Dear D.Y.: You're not alone, 27 million Americans live with osteoarthritis (OA) and the affliction worsens over time. Left untreated, it can completely disable you, so luckily you are doing something. I like glucosamine. I prefer the glucosamine "sulfate" form over other forms, because it provides sulfur to the body (sulfur is not to be confused with sulfa, a drug that many people are allergic to).
OA always involves pro-inflammatory cytokines, which are pain-causing chemicals. Cytokines aren't bad until your body pumps them out in excess, and that's exactly what happens with OA, and it's exactly what you need to reduce. That controls pain and improves range of motion. Ibuprofen reduces prostaglandins and IL-1B. You want that. Glucosamine is a precursor for glycosaminoglycans and that is a component of joint cartilage.
MSM. This is a sulfur-based compound that is actually a byproduct of DMSO. (DMSO is applied topically to joints, but it's intended for vet purposes. The Food and Drug Administration doesn't like humans using it.) Anyway, MSM is sold as an oral supplement at health food stores and does wonders for joint pain.
Bromelain. This pineapple extract gets mixed reviews. One study found it to be as effective as diclofenac, a prescription anti-inflammatory. I frequently recommend it.
Devil's claw. Slightly more exotic, Devil's claw is so named because of its hooked fruit. A 2011 study from Phytotherapy Research concluded that the herb could block the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines. In another study, Devil's claw performed as well as the prescription drug Vioxx (now off the market, however Celebrex, which is safer, does remain). The point is that Devil's claw is strong. It interacts with medicine, so ask your doctor if it's right for you.
Boswellia. A 2013 study from The Journal of Headache and Pain studied the biological active ingredients in boswellia (pentacyclic triterpene acids) for their potent anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. Boswellic acid is another major active ingredient. This is, in my mind, Mother Nature's ibuprofen.
This may sound obvious but take pressure off your joints. Extra weight does no favor to your painful knees and hip joints. You may have to start gently with yoga, or tai chi, but keep those joints moving.
And finally, consider ramping up immunity. Some forms of arthritis are due to infections, either fungal, viral or bacterial. Compounds in green tea reduce the cytokine called TNF-alpha, often high in arthritic conditions. One cup of green (or matcha) tea could beat up germs and improve immunity. The L-theanine it contains is relaxing too. Drink it daily.
This is not intended to treat, cure or diagnose your condition. Go to SuzyCohen.com.