Health & Wellness

Do Glucosamine and Chondroitin Really Help Arthritis Pain?

from Harvard Medical School –

Some people swear that over-the-counter dietary supplements called glucosamine and chondroitin ease arthritis pain, reduce stiffness, and protect joints from further damage. Others say they don’t help.

A major study of glucosamine and chondroitin published in The New England Journal of Medicine concluded that how much relief a person gets depends on how severe his or her arthritis pain is to begin with. Among 1,500 participants with knee osteoarthritis, glucosamine and chondroitin taken alone or together provided no more relief than placebo. Those with mild pain did not see much benefit. People with more severe pain experienced modest relief with the combination of glucosamine and chondroitin.

If you’re wondering whether glucosamine and chondroitin might work for you, the answer is “it depends.” If your osteoarthritis pain is moderate or significant, try taking both glucosamine and chondroitin for two to three months. If you find they ease your pain, it’s reasonable to keep using them. If not, save your money. As always, if you choose to try these or any other vitamins, supplements, or alternative therapies, tell your doctor.

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I started getting knee pain at age 53. It got to where I wasn’t able to stand up normally from a sitting position, but would have to roll onto the floor and push myself up. My knees were stiff and painful. A young fellow worker with the same problem handed me a half full bottle of “Fluidjoint”. It took only 2 weeks on the recommended dosage to return my knees to normal. I then reduced the dosage to 1 pill per day and maintained. When I would sometimes run out of the supplement, it would take about 3 months before the “bone on bone” returned. Then I would start taking again and would return to full function. Gradually as I got older (I’m 63 now); I started having more problems with my knees, some stiffness and no strength. I heard a radio ad about Hyaluronic Acid. I have since had… Read more »


I have severe shoulder pain in both shoulders. This will sound crazy but I play golf 2-3 a week and it hurts a little while playing but at night is when the real pain starts. I have been getting injection every 3 months for 2-3 years. The pain goes away for maybe 2 months and then comes back. Doctors tell me they want to operate but I’m 73 and the rehab could take a year for one shoulder, hell I might be dead before I play golf again. I’m out of options the pain at night keeps me up all night. I’ve taken off from playing a couple times for 2 weeks or more and I feel no real relief. I guess I’m looking for a miracle pill that will help the pain at night The Advils and Aleve help some but the Doctors want me to stay off this… Read more »

Hula Mama

I am 68 and quite active (daily 3 mile fit walk) and thrice a week pilates/yoga routine. I have been taking glucosamine/chrondroitin for several years and recently proved to myself it helps with knee pain. I stopped taking it for about 6-7 weeks and the knee discomfort returned however I restarted taking it and within a couple of days the knee pain semi-improved and by six weeks the pain was almost gone. I suppose it could be what they call “placebo” effect, but I don’t think so. True, the pills are large and you take two of the brand I use but that’s a small price to pay for knee pain relief. I am not dealing with bone on bone issues or similar, more likely beginning osteoarthritis of the knee according to my doctor.


I was in a car accident 13 years ago that dislocated my hip and did severe damage to the femoral head and the acetabular rim. I took g/c for about two years and then stopped when I became pregnant nine years ago. I just now picked it back up again and just after a few days I can already feel a difference within two hours of a dose and I can get 4 hours of feeling “OK”. I have severe deterioration in the posterior of my femoral head and no cartilage to speak of around acetabular rim in that posterior position and I’m 33. Besides narcotic medications that make me feel nauseated, this is more relief than I’ve had in years. The downsides are the pills which is the one thing that kept me away from them for so long. They’re huge, and I can’t seem to find a brand… Read more »


I was in a blind test of an injected fluid into a shoulder joint, my shoulder is bone on bone also. I had to go in each week and was tested for “range of motion” and pain discomfort. After six months I did gain some movement and experienced less discomfort. I was told it would be awhile before the shots were available and quite costly as they were not sure if it would be paid by Medicare and supplemental insurances. I don’t know if that is the same as artificial “sennovial fluid” as above, or not, but I will check with my doctor.

Susan Greeley

I take a glucosamine about once a week, and it relieves the pain in my 59 yr old knees. It helps rebuild the cartiledge? I also take a calcium one a week to relieve leg cramps in my shins, plus an occasional potasium and magnisieum.


I have had two left knee surgeries and one right knee surgery. The left is now bone on bone and the only thing that helped me was a shot of artificial sennovial fluid to the knee, it worked for about 5 months at a cost of about 600.00 per shot.