When people are young, most have plenty of cartilage around their joints to protect and cushion the joints, and make them work well. As people age, however, this cartilage begins to break down, and the body begins to lose its ability to produce more. As people continue to live their lives, some joints are put through thousands of motions every day – or even tens of thousands – and with reduced cartilage, pain begins to be a problem. Some cartilage can harden and bone spurs may develop. The loss of cartilage also leads to a condition known as “osteoarthritis”.
When a patient visits a doctor regarding this problem, some doctors only treat the symptom of the problem (the pain) rather than the problem itself. They prescribe pain relievers, which of course have their own set of problems. Prolonged use of certain types of popular pain relievers can lead to liver failure. There are also strong prescription medications, but these can lead to addictions and have side effects, so also may not be the best way to find pain relief.
Natural types of pain relief are what many people today are seeking. Glucosamine is a chemical that naturally occurs in cartilage. It is also found in the shells of certain shellfish. Studies have shown that taking glucosamine as a dietary supplement can help ease joint pain caused by osteoarthritis. Glucosamine has also been tested for pets – dogs, for instance, experience a number of conditions that cause them intense joint pain in their hips at mature ages. When dogs experiencing some of these problems were given glucosamine, their pain was greatly diminished.
It is considered therefore that glucosamine is a great way to find relief, natural joint pain relief rather than harsh chemicals. Glucosamone unfortunately can’t manufacture new cartilage, it can stop the loss of more and it can reduce the effects that come from having lost some. It can help soothe sore joints, reduce swelling, and maintain felxibility in the joint.
There is still a matter of how it should be administered. As stated, glucosamine is a dietary supplement. It comes in pills, tablets, powders, and liquid. Sometimes, patients who take pills do not experience great results. One doctor wrote that he tested a capsule, and even after a full day of sitting in a mixture of water and vinegar the capsule only partially dissolved. This means many patients are not getting the full impact of the glucosamine in their pills; some of it simply passes through the system undigested.
Glucosamine in liquid form is highly soluable. It will be absorbed into the system at a rate of 80% or higher, whereas other forms rarely get above 20%. This makes liquid for a favored way to get glucosamine into one’s system.
Chondroitin sulfate is another supplement often used to treat osteoarthritis naturally. Chondriotin slows the breakdown of cartilage by increasing the flow of fluid and nutrients to the joint, and blocking enzymes that may harm the cartilage.