Hope for Arthritis: Topical glucosamine/chondroitin found to reduce pain

Results of a clinical study conducted by the Department of Complementary Medicine at RMIT University reveal new hope for arthritis sufferers. Researchers found that a topical preparation of glucosamine and chondroitin produced progressive reduction of pain due to knee osteoarthritis within four weeks.

According to Professor Marc Cohen, principal investigator, “The observed gradual and continual improvement in pain scores is likely to be due to the glucosamine and chondroitin content and this is consistent with previous studies. However, we were surprised by how quickly the treatment worked, with improvements evident from day one.”

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis and is associated with aging and trauma to joints. In osteoarthritis the cartilage cushioning the joint thins out and eventually breaks down, leading to progressive damage to the underlying bone. OA affects a large percentage of older people but is also found in younger people – particularly those who have injured joints.

The eight week trial included 63 subjects randomly assigned to use either the topical preparation or a placebo. A difference was observed between the two groups after the first day of treatment and this difference increased during the study.

“The evidence shows glucosamine is a safe, natural treatment comparable to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in relieving pain yet without the toxic side effects of NSAIDs which can include ulcers and internal bleeding,” comments Prof Cohen.

RMIT University, April 1, 2003