Knee Arthritis Natural Treatments? Exercise Beats Glucosamine in Protecting Cartilage

By /

knee arthritis natural treatments

How do knee arthritis natural treatments stack up? Can you protect the knee cartilage you have? Supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin have shown in some studies that they can help protect cartilage. Exercise has also shown some protective effects. How about when you compare the two head to head in a small study? At least in one recent study, exercise seems to win.

To review, the cartilage in your knees acts as the cushion for the joint. Arthritis is when you begin to lose this cartilage. So keeping the cartilage you have may be important.

Supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin have been promoted as treatments for arthritis. While there are some studies that show these supplements can help pain and function, there’s also some convincing research showing that they likely help preserve cartilage. For example, certain types of glucosamine may work better for preserving cartilage while others may work better for pain.

Exercise has also been promoted as a treatment for arthritis. Some studies also show that it helps pain and function. There’s also research that seems to show running prevents arthritis. However, other research shows that things like running may lead to more arthritis.

Now a new small study compares the two therapies head to head. One group of 40 patients with knee arthritis took 1,500 mg a day of glucosamine/chondroitin and the other group of 30 similar patients performed home exercises for the knee. Both groups used these treatment regimens for 6 months and both had equal improvements in pain and function. However, the cartilage loss on MRI was different. The only one that worked to help cartilage loss was the exercise.

The upshot? While this study disagrees with the conclusions of other studies that show positive MRI changes with glucosamine/chondroitin, it’s important in that it compares a supplement to exercise. In summary, exercise is good stuff for patients with mild knee arthritis. There’s may be no pill that can replace it!

Get health and wellness information from a trusted source.

By submitting the form, you are agreeing that you read and consent to our Privacy Policy. We may also contact you via email, phone, and other electronic means to communicate information about our products and services. We do not sell, or share your information to third party vendors.

Is Regenexx Right For You?

Request a free Regenexx Info Packet


Learn about the #1 Stem Cell & Platelet Procedures for treating arthritis, common joint injuries & spine pain.

Join a Webinar


Get fresh updates and insights from Regenexx delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to the Blog


9035 Wadsworth Pkwy #1000
Westminster, CO 80021


Copyright © Regenexx 2020. All rights reserved. | Privacy Policy

*DISCLAIMER: Like all medical procedures, Regenexx® Procedures have a success and failure rate. Patient reviews and testimonials on this site should not be interpreted as a statement on the effectiveness of our treatments for anyone else.

Providers listed on the Regenexx website are for informational purposes only and are not a recommendation from Regenexx for a specific provider or a guarantee of the outcome of any treatment you receive.