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Arthritis: A question of pain relief

OsteoArthritis photoA customer’s question about her painful knees and Osteoarthritis

Q:I have been suffering from pain in my knees for a while now. My GP says I have osteoarthritis. What is osteoarthritis and is there anything I can do naturally that has been shown to help?

A: Part 1 of your question: What is Osteoarthritis?

Mr Vitamin’s advice: Osteoarthritis (OA) is a major public health issue and one of the most common types of arthritis around the world. The biggest single risk factor for OA is wear and tear associated with increasing age. OA is characterised by progressive damage to the joint cartilage and changes to the structure of the joint leading to pain, inflammation and limited range of motion. Fluid accumulation and bony overgrowths along with tendon and muscle weakness can occur as part of the degenerative process.

A: Part 2 of your question: Is there anything I can do naturally that has been shown to help?

Mr Vitamin’s advice:Yes there is. Current medical treatments typically revolve around symptomatic pain relief with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID’s), which have been linked to a number of dangerous side effects including heart attack and stroke. On the other hand, Naturopaths have been prescribing Glucosamine and Chondroitin for many years, not only for symptomatic pain relief, but to help maintain the integrity of joints.

What are Glucosamine and Chondroitin?

Glucosamine and Chondroitin are natural substances found in and around the joint cartilage, helping to reduce inflammation, slow degenerative changes and maintain joint integrity. Chondroitin maintains the fluid content in joint cartilage, acting as a shock absorber.

The Glucosamine/Chondroitin Arthritis Intervention Trial (GAIT)

GAIT is the first large-scale, multicentre clinical trial conducted in America to investigate the effects of Glucosamine hydrochloride and Chondroitin sulfate for the treatment of knee osteoarthritis.
GAIT concluded that a combination of Glucosamine hydrochloride (1500mg) and Chondroitin sulfate (1200mg) daily significantly decreased moderate-to-severe knee pain.

Are there any side effects from Glocosamine?

Glucosamine hydrochloride is very well tolerated and doesn’t have the same adverse interactions with other medicines or special diets as can happen with Glucosamine sulfate. Glucosamine sulfate may contain high amounts of sodium or potassium so if you are taking medications for your heart or blood pressure or have been placed on a specialised diet, carefully check the label before taking glucosamine supplements and always check with your GP before starting a new medicine if taking other medications.

What is MSM?

Other natural substances commonly used in the treatment of osteoarthritis include MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) and ginger. MSM is a sulfur compound required for the production of important structural components of the joint cartilage. Ginger has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for the treatment of musculoskeletal disorders for its anti-inflammatory properties and to improve the circulation of nutrients to the joints.

Achieve pain free ease of movement with the right supplement

Mr Vitamins recommends Herbs of Gold nutritional supplements Glucosamine Chondroitin + MSMand Glucosamine Chondroitin Plus Glucosamine Chondroitin + MSM helps maintain joint health and may assist in the management of osteoarthritis. Find out more about Glucosamine Chondroitin + MSM and the recommended dosage here Glucosamine & Chondroitin Plus is a convenient one a day supplement providing a high strength dose of glucosamine, supported by chondroitin and Ginger. Find out more about Glucosamine Chondroitin Plus and the recommended dosage here