, not arthritis. The only thing I've found to relieve the pain has been ibuprophen or Alleve. Alleve is the better choice of the two and always take ibuprophen with food to prevent stomach irritation and possible damage to the stomach lining. I've tried the electronic tens units which strap to your leg and find the bands which hold them to be difficult to keep in place. Did it work? Hard to say. I thought it might have relieved some pain but in the long haul, I've gone back to the NSAIDs. Above all, stay active in spite of the pain. Walk a lot. Inactivity allows rigor mortis to set in prematurely. BTW, I did try the glucosamine and condroitin sulphate supplements and they didn't help me at all but some have found them beneficial. Creams and rubs never did anything for me. Good luck to you.
 
Aleive is the thing which worked second best for me. Losing a few pounds helped the most.

Creams, supplements, and such provided no relief at all.

Gotta say it: I feel your pain.
 
My brother is a doctor and he and I both have some degree of arthritis. He finds little evidence for supplements, though targeted injections have helped him. His advice is keep the joints mobile. I would echo this. You need to keep the joints functioning, but without overdoing it so inflammation reaches the point where it can last for a day or two and the joint gets really stiff. So a little often.

I found Ibuprofen helpful in tablet or gel, but bear in mind that you shouldn't use it in combination with blood thinners because of the risk of bleeds - applies to both tablet and gel.
 
For me, the best supplement is 8 oz of tart cherry juice. Typically, I use Indian River Montmorency tart cherry juice as it is one of the more economical brands. I also take glucosamin/MSM and Alieve, but my doctor is concerned about the potential affects of Alieve on my kidney function, so I only take one pill every other day.

For me, the worst area of arthritis is in my fingers. If I were to stop taking cherry juice for three days, I would not be able to type this post. Three days after resuming the cherry juice, I would be back to normal, with only slight joint stiffness. I have repeated this cycle enough to know that it works, so I never want to go more than one day without a glass cherry juice. We recently went off for a few days vacation. I forgot to take cherry juice with me, so we had to track down a store that sold it.
 
Long term use of NSAIDS will adversely affect your kidney function. Another thing to consider is an anti-inflammatory diet. This can make a HUGE difference in some people's pain levels. Turmeric Curcumin is one of the few "supplements" that has adequate supportive evidence to make significant improvements in inflammatory pain levels.
 
I have OA in my right shoulder. Some days it's a killer. I experimented with glucosamine supplements for about a year with no noticeable relief. I take Aleve on the bad days, which helps. I'll echo those that point to keeping the joints mobile and an anti inflammatory diet. I have noticed a pretty big improvement by minimizing sugar, alcohol, breads, and processed foods in my diet.
 
I have OA. I have gout also. I had both my hips replaced too. I have used MOVE FREE ULTRA for my joints. I have bursitis in my right shoulder and my right knee is getting stiff. It works if you give it enough time. It helped me in only two weeks time. I would suggest Amazon because drug stores may not carry the formula you want. It helped my back too. If you can stand the expense it does work. I hope it works for you. Good luck.
 
I'll echo those that point to keeping the joints mobile and an anti inflammatory diet. I have noticed a pretty big improvement by minimizing sugar, alcohol, breads, and processed foods in my diet.
I didn't know there was such a thing as an anti-inflammatory diet. Fortunately I don't drink, never use sugar, eat very few processed foods and avoid bread as much as possible. Don't know if that helps or what!
 

Doc4

Moderator Emeritus
I am looking for an over the counter cream and recommendation for supplements. I understand this is not a forum for medical advice, but ...
Okay, since you are seeking medical help already, I will chime in with my two cents worth (as someone with OA in a knee or two and a few other spots ...)

  • krill oil
  • turmeric curcumin (look for one that says "mareva" on it ... more absorption)
  • glucosamine/chondroitin/MSM (these three can often be found together in the same pill)

Beyond that, lose weight to reduce the poundage impact of daily activities, eat a non-inflammatory diet, stay away from "pain killers", and keep active.

Take the supplements for at least a month before expecting to see a result. They help, they are not instant magic. Also, you will hear a lot of contradictory info about how they work and don't work ... find out if they work FOR YOU. Not everyone responds exactly equally to everything, so find out IF they will help you.

Also, look into fasting. Both "intermittent fasting" where you eat during a specific time window each day (most common is "8 & 16" where you eat only during 8 hours and fast the other 16, and longer fasts, where you don't eat for a day or two. The body responds well to these, and that helps with the regeneration of the "stuff" in your joints among other things.

His advice is keep the joints mobile.
Yes.

Long term use of NSAIDS will adversely affect your kidney function.
Yes. Stay away from the pain killers.

Another thing to consider is an anti-inflammatory diet. This can make a HUGE difference in some people's pain levels.
Yep. Helps with weight loss too (as long as you don't chronically overeat.)

Turmeric Curcumin is one of the few "supplements" that has adequate supportive evidence to make significant improvements in inflammatory pain levels.
Indeed. "Mareva" is the key word to look for, for better absorption of the active ingredient.

I didn't know there was such a thing as an anti-inflammatory diet. Fortunately I don't drink, never use sugar, eat very few processed foods and avoid bread as much as possible. Don't know if that helps or what!
That's a good start. Very good, actually.

A lot of the fine tuning is specific to each individual, so not a "one size fits all" hard and fast rule of what to eat and not to eat but a lot of people find benefit from also reducing or eliminating dairy, legumes (peas and beans), and a number of other things.

It appears to be a real rabbit hole one can dive down deep into if one wants to or needs to ... but ... I think adopting the approach of les24preludes listed above is going to give most people most of the benefits, and is a good place to start.
 

Alacrity59

Moderator Emeritus
Voltaren extra strength works pretty well especially on hands knees and other parts that are not buried too deep. I.e., it is a long way from your skin into a hip joint for instance.

Read up on inflammation. Mark Hyman has some good info.
 
Glucosomine either works or it doesn't. If it doesn't help after 6 months, quit taking it. It really works for me
CDB oil works for some people. No effect on others. Same with cherry juice. If I take ibuprofen, I take it at night so it can work while I sleep. Many people have told me they found relief when they cut down on carbs.
Weight training has helped some people. It strengthens the muscles so the joints don't have to do as much work. Include things like Tai Chi and Yoga.
 
I just wanted to thank everyone for their replies. In a few short days I have reached a point where there is a noticeable difference, I am to the point where I can walk down the stairs without as much pain. I cut down on extended physical activity and started taking tart cherry after Rayclem mentioned it. One noticeable difference in addition to less pain is that the Actinic Keratosis on my arms has subsided. I think that the Glucosamine and Turmeric that I have been taking for the last few weeks is reducing the inflammation through out my system. Monday starts the modification of my diet to reduce foods that cause inflammation and aid in weight loss. My goal is 30 lbs. As my wife accuses me of being very goal oriented, this should be achievable. As I told my son if you really want an unbiased answer based on experience, ask this forum. Again, A big thanks to all!!!
 
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