With people living longer and joint pain on the rise, more and more people are turning to supplements like glucosamine gel to help with their joint health and pain relief.
Glucosamine gel plays an important part in repairing knee cartilage damage and supporting cartilage in other joints, but it does have its limitations. It is most effective when combined with other cartilage building treatments which we’ll talk about shortly.
The majority of glucosamine found in supplements and topical gels has been extracted from the shells of shellfish – so for vegans, there is a synthetic option available.
What is glucosamine?
There are three types of glucosamine:
- Glucosamine sulphate / Glucosamine Potassium Hydroxide
- Glucosamine hydrochloride
- N-acetyl- glucosamine
The majority of studies have been performed using glucosamine sulphate. It is often combined with other substances such as chondroitin, Benzoic Acid, Eucalyptus Oil, Sorbic Acid and Capsicum Frutescens.
It is produced naturally in the body and may be found in the synovial fluid of our joints.
Alongside helping cartilage, it also helps with the synthesis of essential macromolecules to support connective tissue such as tendons and ligaments. It forms a part of these tissues via glycosaminoglycans.
Our synovial fluid levels decrease with age, which lowers our natural levels of glucosamine – resulting in the degeneration of our joints.
When scientists found out about the role of glucosamine, they started researching to see if taking it in supplement form would be able to improve joint health. Many studies were performed with mixed results…
Any positive results only showed it to be effective at preventing the breakdown of cartilage, not necessarily growing or repairing it. Some results have shown it can help with the symptoms of osteoarthritis, but it needs to be combined with other therapies to enhance its effects.
Why use glucosamine gel?
One of the issues with oral supplementation of glucosamine forms such as Acetyl Glucosamine is that it is hard to say how much of it gets absorbed through the stomach and into the blood supply.
Cartilage doesn’t have a blood supply so it is not known how much glucosamine can then transfer from the blood supply into the synovial fluid.
With the gel you rub it directly onto the joint, so it has a better chance of getting to the target area, by absorbing through the mucous membranes of your skin.
What are the benefits of glucosamine gel?
The non sticky and non greasy Glucosamine gel which may be combined with other ingredients and important macromolecules is found to have following positive effects:
- Reduced Joint Tissue and Muscles pain
- Increased mobility
- Reduced Body Inflammation
What are the side effects of taking glucosamine gel?
Many of the side effects are associated with oral supplementation but do still need to be considered when applying glucosamine gel. The gel is for external use only.
- stomach upsets
Some gels may be advertised as a ‘joint complex’ so could also include the following ingredients with their own side-effects:
- Devils claw
- Propylene glycol (absorbs aqua)
- Essential oils including lavender.
- Imidazolidinyl urea
- Disodium edta
Chondroitin is an important part of the structure of cartilage. It helps to provide much of its resistance to compression and helps to reduce inflammation.
MSM helps with stiffness and pain relief.
How to apply glucosamine gel?
You only need to apply a thin layer of gel; most gels are non-sticky and non-greasy so they should absorb okay. Ideally, you’ll want to apply after a warm bath.
How long does it take to feel the effects of glucosamine gel?
For some people they can feel relief straight away, but for others, it can take between 4 to 8 weeks. Gels that combine glucosamine with natural substance found to benefits the individual.
Who should not take glucosamine?
- Do not use if sensitive to any of the ingredients.
- Not to be used during pregnancy.
- Do not use on children under 12 years old.
- Do not use this product if you have an allergy to shellfish.
- Do not take if you are undergoing chemotherapy.
- Do not use on broken skin
Best product brand of glucosamine:
- Cartonica – a 60-day money back guarantee is offered with this product. Click on the image below for more details.
Oral glucosamine can sometimes be found in the form of glucosamine supplements containing multivitamins and beneficial natural ingredients. When purchasing a gel or supplement, always make sure you read the average rating, customer reviews and the company number and name.
Other ways to help your joint pain
Prolotherapy is one of the most effective natural treatments available for joint pain and arthritis. Many of the structures within the knee have a poor blood supply so they aren’t receiving adequate levels of oxygen and nutrients to repair as effectively as structures outside of a joint, such as muscles and skin. Prolotherapy involves the injection of a regenerative solution to enhance the health of cartilage, tendons, ligaments, menisci, and the bursa, which together act as the building block of a joint.