Musculoskeletal Network Features Nutraceuticals for Osteoarthritis

August 24, 2012

2 Min Read
Musculoskeletal Network Features Nutraceuticals for Osteoarthritis

NORWALK, Conn.Musculoskeletal Network, an online resource for unique and efficient techniques on the management of musculoskeletal disorders, now features an update on nutraceuticals and other non-pharmacological interventions for knee osteoarthritis. This is the second article in a three-part osteoarthritis series on the network, which is run by UBM Medica US.

The authors of the latest installmentVijay B. Vad, MD, Hospital for Special Surgery and Weill Cornell Medical College, and Stanley H. Dysart, MD, Pinnacle Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine Specialistsexpressed the difficulty in providing effective intervention to avoid long-term disability, but offered several nutraceutical interventions, based on science, including:

  • Glucosamine/chondroitin sulfate, which can decrease joint-space narrowing and other radiographic markers of disease progression, according to meta-analyses.

  • Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acidseicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid, when added to glucosamine sulfate, showed benefit when a criterion of pain reduction of 80 percent or greater was used.

  • A proprietary complex of curcumin with soy phosphatidylcholine has shown efficacy.

"In our experience, despite the conflicting data, glucosamine and chondroitin have played a significant role in the management of patients with knee OA," the authors wrote, noting these nutraceuticals have minimal adverse effects and can provide substantial benefit in some patients. "In our experience, adding 2000 mg/d of omega-3 fatty acids to other treatments provides added pain relief and reductions in joint stiffness. It also may slow blood clotting; therefore, patients should consult their primary care physician before adding omega-3 fatty acids to their treatment regimens."

The authors also looked at acupuncture, though it found no significant benefit whem compared to a sham procedure. The article can be found here (free registration is required); part one of this series offered a rationale for early treatment, while third article will provide an overview of systemic pharmacotherapy.

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