The 10 Best Supplements for Joint Pain Relief in 2023, According to Experts

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We updated this article in May 2023 with more information about each product featured based on extensive research by our team.
Anyone who has experienced joint pain in their life knows how frustrating it can be. When joints are stiff, inflamed, and painful, even the simplest of activities can be painful. While the pain may be temporary, like the pain you might feel after a long day at the table, it can also be caused by a chronic condition. In fact, about one in four adults with arthritis (or 15 million people) report severe joint pain. Fortunately, the best joint supplements can help.
Of course, pain can be relieved for some people with over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB), and naproxen (Aliv), which can help relieve pain and reduce inflammation. However, long-term use of these painkillers can have unpleasant side effects.
This is why many doctors recommend exploring other strategies for symptom relief. For example, a balanced diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods, strength training, and maintaining an ideal body weight are “the most effective and proven ways to improve osteoarthritis symptoms,” says Elizabeth Matzkin, MD, head of surgery. Department of Women’s Musculoskeletal Health, Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
Meet the Experts: Elizabeth Matzkin, MD, Director, Women’s Musculoskeletal Surgery, Brigham and Women’s Hospital; Thomas Wnorowski, MD, Clinical and Biomedical Nutritionist, Principal Investigator, Neurolipid Research Foundation, Millville, NJ; Jordan Mazur, M.D., M.D., sports nutrition coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers; Valentina Duong, APD, owner of Strength Nutritionist; Kendra Clifford, ND, Naturopathic Physician and Midwife at the Chiropractic Center in Uxbridge, Ontario; Nicole M. Dr. Avena is a Nutritional Consultant and Associate Professor in the Department of Neuroscience. at Mount Sinai School of Medicine.
In addition to lifestyle changes, some people are turning to supplements to improve joint health. But before you rush to the vitamin aisle at the drugstore, be aware that not all of these supplements are the cure-all for joint problems they claim to be. With so many options to browse through a range of supplements it’s definitely not a walk in the park – that’s why we’ve done all the work for you and found the highest quality joint supplements recommended by medical experts for pain relief and general joint health. However, before buying, be sure to consult your doctor and do your research to determine which product is best for you.
Dietary supplements are products intended to supplement the diet. They are not drugs and are not intended to treat, diagnose, alleviate, prevent, or cure disease. Use nutritional supplements with caution if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Also, use caution when prescribing supplements to children unless recommended by a doctor.
The product contains collagen, boswellia and turmeric – three powerful ingredients for joint health. Dr. Nicole M. Avena, a nutritional consultant and assistant professor of neuroscience at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, loves Youtheory’s diversity because the company has a long history of making collagen supplements. “Their ingredients are sourced from all over the world to ensure the highest quality, and the products are made in their own factories,” says Avina. Youtheory factories are also Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) certified.
This nutrient is best absorbed when combined with the black pepper (or piperine) that this brand contains. The Arthritis Foundation experts recommend that 100 mg per day can help relieve the pain of osteoarthritis. Tribe Vegan Capsules contain 112.5 mg per serving. The company also manufactures supplements in a Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) approved facility.
“Supplementing 20-30 grams of high-quality collagen [peptides] is a good preventive measure, providing the body with everything it needs to synthesize collagen, an important protein for healthy joints and ligaments,” says Jordan Mazur (MS, MD) Team Sports Nutrition Coordinator San Francisco 49ers. He prefers this brand, which is certified and tested by NSF International and contains 11.9 grams of collagen peptides per scoop.
Thorne is a respected nutritional supplement brand partnered with the Mayo Clinic and certified by GMP and NSF. Super EPA fish oil product contains a huge amount of painkillers: 425 mg of EPA and 270 mg of DHA per capsule.
Nordic Naturals offers 1000 IU of D3 which is non-GMO and 3rd party tested. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends that adults aged 19-70 get at least 800 IU per day, which means this supplement may meet your needs.
Longvida was recommended by Dr. Thomas Wnorowski, Clinical and Biomedical Nutritionist and Principal Investigator at the Neurolipid Research Foundation in Millville, New Jersey. It is a “pure and effective source” of curcumin. The brand offers 400mg of “bioavailable” curcumin per capsule, which means your body will be able to absorb most of the nutrients. The Arthritis Foundation reports that the optimal dose of curcumin for arthritis pain relief is 500 mg twice a day, but this dose may vary depending on your needs.
This vegetarian formula contains 575 mg of Devil’s Claw per capsule. While recommended dosages vary, experts at the Arthritis Foundation recommend 750 to 1,000 mg three times a day for adults. But again, check with your doctor before deciding how much to take. Dosage aside, the great thing about Greenbush Claws is that they are manufactured to GMP guidelines in an FDA controlled facility.
Although palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) is still being researched, some studies have shown its ability to reduce low back pain and chronic pelvic pain. Nootropic Depot capsules are manufactured in a GMP certified facility and contain 400mg of PEA per capsule. There is no recommended dosage for this particular nutrient, but 300 to 600 mg of PEA has been shown to be effective in some cases. If you would like to try this supplement, ask your doctor what dosage he recommends.
Blackmores Fish Oil contains 540 mg of EPA and 36 mg of DHA, making it an excellent choice for fish oil supplements. Bonus: It’s an Australian brand, and it’s worth noting that the Australian government regulates “complementary medicines” (also known as supplements) just as strictly as pharmaceuticals. Blackmore also manufactures its products in GMP certified facilities, another key advantage.
Omega-3 fats are often sourced from fish, but vegetarians and vegans can still find omega-3 supplements to suit their diet. This vegan product from Deva contains 500mg of DHA and EPA derived from algae oil, not fish. These supplements are also manufactured in accordance with GMP regulations in an FDA verified facility.
Just because a supplement is backed by solid research doesn’t mean that any supplement you find on the drugstore shelf will work. First, “the products contain a wide range of doses of active ingredients,” says Kendra Clifford, a naturopathic physician and midwife at the Chiropractic Center in Uxbridge, Ontario. “[But] it takes an effective dose for the supplement to work.”
“While you can find general dosage recommendations from trusted sources like the Arthritis Foundation, the dosage that works for you really depends on your condition,” Clifford adds. Talking to your doctor can help you determine the correct dosage.
Once everything is decided, it’s time to choose a brand. Be aware that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates dietary supplements under different rules than “traditional” foods and drugs. You will need to look for the stamp of approval label from a third party certification program such as Consumer Laboratories, NSF International, United States Pharmacopeia (USP) or Good Manufacturing Practice to make sure there are no harmful ingredients and that the product contains everything it claims.
it depends. In many cases, the results of studies are ambiguous, so there are no unambiguous answers. For example, glucosamine and chondroitin are often touted for their ability to relieve joint pain, but according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, these supplements are no more effective than placebo at treating arthritis pain. On the other hand, the Arthritis Foundation makes a different recommendation and includes glucosamine and chondroitin in their list of supplements to help relieve arthritis symptoms.
The good news is that some supplements have less conflicting data, which means they might be worth a try.
Research shows that the following supplements may help relieve joint pain and improve overall joint health:
✔️ Curcumin: This is the active compound in turmeric that gives the spice its flavor and color. “It’s known for its anti-inflammatory effects because it destroys pro-inflammatory cells in the body,” Vnorovsky says.
Boswellia: Boswellia serrata or Indian frankincense is one of the dark horses in the anti-inflammatory world. According to the Arthritis Foundation, it blocks the enzymes that turn food into molecules that damage the joints. In 2018, researchers conducted a systematic review of 20 supplements to relieve osteoarthritis and found that boswellia extract was excellent in relieving joint pain.
Collagen: One of the keys to preventing joint pain is to protect the soft cartilage that protects bones. Part of the cartilage is made up of a protein called collagen, which “plays an important role in maintaining and promoting healthy joints and ligaments,” Mazur said. A 2014 review found that collagen protects cartilage, relieves pain, and potentially strengthens bones.
Fish Oil: The omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil have been extensively studied for their anti-inflammatory effects in a variety of conditions, including arthritis. Some researchers found that people with osteoarthritis who took 200 mg of EPA and 400 mg of DHA (the active ingredient in fish oil) daily for 16 weeks experienced a reduction in chronic pain. Fish oil has also been shown to be effective in treating gout, a common but complex form of arthritis in which symptoms tend to be more sudden and severe. According to Valentina Duong, APD, owner of Strength Nutritionist, for an effective fish oil supplement, you need to find a brand that contains at least 500mg of EPA and DHA combined.
✔️ Vitamin D: It won’t replace over-the-counter painkillers, but it’s essential for strong bones, including the bones that make up joints. Vitamin D helps absorb calcium, one of the main building blocks of bones, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). It also regulates phosphate levels, which allows the contraction of the muscles that move the bones of the joints.
Many of us need more of this important nutrient. “Low vitamin D levels can lead to bone, joint and muscle pain,” says Kendra Clifford, a naturopath and midwife at the Chiropractic Center in Uxbridge, Ontario. “Bone pain is often difficult to distinguish from muscle pain, so vitamin D deficiency can be a direct cause of pain in many people.”
✔️ PEA: Palmitoylethanolamide was discovered in the 1950s as a powerful anti-inflammatory and is still being studied for its pain relieving potential. Numerous studies have shown that PEA can help people with low back pain and chronic pelvic pain. In her practice, Clifford has found that PEA is “well tolerated and can be used in high-risk groups, such as those on heavy medication, where typical painkillers can have serious side effects.”
✔️ Devil’s Claw: Derived from a plant native to South Africa, it is a popular supplement in France and Germany for inflammation, arthritis, headaches, and back pain. Taking Magic Claw for 8-12 weeks may reduce pain and improve joint function in people with osteoarthritis.
We consulted with Elizabeth Matskin, MD, Head of Brigham Women’s Musculoskeletal Surgery and Women’s Hospital; Thomas Wnorowski, MD, clinical and biomedical nutritionist and principal investigator at the Neurolipid Research Foundation in Millville, New Jersey; Jordan Mazur, MS, RD, Sports Nutrition Coordinator, San Francisco 49ers; Valentina Duong, APD, owner, strength nutritionist; Kendra Clifford, ND, Naturopathic Physician and Midwives; Dr. Nicole M. Avena is a nutritional consultant and assistant professor of neuroscience at Mount Sinai School. Medicine. We have also looked at countless ratings, reviews, and product specifications online.
For over 70 years, Prevention magazine has been a leading provider of trusted health information, providing readers with practical strategies to improve physical, mental and emotional health. Our editors interview medical experts who help us choose health-focused products. Prevention also checks hundreds of reviews and often runs personal tests conducted by our staff to help you make an informed decision.
Adele Jackson-Gibson is a certified fitness trainer, model, and author. She received a master’s degree in journalism from New York University and a bachelor’s degree from Yale University and has since written articles for various sports, fitness, beauty and culture media.
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Post time: Sep-05-2023