You’ve probably heard about it from friends and family, and even if you haven’t, there’s a good chance you’ve seen it on TV or read something about it on the internet. The question still remains – what is glucosamine good for, and can it really help you relieve your pain and swelling? Evidence suggests glucosamine is good for many conditions.
Glucosamine is most commonly used to provide relief from the pain and swelling associated with osteoarthritis. This condition may be hereditary, but it may also be the result of normal wear and tear. It is marked by damage that occurs to joint cartilage and eventually the bone underneath, and it is most common in middle age people and older. The kips, knees, and thumb joints are commonly affected. Glucosamine for joint pain has been shown to significantly reduce the inflammation and pain associated with osteoarthritis, and it can even help rebuild cartilage if it is used during the early stages of the disease.
Glucosamine has also been proven helpful in treating certain bone diseases – namely a condition called Kashin-Beck disease. It is relatively common in some parts of China and affects children and adolescents. In short, the growth plates in the bones slowly die off, which can lead to stiff and deformed limbs and joints. Glucosamine has been shown to relieve pain, improve mobility, and even improve these patients’ overall quality of life.
Lumbar (Lower Back) Pain
A few studies have looked at the treatment of lower back pain with glucosamine, and the results seem favorable. Patients treated with glucosamine sulfate alone or in combination with potassium experienced relief from their lumbar pain that was equal to or more effective than conventional treatments like over the counter pain relievers. This study was relatively small in nature and more research is needed. Currently, the results are favorable but still inconclusive.
Interstitial cystitis is a term that describes an inflammation of the bladder wall. The exact causes of this very painful and uncomfortable condition are still unknown, but researchers know that it goes hand-in-hand with other conditions such as a defective epithelium, which lines the bladder. There is no cure for interstitial cystitis and the symptoms can only be managed. Often, patients rely on several medications and pain therapies. Studies suggest that glucosamine may provide some relief from this inflammation and allow patients to take fewer pain medications, which can add to a much higher overall quality of life.
Fibromyalgia is a condition that is often marked by widespread pain throughout the body and severe fatigue. Because the condition itself is very much a mystery to physicians, the treatment options are quite limited. Some studies have looked at the efficacy of glucosamine in patients who have received a fibromyalgia diagnosis. Patients taking glucosamine experienced better relief from their symptoms than patients taking a placebo.
What is glucosamine used for? Science suggests that it can be used for just about any bodily condition that causes inflammation, but it can do so much more. It also stimulates the production of hyaluronic acid, which helps repair tissues at the cellular level.