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7 Of The Best Supplements For Joint Pain & Arthritis

Written by Shelby Torrese

Living with joint pain or arthritis can feel unbearable at times. This is a list of the top 7 best supplements for joint pain to add to your daily routine to ease stiffness, inflammation, and pain.

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I’m not going to lie, for a long time I was in the majority of people that thought of arthritis as being synonymous with everyday joint pain or joint inflammation. Any time my grandma would cringe standing up or lifting her knees, she would say, “Oh, there goes my arthritis again!” Those experiences made me think of arthritis as the same feeling as getting out of bed in the winter time. In reality, arthritis is somewhat of a blanket term for over 200(‼️) different conditions, and hardly any of them are as tolerable as December morning chills.

As we know, everything in the body is connected. There is no one special, miss independent part of our body that can do its own thing or thrive without the help of the rest of the body. So, when we talk about joint pain, we also have to acknowledge the surrounding tissues and connective tissues that play a role in arthritic conditions. [1] If you suffer from any of the hundreds of conditions that fall under arthritis, you know it can be a debilitating and frustrating disease. Luckily, there are many different supplements for joint pain. Ones that not only ease the day-to-day aches and pains of arthritis, but also allow anyone that lives with arthritis to live a happier, healthier life. 

Several of my family members live with arthritis, including my grandma, and they’ve each had a different experience and journey of dealing with it. My dad, for example, has found collagen to be his saving grace, whereas my grandma swears by cat’s claw and turmeric. In today’s blog, I’ll cover many well-known arthritis remedies and reveal which are the best supplements for joint pain and arthritis. Even when you think a supplement or remedy sounds perfect for you, be sure to seek advice from your primary doctor or a medical professional before incorporating any new supplements into your daily routine. 

supplements for joint pain

1. Glucosamine

What it is: Glucosamine is a natural compound found in the body. It forms in our cartilage, a tougher bodily tissue that surrounds joints.

How it helps: It would make sense that if we were to increase the production and durability of glucosamine, our joints would be better supported and less inflamed. However, several studies have shown that glucosamine showed little to no reduction in aches and pains caused by arthritis. [2] People who were given glucosamine experienced the same, small amount of relief as those who received a placebo pill. The American College of Rheumatology even made a controversial statement that people suffering from knee or hip osteoarthritis should not take glucosamine supplements, and they believe that they are actually pretty ineffective as supplements for joint pain. [3]

2. Vitamin D

What it is: Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, an essential building block of bones. Without Vitamin D and calcium, our bones will become weak, and may even lead to deterioration. Decreased muscle strength, thin and brittle bones, and osteoporosis may be signs you are low in Vitamin D. 

How it helps: It’s essential for humans to have sufficient Vitamin D levels. We can ensure healthy levels by getting direct, daily sunlight, and eating foods such as fatty fish and beef liver. Studies have shown that people with rheumatoid arthritis are significantly lower in Vitamin D than other healthy adults. [4] This implies that Vitamin D may be helpful as joint supplements, and may reduce worsening of rheumatoid arthritis. When the body can more easily absorb calcium, it’s more likely that the bones will strengthen, making movement less painful.  

3. Fish Oil (Omega-3s, EPA, DHA)

What it is: Our bodies do not make omega-3s, so we have to get them via diet or supplements. Omega-3s can be found in fish, fish oils, and some seeds, such as flax or chia, and have shown to be important for heart health and brain function. 

How it helps: If you suffer from arthritis and are not getting the sufficient 3-4 servings of Omega-3s per week, or supplementing with fish oil [5], you may want to hop on the fish oil bandwagon! The Arthritis Foundation conducted studies that found significant decreases in joint aches and pains in rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis patients who supplemented with fish oil. [6] Based on your condition, the dosage and type of fish oil supplements for joint pain may vary, so always consult a doctor before introducing new supplements into your routine.

4. Collagen Peptides

What it is: Collagen is the main, and most abundant protein in the human body. It keeps our joints lubricated and healthy, and our bones strong. A healthy collagen supply is what differentiates mobility from aches and pains, and dry, brittle hair or wrinkled, sagging skin from smooth, youthful, glowing skin, hair, and nails. 

