Physio Glen Iris - Physiotherapy Glen Iris | Back In Motion

Is Glucosamine harmful?

Published: March 3, 2020

As recently reported in The Age (you can read the full article here), glucosamine tablets have joined the long list of ineffective treatment strategies for osteoarthritis (OA). New high quality research has revealed that glucosamine does not help people with OA, with Professor David Hunter, a spokesman for the Australian Rheumatology Association and chairman of the Institute of Bone and Joint Research at the University of Sydney, explicitly stating that these supplements are “no better than sugar pills.” In October last year, the American College of Rheumatology went a step further, updating its guidelines to strongly recommend against using glucosamine for OA due to the allergic type reactions experienced by some people, and the interaction glucosamine has with other prescription medications (e.g. blood thinners). 


With growing evidence also questioning the usefulness of arthroscopic knee surgery in the management of knee OA, it may seem confusing as to what effective treatment options are available. One in 11 Australians suffer with the effects of OA, so it is fair to say that you are not the only one wondering how to get back in control of your pain! Thankfully we know that regardless of how much OA is present on your x-ray or MRI, the most important step you can take to reduce your pain is to get moving.


Recent evidence has highlighted what we have seen in the practice for years, that the strength of your muscles (particularly those in your hips and legs) is clearly the biggest factor in how much pain you feel. As such, commencing a strengthening program aimed at building up these essential muscles is the best way to start reducing your pain levels.


To make this process as easy as possible, our practice is now running the world renowned GLA:D program. Originally starting in Denmark, this program combines exercise and education, and has already helped thousands of people reduce their pain levels, improve their quality of life and avoid joint replacement surgery.


So if you are suffering from hip or knee pain, or just looking for more information, why not book a free assessment with one of our expert physio team? You can either speak with one of our friendly recpetion team on 9889 3903, or book online here.



Cameron Horner (Member APA)

Associate Physiotherapist, Back In Motion Camberwell


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