For the 35 million Americans who suffer from osteoarthritis: There’s encouraging news about the alternative medicine treatment glucosamine and chondroitin, which for years has had a reputation of being good for arthritis- related knee pain.
Initial findings of the National Institutes of Health Glucosamine/Chondroitin Arthritis Intervention Trail (GAIT) conclude that a combination of the supplements was effective in treating moderate to severe knee pain due to osteoarthritis.
The $14 million study, known as GAIT, tested whether glucosamine and chondroitin used separately or in combination were effective in reducing pain and improving functional ability in patients with knee osteoarthritis.
The study compared the supplements to a placebo and the drug celcoxib.
“One very significant finding of GAIT is that the supplements actually outperformed the prescription drug for those with moderate to severe knee pain, thus offering relief for those who need it most,” said Dr. Jason Theodosakis, a member of the steering committee for the NIH study.
The results from the trial were presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the American College of Rheumatology last week.
Area arthritis patients should remember that supplements act like medication in the body, and so should be sure to consult with their family physician or rheumatologist before starting any new treatment regimen.
By now, the Thanksgiving menu is set for many area residents. For some, the after-dessert ritual is to go outside and play a family football game, according to Jan Schmidt, exercise physiologist and director of the Kirmayer Fitness Center at the University of Kansas Medical Center. That may not be a good idea, however.
“The football (game) is strenuous and people suffer from pulled muscles at the very least,” she said in a Kansas City Star report.
Instead, Schmidt suggests a family walk. To do it wisely: