How Glucosamine Helps Joint Pain

Glucosamine, also known as Glucosamine Sulphate is a good/ body-friendly chemical which is found in the fluids that surround the joints in the body of human beings and some animals. This natural chemical performs various functions to the joints, especially by providing the joints with what scientists codenamed ” locomotive balance.” By locomotive balance, they refer to the ease of movement and friction around the joints.

The following paragraphs explain the various ways Glucosamine helps the joints.

Helps relieve pain

Glucosamine helps to relieve the excruciating pains around the joints, especially during locomotion ( locomotion is the ability to move or the act of moving from place to place, eg walking, running, jumping, crawling, swimming or flying).

According to the United States National Library of Medicine, MedlinePlus, Using a supplement like Glucosamine Sulphate to support the surrounding structures of the joint may help provide pain relief and prevent further joint damage. In fact,  Glucosamine supplements can provide relief for osteoarthritis pain( especially knee osteoarthritis).

  • Glucosamine and Chondroitin

Research has shown that the best outcome for the relief of excruciating joint pains is when Glucosamine Sulphate is combined with Chondroitin. It is important to note that  Chondroitin Sulphate also occurs naturally in the cartilage that cushions your joints and prevents bone-on-bone friction during locomotion. However, Joint supplements often combine chondroitin with glucosamine and other chemicals to slow the breakdown of cartilage. Apart from the aforestated, chondroitin has another health benefit of slowing the development of cataracts and the prevention of urinary tract infections.

Medical experts had emphasized that the above combination may work perfectly in the body of some people, while to some, it may work slightly. In all, they rated their potency at 60 to 75 percent.

A study was conducted in 2016 by a multinational organization. The study was tagged “the MOVES trial”. This study found out that the combination of glucosamine and chondroitin are effective at relieving knee osteoarthritis pain and swelling around the knee region, especially without any side effects. These groups of authors said that these supplements could be a good alternative for people who have cardiovascular or GI conditions. In the same vein, another 2015 study found out that the aforementioned combination helped to reduce what scientists called “joint space narrowing” (a sign of cartilage degeneration).

Another important function of Glucosamine to the joints is that it increases the strength of the cartilage( a white flexible substance). From the perspective of Anatomy, cartilage, which is sometimes called Gristle, is a type of dense, non-vascular connective tissue, usually found at the end of joints, the rib cage, the ear, the nose, in the throat and between intervertebral disks. Once the cartilage is strong and firm, the joints enjoy a painless balance, especially during movement.

Helps to thicken the synovial fluid

Also, Glucosamine helps to thicken the synovial fluid and at the same time improves the elasticity of the connective tissues. With this, the friction around the various joints of the body will be with ease. Also when the synovial fluid thickens, it helps to reduce pain and inflammation.

According to medical findings, two main classifications of glucosamine supplements exist. One contains ingredients naturally derived from shellfish while the second one uses synthetic ingredients that are created in a laboratory. A comparative study was carried out to determine the proficiency of one over the other and the result revealed that the former( the natural one from Shellfish) works more perfectly when compared to the latter( the one that uses synthetic ingredient created from the lab).

Added to this, studies also reveal that Glucosamine sulfate works more effectively than glucosamine hydrochloride. Therefore when choosing from any of the two glucosamine supplements, check if it is a sulfate or hydrochloride. Since sulfate is more effective, use the sulfate.

Another factor to consider when choosing a glucosamine supplement is the amount of glucosamine contained in the supplement. Studies have revealed that the level of glucosamine reported on the label of the supplement is often higher than the actual content. Hence, when choosing a glucosamine supplement, either choose from a reliable source or choose a supplement with a higher content of glucosamine.

If you are buying American supplements, go for the ones that have a quality certification from a third-party agency. These agencies include NSF International, Informed Choice, and the US Pharmacopeial Convention (USP).


Generally, for effective results,  it is advisable to take the supplement at least three times a day, especially during mealtime. The only exception to this is when using glucosamine salt or Rotta Formulation. This type of glucosamine should only be taken once a day.

For the pure glucosamine supplement, the dosage usually ranges from 300mg to 500mg. This would add up to 900mg to 1500 mg.

Nevertheless, it is advisable to follow the prescription and dosage written on the body or pack of the supplement.

In conclusion, despite the countless benefits accrued to Glucosamine supplements, there may be some side effects especially for people who suffer from diabetes and high blood pressure. There is evidence that glucosamine may sometimes raise blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

The glucosamine that is often reported to have the above-mentioned side effects is the glucosamine injection. In severe cases, the injection can worsen insulin sensitivity.

In all, consult your doctor or physician to ascertain your body chemistry and components before choosing any of the glucosamine supplements.