Our patients often ask for natural alternative to traditional anti-inflammatories. NSAIDs such as Advil and Naproxen carry significant risks for ulcers, bleeding, heart and kidney disease. They can trigger an asthmatic attack and interfere with the healing tendons, muscles and bones.
So many of our patients have responded well to many of the natural anti-inflammatories listed below.
Many supplements are available to try and help you to decrease pain, treat osteoarthritis and recover faster following exercise or injury.
Here I will endeavor to list the supplements that I have countless patients take. Most note that it helps their joint pain considerably.
Tart cherry juice has been shown to decrease knee pain due to inflammation and osteoarthritis, decrease your blood pressure, and improve your exercise recovery, Tart cherry juice is available here as a concentrate, here as a juice or here as a capsule. I have personally used tart cherry juice for years. I use it both as a recovery tool and to ease aches and pains from running or exercise. Supplements such as tart cherry juice work well in combination with a knee compression sleeve for alleviating the pain of arthritis. Amazon has a list of many different Tart Cherry Juice products
Curcumin is a very potent anti-inflammatory. Curcumin is the chemical in turmeric that can reduce joint pain and swelling by blocking inflammatory cytokines and enzymes. A 2010 clinical trial using a turmeric supplement showed long-term improvement in pain and function in patients with osteoarthritis. Curcumin can be taken as a capsule and can be found here. The absorption and effectiveness of Curcumin is enhanced by the active ingredients in black pepper. Products with both piperine and Curcumin can be found here. Curcumin works well in combination with Tart Cherry Juice to help minimize the pain of osteoarthritis. Both Curcumin and Tart Cherry Juice are more effective when a compression sleeve is also utilized. Amazon has a list of the many different curcumin products available.
Glucosamine is usually paired with chondroitin sulphate. The capsules can be found here. There are some studies that show that glucosamine is effective in treat the pain of osteoarthritis, and then there are other studies that show it is not very effective. This is probably the most commonly taken supplement for osteoarthritic knee pain. Do not take it if you have a shellfish allergy.
Please note that my disclaimer applies
Talk to your doctor before taking a supplement so you understand the potential side effects and interactions with your medication. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not test supplements, but there are private companies that do. Be sure to research these products and share the information with your doctor. You can find supplement information on The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Medline Plus website.
In some instances, I will note when scientific evidence suggests that a certain supplement has proof of efficacy. In many instances, I will be discussing supplements with minimal, or equivocal proof of efficacy, other than many of my thousands of patients stating that it works. The placebo effect can be substantial with many supplements. Check with your primary care doctor or pharmacist about the supplements you are taking or plan on taking because they may interfere with medication you are taking or with certain diseases you may have. Do not take more than the bottles recommend. Overdoses are never pleasant.