If you have arthritis, you’ve likely taken a lot of time to explore your treatment options. Living with arthritis can be difficult, and any treatment or medication that can offer some relief can feel like a miracle. If you’ve begun to hear about supplements as an arthritis treatment, you might be curious if these pills are a viable option to relieve your arthritis symptoms. Unfortunately, there’s no definitive answer to that question, but here’s what our medical professionals at our orthopedic center in Suffolk County, NY, have to say about the different natural supplements available for treating arthritis.
Glucosamine and Chondroitin
Both of these components help to make up the cartilage that cushions your joints. Your body produces glucosamine and chondroitin naturally, but you may have heard that you can also find these ingredients in certain supplements purported to improve pain in the knee or hip as a result of osteoarthritis.
Large studies have been conducted on these supplements, and the results have been conflicting at best. Generally speaking, there’s no evidence that they improve your condition or offer significant relief from osteoarthritis (OA) pain. However, they are relatively safe supplements if you decide you’d like to try them. Just be sure to speak to your doctor first to ensure the supplements won’t interact with any medications you’re currently taking.
Fish Oil (Omega-3s)
Fish oil pills are taken for many reasons, one of them being to reduce the pain, stiffness, and swelling caused by rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil are actually quite effective at reducing pain and swelling in the joints as well as decreasing the duration of morning stiffness in those with RA. They’ve also shown to offer pain relief for those with OA, but they aren’t quite as effective for this form of arthritis.
It’s important to note that omega-3s can actually cause your blood to clot more slowly, so be sure to speak to your doctor about this risk before taking fish oil pills.
Avocado Soybean Unsaponifiables (ASUs)
This is another supplement that focuses on natural, healthy fats, which help to support your joints and reduce swelling. This supplement is a natural vegetable extract from—as the name implies—soybeans and avocados. Like fish oil pills, ASU supplements seem to help reduce the pain and stiffness caused by arthritis, particularly OA, so it’s one worth considering.
This is a bright yellow spice that is commonly found in curry powder; however, many people are now taking it as a supplement to reduce pain and swelling. Though research is still in its early stages, the initial results are promising, showing that turmeric can help to control knee pain caused by OA as effectively as ibuprofen.
If you’re considering taking a natural supplement for your arthritis, you should always speak to your doctor first to ensure that it’s safe for you and won’t interact with any current medications. If you have further questions, please make an appointment at Peconic Bay Medical Center, an orthopedic clinic in Suffolk County, NY.