Chondroitin, MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) and glucosamine are known for their anti-inflammatory benefits and the ability to ease pain. They’re primarily found in supplements that are marketed for improving joint health. But that’s not the only thing they’re good for.
Research shows that it’s also helpful for reducing the pain that often stems from osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition that’s truly painful, commonly leading to stiff and painful, achy joints. They can be found in supplements individually or blended together. Let’s look at each one a little closer…
Chondroitin, Cartilage and Osteoarthritis
Chondroitin is naturally found in the body and is important for your cartilage. Cartilage is the connective tissue that provides support and cushion for the joints. It also helps your bones avoid damage from rubbing against each other. Chondroitin plays a vital role in keeping that cartilage healthy and well hydrated by soaking in water and fluids. This is why many health experts believe that it can help those suffering from Osteoarthritis, which is a type of arthritis that leads to cartilage breaking down.
Glucosamine and Pain Relief
Glucosamine is also naturally found in the body and helps support joint health by helping to develop and repair cartilage. It’s often used in combination with chondroitin to help treat osteoarthritis, but sometimes is used alone. It provides anti-inflammatory benefits and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons believe that it may help with the pain caused by osteoarthritis. While most studies done so far have been short, some have shown considerable evidence that it works and some have been inconclusive.
One study published in the British journal Lancet, proved that it helps with X-rays being taken throughout the study. 212 participants were either given 1500 mg of glucosamine sulfate per day or a placebo over the course of three years. Unlike other studies that simply accounted for pain relief, this study used X-rays to see if and how well it was working. X-rays of those who were taking the glucosamine sulfate showed considerable benefits, but X-rays of those who were taking the placebo showed that the knee joint continued to degenerate. It’s important to note that they were using glucosamine SULFATE.
As always, talk to your doctor to see if it might be a suitable option for you.
Methylsulfonylmethane and Osteoarthritis Pain Relief
We’ll refer to this as MSM. MSM offers support for muscles and tendons. This compound, which is a source of sulfur, also provides anti-inflammatory benefits and pain relief. Sulfur plays a vital role in healthy collagen, which is the basis of healthy skin, nails, hair, joints and connective tissues in the body.
In one study, nearly 120 adults suffering from moderate or mild knee osteoarthritis were given MSM alone or in combination with glucosamine. The study lasted 12 weeks. The result was a decrease in pain stemming from knee osteoarthritis. Taken alone, it helped reduce pain, but used in combination with glucosamine, it helped even more.
Another study looked at injured athletes undergoing treatment for joint problems. They found that those who included the use of MSM in their treatment, combined with traditional physical therapy, experienced almost a 60 percent improvement in recovery. Those who were given a placebo only improved recovery by 33 percent. Those using MSM also had 40 percent less doctor visits.
Yet another study – A double blind study including patients who suffered from joint problems. Those who were given 2250 mg of MSM per day over the course of six weeks reported over an 80 percent improvement, while those who were given a placebo only reported an 18 percent increase in improvement.
Conclusion and Cautions
Chondroitin, glucosamine and MSM used together provides pain relief from osteoarthritis and possibly other conditions that lead to joint inflammation. It helps keep joints healthy. But there are some possible side effects to be aware of. It may cause diarrhea, an upset stomach or nausea and heartburn. These side effects, should they occur, are normally very mild. It may also interact with medications. Two that it’s known to interact with are insulin and blood thinners.