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Glucosamine is one of the most popular health and wellness supplements on the market today. People buy it to help relieve the pain and inflammation that comes from wear and tear on the joints, osteoarthritis, and even strenuous exercise or sports. Does glucosamine really work? Examining the science behind it can help answer that question.
The American Family Physician is a journal published for general practitioners that provides news and insights on a variety of health conditions and their treatments. Back in 2007, they published an article about the use of glucosamine in patients who have osteoarthritis. They actually recommended it, citing, “Overall, the evidence supports the use of Glucosamine Sulphate for modestly reducing osteoarthritis symptoms and possibly showing disease progression.” This was great news for physicians and patients alike; people who were unable to use NSAIDs and other forms of pain and inflammation relief finally had a way to help fight them.
Health News and Evidence, another health-related journal, published an article in March 2014 showing that 1500mg of Glucosamine Sulphate per day in combination with 800mg of chondroitin sulphate per day provided outstanding benefits to patients in the early stages of osteoarthritis. MRI results in these patients proved that cartilage was able to regrow somewhat. Aside from providing references to several studies proving that glucosamine was as safe as a placebo in clinical trials, they also cited several long-term trials that showed glucosamine was more effective than NSAIDs or other forms of pain relief when used for periods of one to two years.
Although several studies have alluded to the fact that glucosamine is as effective or more effective at relieving pain and inflammation in arthritis patients than NSAIDs or even acetaminophen, glucosamine does take longer to work. In fact, whereas people treating arthritis with NSAIDs were able to reach the peak of their relief within two weeks, those taking glucosamine needed to wait about four weeks on average to see the most pain relief. However, many people consider this a fair trade – particularly those who cannot take NSAID medications or acetaminophen due to other health conditions.
Does glucosamine really work for muscle pain or for individuals who are experiencing joint pain due to injury? Because glucosamine is designed to lessen inflammation and rebuild cartilage, it certainly can work for people who have other inflammatory conditions. These include things like tendinitis, joint injury, and even muscle pain. Glucosamine stimulates the production of hyaluronic acid, which is excellent when it comes to muscle repair down to the cellular level. This can reduce the soreness that accompanies injury or even intense workouts.
Does glucosamine really work? According to many studies, it certainly does – and in some cases, it works even better than medications specifically designed to relieve pain and reduce inflammation. It’s an outstanding supplement to have on hand if you’re dealing with muscle or joint pain, whether from a medical condition, an injury, or even the result of a strenuous workout.