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You Have Questions. We Have Answers

There are more than 500 causes of joint pain, ranging from injury to disease. The most common cause is osteoarthritis, (OA) often called 'wear-and-tear' arthritis, which affects eight million people in the UK.

Osteoarthritis usually occurs in those over the age of 45, but can affect younger people if they have injured or repetitively strained joints, often sports-related.

The condition is caused by degeneration of cartilage at a joint, and can lead to the growth of small bone 'spurs', which grate together on movement, causing various degrees of pain.

Those who suffer from joint pain are fortunate to have access to huge range of natural supplements to help to relieve joint pain. Some products work better than others, and not all go through the same standards of clinical testing. Some supplements play a role in the formation and repair of cartilage, while others help lubricate and cushion damaged joints, relieving inflammation and pain in affected joints.

So which supplements are right for you? What can you do to lessen the pain and increase your mobility?

Here, our expert answers the questions most often asked about joint-care issues.

Q:What age should I start thinking about taking a joint supplement?
A:There is no right age. All adults should keep their weight down, exercise regularly and eat a balanced diet to keep bones and joints healthy. Often people start thinking about supplements as they develop knee and hip pain in their 60s.

Q:What supplements are available to keep joints supple?
A:While you'll find a vast array of products in marketplace, many of these supplements don't have research evidence to prove they work. That doesn't mean people don't find them helpful. The most commonly used natural supplements are glucosamine, chondroitin and omega-3 fish oil, such as cod liver oil. Calcium and Vitamin D are medically recognized to keep bones healthy and prevent osteoporosis. These supplements have been clinically tested and research does show that they can help in relieving joint pain and or are a factor in maintaining healthy cartilage and bone health.

Q:Is there a specific supplement for knees?
A:Yes - glucosamine sulfate and glucosamine hydrochloride with chondroitin are proteins that are part of the make-up of normal cartilage. Medical theory suggests that these proteins may help repair damaged cartilage and may help to relieve joint pain.

Q:Are there any side effects of glucosamine?
A:Few are reported, but anyone with seafood allergies should be careful, as some are derived from crushed crustacean shells. If you take blood-thinning drugs such as warfarin, check with your GP, as these drugs may interact with glucosamine.

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