Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint relief for osteoarthritis that affects the knees, hips, back, and small joints in the fingers. Osteoarthritis affects over 20 million people in the United States, a figure that is expected to double in the next 20 years. Here are five natural remedies that are used to provide pain relief for people with osteoarthritis. Keep in mind that so far, scientific support for the claim that any natural remedy can treat osteoarthritis is lacking.
It appears to have decrease inflammation and stimulate cartilage repair. In other countries, it is available as a supplement in some health food stores or online. A typical dose is 300 milligrams per day. It usually takes between two weeks and two months to take effect. Studies have found no additional benefit with higher doses. Eating avocado and soy, even in large amounts, will not provide enough of the unsaponifiables to have a therapeutic effect.
100th of the oil is the unsaponifiable portion. At least 5 million people in the United States take glucosamine or chondroitin alone or in combination. Glucosamine is used to make a molecule involved in the formation and repair of cartilage, the rubbery substance that cushions joints. Although it’s still not clear exactly how glucosamine in pill-form works, it’s believed to allow more of cartilage building blocks to be made. Chondroitin sulfate appears to to block cartilage-destroying enzymes and help joint cartilage remain elastic and supple. Studies with glucosamine have found a reduction in the pain, stiffness, and swelling of arthritis.
It is also thought to prevent structural damage to joints. Participants who took the placebo had progressive joint space narrowing, a sign of cartilage degeneration, but those who took glucosamine had no significant narrowing of joint spaces. The dose used in studies is 1500 mg glucosamine sulfate and 800 to 1200 mg chondroitin sulfate. It’s important to choose glucosamine sulfate, rather than hydrochloride, because many of the clinical studies have used the sulfate form. It usually takes 1 to 3 months to take effect.
Side effects may include mild stomach discomfort, which can be alleviated by taking glucosamine with meals. Some glucosamine supplements are derived from the shells of crabs and other shellfish, so people with shellfish allergies should ensure they use synthetic glucosamine. The World Health Organization has identified more than 40 conditions that acupuncture can treat, including osteoarthritis. Acupuncture involves the insertion of hair-thin needles into acupoints in the body. It is believed to rebalance the flow of energy, or qi, in the body. Studies have found that acupuncture releases natural pain-relieving substances such as endorphins and serotonin.