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How to Choose the Best Joint Supplement for You

Sep 20, 202210-Min Read

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How to Choose the Best Joint Supplement for You

Whether you’re dealing with joint stiffness, osteoarthritis knee pain, rheumatoid arthritis pain, or a twisted ankle after an injury, the choice of joint care supplements can be overwhelming.  

Gone are the days of just a couple of products to choose from. Thanks, science!  

Now, we have a plethora of research-backed joint supplements that work in different ways. This means it’s more important than ever to know a little about how certain supplements behave in the body, so you can choose the one that best suits your needs.  

Below, we take a look at the best supplements to help care for your joints, from osteoarthritis pain to feeling better and recovering after a workout. 

The Best Joint Supplements for Osteoarthritis Pain 

Osteoarthritis is a common condition that tends to affect adults in their late forties and onwards. This is when weakening muscles, weight gain, accumulated injuries, and general wear and tear can all conspire to create ongoing joint pain.  

The following ingredients are suitable for people looking to maintain and protect their joints, whether they are concerned about osteoarthritis or are physically active. 

Glucosamine and Chondroitin  

Glucosamine and chondroitin are natural components of healthy joint tissue. They provide the building blocks for the cushioning cartilage in the joints and are great long-term joint care supplements.  

Glucosamine vs. Chondroitin
GlucosamineChondroitin
Found in the fluid surrounding jointsFound in joint cartilage
Can provide significant relief from osteoarthritis pain Helps reduce the activity of enzymes that break down collagen in joints
Helps improve joint mobility and functionHelps reduce inflammation, decrease joint pain, and improve joint function

Why take glucosamine and chondroitin together? 

When taken together, glucosamine and chondroitin can help lubricate joints and slow joint degeneration.  

Because the body uses glucosamine to produce chondroitin, it’s better to think of the two working together, rather than glucosamine versus chondroitin. When supplemented as a dynamic duo, glucosamine and chondroitin help ensure a good level of these vital nutrients to relieve symptoms of osteoarthritis and improve the structural integrity of cartilage and joints.  

When do glucosamine and chondroitin start working?

While glucosamine and chondroitin get to work right away to help support joint health, most people feel the greatest benefits when taking these two joint supplements for at least 4–8 weeks.  

Here’s a peek at the science! 

  • In one clinical trial, adults with knee osteoarthritis who took 1500 mg of glucosamine sulfate daily for six months had significant improvements in joint pain, stiffness, and mobility, and decreased swelling and tenderness compared to the adults taking a placebo. [1]  

  • In a similar trial, volunteers taking glucosamine sulfate had decreased pain and stiffness and improved knee function after only 12 weeks. [2] 

  • In a review of high-quality trials, it was seen to reduce risk of progression of knee osteoarthritis by 54% and overall knee pain by 41%, and improved joint function by 46%. [3] 

  • Chondroitin sulfate is seen in numerous clinical trials to decrease pain and improve functional disability in people with osteoarthritis. [4] 

MSM

MSM is short for methylsulfonylmethane. This sulfur compound is also found in joint tissue and works well alongside glucosamine and chondroitin to address the underlying causes of knee osteoarthritis. Together, this dynamic trio of compounds can help rebuild joint tissue while relieving pain and inflammation.  

Glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM modulate inflammatory responses, helping ease symptoms of osteoarthritis and slow the progression of joint damage. [1–3]  

A meta-analysis found that daily doses of 1.5–6 g of MSM over 12 weeks significantly improved pain and joint function, with no reported adverse effects. [1] 

Woman tired after workout


For Recovery After Workouts, and Short-term Relief of Joint Aches and Pains 

Exercise plays a crucial role in staying fit and healthy, but it can lead to sore muscles and joints, pain, and injury. As with most things, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. This means it’s wise to use the supplements available to support joints and reduce the risk of pain and soreness before it happens. Thankfully, several joint supplements can also help calm inflammation and relieve joint pain after intense exercise. We take a look at these next. 

MSM

MSM is often included in long-term joint care supplements, but it also provides more immediate support after exercise. 

