Are OTC Painkillers Safe?
Natural Ways to Ease Pain
These supplements can relieve inflammation and soreness, according to Mark Moyad, MD, MPH, a FITNESS advisory board member and the director of Preventive and Alternative Medicine at the University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor.Try This: Glucosamine
A naturally occurring compound that helps prevent joint degeneration. Studies show that it eases inflammation and joint swelling and reduces pain as effectively as ibuprofen. The recommended dosage is 1,500 milligrams a day. Choose glucosamine sulfate over glucosamine hydrochloride; it's easier for your body to absorb.Try This: S-adenosylmethionine (SAM-e)
A substance produced in the liver that maintains cartilage thickness and eases inflammation. A head-to-head test of SAM-e (1,200 milligrams a day) and the prescription NSAID Celebrex (200 milligrams a day) found that after two months, pain relief was the same with both. The suggested dosage is 200 milligrams three times a day; the butanedisulfonate salt form is preferred.Try This: Omega-3 fatty acids
A one-two punch of omega-3s, found in fish oil, and glucosamine sulfate may be as effective as prescription meds. A 2009 study of patients with severe arthritis in the hip or knee revealed that combining glucosamine sulfate (1,500 milligrams) with omega-3 fatty acid supplements (200 milligrams) reduced pain and joint stiffness by more than 50 percent. The suggested daily intake is three to five grams.
Originally published in FITNESS magazine, May 2010.
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