Joint pain is a nationwide epidemic in the United States. According to the Arthritis Foundation 1 out of every 3 people between the ages of 18-64 are in pain. That means that the next time you’re standing in line at Starbuck’s, if there’s two other people in the store with you, one of you has joint pain and might be looking for a joint supplement to take. Is it you?
Luckily, as technology gets better doctors are able to find more effective supplements for joint pain and stiffness that don’t require a prescription or even a doctor’s visit. The best part is, many of these are 100% natural remedies for joint pain so they are completely safe and have medical evidence to support their pain-relieving claims.
Gone are the days when the only option for pain was prescription joint medicine or surgery. That’s great news because the US government says it spends almost $5-billion to treat people with joint pain every year. And that number doesn’t even include what people spend out of their own pocket on joint supplements or other alternative therapies.
It’s no wonder that more and more people are taking matters into their own hands and searching for a solution to their pain. And every month there’s almost 30,000 Google searches for things like “joint supplements, joint pain relief, best joint supplement, joint pain supplements and vitamins for joints.”
Well, having said that I’ve put together a list of my favorite, clinically proven, joint health supplements you should be taking if you’re over 30 to find lasting joint pain relief. Now I know that 30 seems a little young to be worried about joint pain, but let me tell you why it’s such an important age.
It’s All Down Hill After 30
You see, at birth your joints are chock-full of special molecules called glycosaminoglycans, I’ll call them glycans for short, that are crucial components of cartilage and synovial fluid. They are key in fighting chronic joint pain and cartilage damage. They are so important that doctors at the University of Iowa say the lower the number of these molecules in your joints, the more cartilage you’re likely to lose and the more pain you’ll feel.
Unfortunately, doctors at the Cleveland Clinic discovered that by your 20’s you only have 30% of the glycan molecules you were born with left. But, the bad news doesn’t end there. That’s because you continue to lose them as you get older. And by the time you’re 70 you have only 7% of them left. This explains why joint pain gets worse every year.
So, I know you might be asking, “Well, since they’re so important, can I refill them somehow?” The answer is YES! And in fact, two of my top 5 best supplements for joint pain do EXACTLY that.
This list of supplements (and their vitamins for joint health) was carefully selected because each one serves a unique purpose that is hard to match.
There’s a lot of joint pain vitamins and supplements you could take. But based on the years of research I’ve done and combined with my own personal experience taking supplements for knee and neck pain, there is nothing that works as well as these do for the price.
Because it’s important that you not only find supplements that are going to take away the pain. But you also want them to repair any damage, lubricate what’s still there and stop inflammation (the root of all joint pain).
So here they are, my top 5 best joint pain supplements and the research to support why I recommend everyone start taking them ASAP.
Like the name implies, MSM really is “The Cartilage Strengthener” because of its extraordinary ability to keep cartilage strong and prevent the onset of arthritis. Yes, its name is hard to pronounce, but don’t let that stop you from incorporating it into your supplement regimen. You don’t need a lot of it because a little goes a long way.
MSM is highly important and almost necessary to keep cartilage strong and to reduce joint pain and the inflammation that causes it. Here’s why.
A little over one third (34%) of MSM is made up of sulfur. Sulfur is key in giving the collagen in joint cartilage its strong and flexible properties. This helps your joints stay strong, loose and flexible.
Researchers in Canada showed that sulfur deficiency leads to cartilage degeneration. They also found that the amount of sulfur in your cartilage as you age decreases significantly.
In addition to strengthening cartilage thanks to its sulfur content, MSM also has high anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It increases the levels of substances that fight inflammation in your body (like glutathione) and reduces a “key gatekeeper molecule” that causes inflammation.
Unfortunately, MSM is only found naturally in small amounts in foods like apples, raspberries, corn, tomatoes, tea, coffee, beer and milk.
But like I said, a little goes a long way. This is highlighted by a study by the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine & Health Sciences in Arizona. They discovered that after only 3 months of taking 6 grams of MSM daily arthritis patients felt less pain and had more mobility.
A South Korean university and The University of Memphis found that MSM “significantly reduced” the trigger that causes inflammation and that “a variety of health-specific outcomes are improved, including inflammation and joint pain.” It’s runaway inflammation that expresses itself in your body as joint pain and destroys your joints.
The best part is that researchers in India found that when MSM is combined with some of the other supplements on my top 5 “it provides better and more rapid improvement in patients.”
So MSM, the supplement you might’ve never heard of, is a powerful anti-inflammatory, pain reducing option both alone and in combination with the rest of the supplements on my list.
Hyaluronic Acid (HA), “The Joint Lubricator,” was first proposed internationally as an alternative to NSAID’s for joint pain over 70 years ago. Here in the US, it didn’t get FDA approval for use as an injection until the late 1990’s. Ever since, it has become a popular option. Researchers estimate that more than 36,000 Americans get at least one injection every year.