In a 10-day trial in 18 young, healthy men, 50mg of MSM per kg of bodyweight taken daily, dramatically increased total antioxidant capacity (TAC) after a 14 km run. TAC remained elevated at 30minutes, two hours, and 24 hours after exercise, helping to protect against muscle damage and soreness. [2]  

MSM from Webber Naturals is a vegan-friendly supplement and can be taken regularly to support joints or as needed for additional support following more intense workouts. 

Curcumin 

Curcumin is the compound that gives turmeric its bright yellow-orange colour, and it is also responsible in large part for its effects on the body, including helping to handle inflammation and pain. [3] Curcumin can help relieve joint pain and inflammation, in part by blocking pathways for inflammation and pain, including decreasing Pro-Interleukin (IL)-1ß, an active molecule in neuropathic pain. [4]  

Studies show that curcumin may offer immediate benefits for muscle soreness and joint damage from exercise. For ongoing joint pain, most people see significant relief within four weeks of starting curcumin. 

Extra Strength Turmeric Curcumin from Webber Naturals provides one of the highest doses of antioxidant curcuminoids available. 

Woman holding sore hand

For Acute Relief 

Whether you’ve twisted a knee or strained an ankle, or you just slept funny and your shoulder is giving you grief, it’s a good idea to have some natural remedies for acute joint pain relief on hand. 

Curcumin and MSM are both good options for the home medicine cabinet, but have you heard of NEM? 

NEM® 

NEM is short for natural eggshell membrane and is a unique source of collagen, glucosamine, chondroitin, and hyaluronic acid to support joint health. NEM helps support the maintenance, repair, and lubrication of joint cartilage and helps decrease joint pain from moderate-intensity aerobic exercise starting on the first day.  

A daily dose of 500 mg of NEM has also been shown to reduce knee pain and improve mobility in just 5–7 days.In one study, adults taking 500 mg of NEM daily experienced a 27.8% improvement in flexibility at seven days and a 43.7% improvement in flexibility at 30 days. [5] Participants also reported an average of 72.5% improvement in pain, and a 75.9% reduction in range-of-motion-associated pain at 30 days. At the end of the 30-day trial, 45% of the participants were completely pain-free. 

In a randomized, double-blind, and placebo-controlled trial, 67 adults with knee osteoarthritis took 500 mg of NEM for 60 days. [6] By day 10, participants reported an average of 12% reduction in pain and a 17% reduction in stiffness. After 60 days, a third of the patients had 40% less pain and over half of the patients had 50% less stiffness. The adults taking NEM were also able to reduce how much other pain medication they took during the trial. 

The takeaway from these studies is that NEM may offer fast-acting pain relief with long-term benefits for joint health without any known adverse effects. Super NEM® from Webber Naturals provides the same 500 mg daily dose of NEM used with success in clinical trials. 

Collagen 

Collagen is another great choice to support joint health. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body and an important part of joint tissue and bone. As we get older, our ability to produce collagen starts to decline. This means we are more prone to joint injuries and take longer to bounce back when injury occurs.  

It’s also important to know that while there are several types of collagen, typeII is the most helpful for joint health. This is the kind of collagen found in healthy joint tissue that is better able to handle stress and strain without injury and pain. 

Collagen Turmeric Complex from Webber Naturals is made with UC-II® Collagen Complex and Univestin®, two clinically studied ingredients for easing joint discomfort. Together, these ingredients provide joint pain relief in just 3–7 days and can help reduce joint pain caused by exercise. 

Collagen Turmeric Complex also helps relieve joint pain and stiffness and can improve mobility if you’re suffering from osteoarthritis. The formula also features turmeric as a source of antioxidant curcumin, and bromelain, an enzyme found naturally in papaya and pineapple. These natural remedies are used in herbal medicine to relieve inflammation, pain, and swelling.  

Woman sore getting out of bed

For Chronic or Ongoing Joint Pain

When joint pain, stiffness, and discomfort have become a way of life, it’s a good idea to look to natural remedies for a little help. Supplements for ongoing or chronic joint pain tend to feature a variety of nutrients and herbs that work synergistically, meaning they provide more benefit when combined than if taken separately. Osteo Joint Ease™ is a specially designed formula that supports all-round joint health with both short- and long-term benefits for joints.  