How it helps: Collagen supplements have been proven to be great supplements for joint pain. They not only ease joint aches and pains, but also help to soothe digestion. Many joint supplements are hard on the gut, and may cause negative side effects. One study showed that hydrolyzed collagen decreased aches and pains in athletes, who, like sufferers of arthritis, are at high-risk of joint and bone deterioration. [10] It’s important to make sure the collagen you take is hydrolyzed. This means it has been broken down enough prior to entering the body, leaving it in an easy-to-absorb state. SkinnyFit Super Youth Multi-Collagen Peptides is hydrolyzed, AND contains all 5 types of collagen. If you take a collagen with, say, only one or two types, you may miss out on the collagen that benefits joints and cartilage. It doesn’t hurt that SkinnyFit offers collagen in three amazing flavors, either. 😉 After watching a few of my family members play trial and error with various supplements for arthritis, I personally believe collagen is one of the best supplements for joint pain. 

supplements for joint pain

5. Chondroitin

What it is: Chondroitin is another natural compound found in the body’s cartilage. It’s commonly sourced from animal cartilage to make these supplements.

How it helps: In conditions such as osteoarthritis, the cartilage surrounding a joint becomes weakened over time. Similar to glucosamine, chondroitin seems like a natural remedy for arthritis patients. One study showed only a 20% decrease in pain in osteoarthritis patients. [7] The results of the study concluded that it is better for patients to work with their doctor to make sure they are eating right, exercising regularly, and losing excess weight for optimal health. This ensures that they are focusing on overall well-being, rather than trying to target one issue without looking at the big picture.

6. Turmeric

What it is: Turmeric is a root vegetable that is most widely known and recognized in its ground, powdered version used as a spice. It has been used for centuries, but became popular in mainstream diets in the last decade.

How it helps: Famous for its use in golden milk lattes, turmeric has been used for its anti-inflammatory properties for eons, practically. It is also hailed for its immune-boosting qualities. One study on patients with osteoporosis of the knee found that those who took circumin (the main, natural compound in turmeric) experienced a 50% improvement. [8] While the dosage will vary per patient, and should be discussed with a doctor before being introduced into the diet, it has shown to help with easing aches, pain, and overall discomfort. 

7. Cat’s Claw

What it is: Cat’s claw is a climbing vine that gets its name from using small “claws” to climb up rainforest canopies. The bark is used to create liquid extracts and oils as supplements.

How it helps: Like turmeric and circumin, cat’s claw has been used as a natural remedy for anti-inflammatory and immune boosting effects. A study conducted on patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis found that the participants who took cat’s claw, as opposed to placebo, experienced an over 50% reduction in joint pain! [9]

Bottom Line On Taking Joint Supplements

When it comes down to it, you have to find the right joint supplements for YOU. What works for your friend or cousin or doctor may not be right for you. Suffering from arthritis and other joint pain is a serious and personal condition. Keeping a journal of how you feel after taking certain supplements may be helpful for your journey. Finding the right supplements for joint pain may surprise you. I had to force my dad to try out daily collagen, and now, he swears by it! Have weekly check-ins with yourself and see how you feel after a few days of trying a new supplement, and again, always consult your doctor when switching up your medications or supplements. 

READ NEXT: 5 Undeniable Reasons You Will Benefit From Taking Collagen For Joints

best supplements for joint pain

About The Author

Shelby Torrese

Nutrition, Movement & Meditation Coach

Shelby Torrese is a wellness enthusiast (and matcha fanatic!) from Miami, FL. She attributes her love of movement to her mom, a personal trainer, and her love of food to her dad, a farmer. She studied creative writing in college while getting her yoga certification, and went on to pursue fitness and nutrition in grad school. Her go-to advice is, “Balance,” and she is a firm believer that the ocean can cure just about everything.

  • Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga Teacher
  • NASM Certified Nutrition Coach
  • M.S. in Human Performance


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