Unfortunately, HA injections have two downsides. One, they are only approved for use in your knee. A doctor won’t inject any other part of your body. Two, they are VERY expensive. Cleveland Clinic doctors say each treatment injection costs between $300-$750. And each treatment can require up to three injections every four months. That can be almost $7,000 per year, per knee.
So how does HA work exactly? Let me tell you.
Because HA is naturally found in your joints’ synovial fluid Dr. Michael Schaefer of the Cleveland Clinic says it acts like “a cushion or a buffer against inflammatory cells in the joint.” He also points out that when you supplement your body’s natural HA it could stimulate your joints “to start producing more natural HA.”
Additionally, some doctors believe HA reduces pain by coating the nerve endings in your joints.
But here’s why I personally take HA and recommend you do too. Doctors in England found that patients who took HA reported “a significant difference” in pain while walking after only a few weeks. Similar findings where reported by researchers in Taiwan and by the College of Family Physicians of Canada.
Researchers in Japan confirmed these findings when an animal study (some animals have similar joint structures to humans that’s why they’re used) of the progression of joint pain and cartilage degeneration found that HA “significantly inhibited cartilage degeneration.” And “showed a cartilage protective effect as well as a pain-relieving effect.”
Even if the level of HA supplementation you get orally isn’t as high as you’d get through expensive injection treatment, a snowball effect will occur. Over time, as HA builds up in your body, it could yield huge benefits.
Glucosamine sulfate (GS) earned its name as “The Healing Accelerator” because of the glycans molecules it helps form. The fact that it’s been around a long time speaks volumes to its effectiveness too. Chances are you’re probably taking it already or know someone who does. But, just in case you’ve never heard of GS, or cared enough to find out, let me tell you how it works.
GS is a substance that naturally occurs in our body and can be found in certain foods. Well, one of the roles of GS is to form into glycan molecules. These molecules then combine with special cells called chondrocytes found only in healthy cartilage and are absorbed into the extracellular matrix at your joints.
The extracellular matrix is a series of molecules arranged in a pattern to form a wall. This wall is what makes up the cartilage at the end of your joints. Glucosamine sulfate plays a critical role in protecting and repairing your cartilage.
Unfortunately, it’s not enough to just take loads of GS and call it a day. You see, in order for GS to get absorbed and turned into cartilage you need a steady supply of chondrocytes. Unfortunately, as you get older you have less of them, because the cells don’t divide quite as frequently as they used to. And as the chondrocytes naturally die of, it takes longer for another cell to replace it.
So you can’t just supplement with a bunch of GS if you don’t have enough chondrocytes and expect it to protect your joints. You need both, or else it won’t work.
And remember, half of GS is sulfate, which is sulfur. So just like with MSM, the sulfur in GS helps cartilage stay strong and flexible.
So, now that you know how GS works you’ll be happy to learn that Georgetown University found that long-term GS supplementation “could be a disease modifying agent in arthritis.” Their study also showed that patients who took GS had “no significant joint-space loss”, meaning they lost very little (if any) cartilage. Patients also reported improvements in pain, stiffness and functional limitation.
Researchers in England also found that compared to regular pain relievers like ibuprofen, that do very little for the actual joints, “glucosamine is effective in relieving joint pain associated with arthritis.” They stressed that it could be “due to its cartilage-rebuilding properties; not seen with simple pain relievers and are of particular benefit.”
The fourth joint health supplement I recommend is chondroitin sulfate (CS), “The Healing Catalyst. It too is one of the most popular and widely used supplements. Like GS, there’s a very high likelihood you or someone you know is already taking it.
Even though it is a great standalone ingredient, the real power of CS comes when it’s combined with other supplements like GS or MSM. That’s the primary reason why a lot of supplement manufactures include it in their formulations.
But how exactly does CS work? And why does it work so well when combined with other ingredients?
Well, because CS is a compound found naturally in all human cartilage and bone, scientists have established that its one their ground substances.
And just like glucosamine sulfate, CS combines with chondrocytes to help glycan molecules be absorbed into the extracellular matrix in your cartilage. This chondrocyte combination also helps keep synovial fluid thick, so it can provide more cushioning for your joints.
The number one reason why CS works so well when combined with other joint health supplements is because of its sulfate component. Yes, just like MSM and GS, CS is also made up of sulfur. It’s the sulfur that helps cartilage stay strong and flexible. So, when you combine CS with other sulfur carrying ingredients it’s like getting a double or triple dose for your cartilage.
There’s a lot of really incredible results that doctors and researchers have been able to find as they continue to learn more about CS. For example, research by doctors in Switzerland and Rush Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center in Chicago found that CS, “significantly reduced pain and increased mobility” in patients with arthritis. They also said that CS could “preserve joint space and control joint breakdown.”
Doctors at the University of Maryland School of Medicine agreed with the Chicago and Swiss doctors above saying that “CS is effective for reducing the rate of joint space deterioration.” They went on to recommend that CS be used by arthritis patients.
An important aspect of how CS works is that it reduces the inflammation that destroys cartilage in the first place. Canadian researchers found that not only does CS “prevent joint space narrowing.” But, it does it by “reducing joint swelling” thanks to its “anti-inflammatory effect.” This anti-inflammatory effect is why it preserves joint space.
CS has many well documented beneficial joint health properties especially when you combine it with ingredients like GS. In fact, a 2-year US government study found that the CS-GS combination was as effective for arthritis as Celebrex, but without the $223 price tag.
The final supplement I recommend for joint pain relief is “The Inflammation Fighter”, omega-3 fatty acids. If the name sounds familiar to you it’s probably because you’ve heard it called by its mainstream name, fish oil. It should come as little surprise to you that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) says it’s the most commonly used supplement in the country. And there’s good reason for that.
Fish oil’s works by controlling and reducing inflammation in the body. Like we’ve already learned, inflammation is a big threat to our joints, so the role of omega-3s is huge. And doctors at the best medical school in the world agree.
Harvard Medical School found that when you take omega-3s they convert into compounds 10,000 times more powerful than original fatty acids. Dr. Charles Serhan at Harvard says these new compounds are what “help bring inflammation in the body to an end.”
Researchers in Canada also found that omega-3s reduce joint pain intensity, morning stiffness, number of painful and/or tender joints and NSAID (aspirin, Advil and Motrin) consumption.
Additionally, doctors in England say the evidence that omega-3s are clinically effective when used to soothe arthritis inflammation is “reasonably strong.”
The American College of Rheumatology even suggests that “daily supplementation with omega-3s results in significant clinical benefit.”
Knowing all this it’s no wonder that omega-3s is number one in this country. And doctors from all over the world are hailing it for its ability to eliminate inflammation and end joint pain in the process.
Some Things To Consider
Those are the top 5 pain supplements I personally take and recommend to people. As you can see, each one has proven pain elimination capabilities. But, their real power comes when they are used in combination. Creating a type of overloading effect that delivers pain relief much faster than when taken individually.
Two words of caution though.
One, I used the word “fast” a minute ago. However, I don’t want you to confuse it for overnight. Because if that’s what you’re looking for, a magic pill, then I’m afraid none of these supplements are it.
In fact, I don’t think there’s anything available on the market that will provide true long-lasting relief beyond just a few hours of numbing the pain. So please don’t make that mistake or let that deter you from giving them a real chance to work.
You didn’t destroy your joints overnight. In most cases it was a lifetime process. So to think anything will REALLY fix them overnight is naïve at best and reckless at worst.
Two, be prepared to spend a significant amount of money on these supplements. Like I said, each one WILL provide pain relief over time, but if you want to leap-frog months of waiting then you need to take all of them, together. Unfortunately, you’ll be spending more than you might want to every month depending on where you shop. Like with cars, speed comes at a high price.
I went out and bought all these supplements at a store that has locations all over the country. In total, I spent a little bit over $100 on 30-day supplies. Where I could, I bought the “generic” version of each ingredient. I calculate this saved me between $10-$30.
An Alternative Solution
As with most things in life, you have options. Number one, you could choose not to take all five supplements at one time. It might be for more than just financial reasons. It could be that you don’t want to take 5-10 pills every day on top of anything else you might already be taking.
Number two, you could find all, or some, of the same nutrients found in each of these supplements in their food form. After all, if you can get it naturally and skip taking the supplement this is always recommended. The downside is you might need to eat a lot of the “raw source” to equate to the same level of supplementation that you find in each pill. This means that you could be spending quit a bit more money than if you go the supplement route.
Number three, which is what I do, is instead of buying each individual supplement you could buy one that delivers all 5 of them. The downside is, I’m almost 100% certain you won’t be able to walk into your local GNC or Whole Foods and buy it. That’s why my company created it a few months ago, because I wanted all these ingredients and didn’t want to pay over $100 to get them.
Our product is called Xyndolor and it gives you high quality doses of all 5 ingredients in two easy to swallow pills for as little as $1.33 per day. The best part is, you’re covered by our 90-day “bottom of the bottle” satisfaction guarantee that you won’t get from anywhere else.
Click this link to learn more about how you can get the 5 best joint supplements for pain relief in one bottle of Xyndolor.
To Sum Up
The ideal joint pain supplement regardless of whether it’s for knee pain, shoulder pain or hand pain MUST perform three very specific tasks in order for it to be a viable long-term solution.
One, it MUST have a mechanism for dealing with inflammation, or else your joints will continue to degrade.
Two, it MUST lubricate your joints, so they move smoothly and without friction.
Three, it MUST be more than just a numbing agent, it has to be able to repair and rebuild worn out cartilage.
There are a lot of very good joint pain supplement alternatives available on the market. So many in fact that it can be overwhelming. I hope that I have shed a little light on the topic and given you the tools to make an informed decision.