Osteo Joint Ease® 

Osteo Joint Ease from Webber Naturals features glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate alongside methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), manganese, boron, and hyaluronic acid. These ingredients work together to help relieve joint pain, especially when associated with osteoarthritis. This innovative formula also contains InflamEase®, a super plant extract including boswellia, curcumin from turmeric, and antioxidant polyphenols, which provide antioxidants for the maintenance of good health.  

Osteo Joint Ease with InflamEase is generally considered safe for use in conjunction with conventional treatments, helping to support joint health, whatever your age and activity level.  

Best supplements for joint health - hands

If You Have Rheumatoid Arthritis 

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic systemic inflammatory disease characterized by inflammation in the synovial joints (such as the knees, hips, and shoulders) and associated joint disability. RA triggers joint pain in a different way from acute injury and general wear and tear. Omega-3 has been seen in clinical trials to offer specific support for joint pain associated with RA. 

Omega-3 

Omega-3 is a great choice for managing RA pain and swelling.For adults also using conventional therapies, a daily dose of 2800–5000 mg of EPA plus DHA may help relieve joint pain associated with RA. [7]  

Goldberg & Katz conducted a meta-analysis of 17 studies involving adults with RA and joint pain. They found that supplementing with omega-3 for 3–4 months was associated with reduced intensity of joint pain, reduced duration of morning stiffness, and decreased the number of tender joints. [8] 

Triple Strength Omega-3 900 mg from Webber Naturals provides enough anti-inflammatory omega-3 to help reduce the pain caused by RA in adults. Not all omega-3 supplements provide this level of the key nutrients EPA and DHA, meaning they provide little, if any, pain relief. When choosing an omega-3 supplement for joint health, be sure to check how much EPA and DHA the formula provides.

Final Thoughts on How to Choose the Best Joint Supplement for You 

Joint pain and discomfort affect almost everyone at some point in life. The good news is that, armed with the right information, you can choose joint supplements that support healthy cartilage and connective tissue whatever your age and activity level. 

Natural health supplements can’t turn back time, but they can give your joints the nutrients they need to stay healthy. The right supplements can also help keep inflammation in check, support your body’s natural recovery and healing processes, and help relieve joint pain associated with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or a sprain, strain, or other acute injuries. 

As always, before using any natural remedies for joint pain, check with your health care practitioner, especially if you have pre-existing health concerns. 

Leigh Matthews, BA Hons, H.Dip. NT

Leigh Matthews, BA Hons, H.Dip. NT

Leigh Matthews is a health and wellness writer specializing in plant-based nutrition and environmental health.

  1. De Silva V, El-Metwally A, Ernst E, et al. Evidence for the efficacy of complementary and alternative medicines in the management of osteoarthritis: A systematic review. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2011; 50(5):911-20.
  2. Barmaki S, Bohlooli S, Khoshkhahesh F, et al. Effect of methylsulfonylmethane supplementation on exercise - Induced muscle damage and total antioxidant capacity. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2012; 52(2):170-4.
  3. Shimatsu A, Kakeya H, Imaizumi A, et al. Clinical application of “curcumin”, a multi-functional substance. Anti-Aging Med. 2012; 9(2):75-83.
  4. Liu S, Li Q, Zhang M-T, et al. Curcumin ameliorates neuropathic pain by down-regulating spinal IL-1ß via suppressing astroglial NALP1 inflammasome and JAK2-STAT3 signalling. Sci Rep. 2016; 6:28956.
  5. Ruff, K.J., et al. (2009). Eggshell membrane: a possible new natural therapeutic for joint and connective tissue disorders. Results from two open-label human clinical studies. Clin Interv Aging, 4, 235-40.
  6. Ruff KJ, Winkler A, Jackson RW, et al. Eggshell membrane in the treatment of pain and stiffness from osteoarthritis of the knee: A randomized, multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study. Clin Rheumatol. 2009; 28(8):907-14.
  7. NHPD – Natural Health Product Directorate. Accessed August 2022. Available at: http://webprod.hc-sc.gc.ca/nhpid-bdipsn/monoReq.do?id=88
  8. Goldberg RJ, Katz J. A meta-analysis of the analgesic effects of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation for inflammatory joint pain. Pain. 2007; 129:210-23.

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