Glucosamine, Arthritis and Quality of Life

Decrease joint pain and stiffness

Adults in the U.S. are living longer and the number of people in older age groups is increasing. One might believe this is a cause for celebration. Unfortunately, the number of adults living with chronic conditions like arthritis is expected to increase as well. It has been projected that nearly 67 million adults will be diagnosed with arthritis by 2030, including 25 million adults who are expected to have arthritis-attributable activity limitations. It is becoming clear that arthritis symptoms are not only a medical problem but can significantly influence an arthritis sufferer’s quality of life.

A Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report of data gathered from over 32,000 adults in 11 states from the 1998 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance survey, showed that adults with arthritis report significantly greater health-related quality of life impairment compared to adults without arthritis. Specifically, those who have arthritis reported fair to poor health nearly three times more often than those without arthritis (28.6% vs. 8.3%). They also reported a considerably greater number of days when their physical and mental health was not good, and when their usual activities were limited. Arthritis made it difficult to live life the way they desired. Sadly, as an arthritis sufferer, this isn’t news to you.

While arthritis is not curable, a good treatment program can help you decrease joint pain and stiffness, improve joint movement, and increase your ability to do everyday activities. Working with your doctor and other health-care professionals, a treatment program can be designed around the severity of your disease, which joints are affected, your symptoms, and any other medical problem you might have. Some methods that can be employed in managing your arthritis are:

  • Physical and Occupational Therapy
  • Stretching
  • Aerobic Exercise
  • Strengthening Exercise
  • Weight Control
  • Patient Education
  • Medication
  • Surgery
  • Acupuncture


Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are nutritional supplements that are often used a treatments for osteoarthritis. Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are natural substances found within cartilage and some researchers believe these substances may help repair and maintain cartilage. Some studies have shown that these supplements provide the same pain relief as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, while other studies have had mixed results. Other studies have found that those experiencing moderate-to-severe pain from arthritis symptoms realized better results than those with mild symptoms.

Talk to your doctor about what options are available to help manage your arthritis symptoms to improve your quality of life. You may also want to check out the educational information on before your next appointment.

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