The Short Answer
The combination of Glucosamine + chondroitin works for hip pain, but only to an extent. Glucosamine and chondroitin may help to slightly reduce inflammation, which in turn reduces hip pain and joint pain in general. However, the results of studies have been mixed. Some evidence shows minor improvements in arthritis symptoms in people who take glucosamine chondroitin, while other evidence shows no results. As with any supplement, your mileage may vary. As they’re both safe and commonly used compounds, you can try glucosamine chondroitin for yourself to see how they will work for you.
Glucosamine for Pain/Inflammation
There are many studies on the effectiveness of glucosamine in treating arthritis and osteoarthritis, but there is not enough evidence to say with 100% certainty it works.
And even the studies that show that it works, it doesn’t mean that glucosamine will have the same effect on each person. This is why there are mixed results on the effectiveness of glucosamine on osteoarthritis of the knee and hip.
The best evidence we have points to a small benefit from glucosamine sulfate on pain relief in those with mild-to-moderate knee osteoarthritis, though this may not be clinically significant.
But how does glucosamine help with pain? One of the ways is by increasing the synthesis of another compound called hyaluronic acid, which is an important part of the joint tissue and decreases pain by increasing cushioning. That said, you likely need high doses of glucosamine to achieve this. It also combats inflammation by reducing the production of certain compounds that cause pain and swelling. In addition, glucosamine promotes cartilage repair. This is helpful if you have long-term joint damage or are experiencing loss of joint mobility after decades of chronic joint tissue breakdown.
Side effects with glucosamine are rare, it’d be wild to have side effects from something that is naturally found in your cartillage. Most people use glucosamine to treat their chronic joint pain without any major issues.
With that said, there are some exceptions. Some people may use glucosamine to help with weight loss, and may take it in higher doses than usual. In that case, you might experience some side effects such as stomach upset, nausea and diarrhea. In our opinion, though, and based on the scientific evidence, glucosamine won’t help you lose weight whatsoever, it may actually make you gain weight due to its potentially negative effects on insulin sensitivity. We’ve gone off the topic though – back to glucosamine and hip pain.
This goes without saying but if you get any symptoms, you should stop taking glucosamine. People who’re taking medications that affect the stomach, like some antibiotics and anti-seizure medications, should check with their MD before taking glucosamine.
The most common side effects of taking glucosamine are minor symptoms like diarrhea or constipation. These usually resolve quickly with time and treatment.
You may also experience a headache, nausea or stomach ache as a result of taking glucosamine if you’re particularly sensitive. Again, these side effects only occur in an extremely small number of people, and they usually resolve quickly.
Okay, moving on to chondroitin now.
Chondroitin for Pain/Inflammation
Chondroitin is a type of sugar, much like glucosamine it’s found naturally in your. People who have joint pain and search for joint supplements often pick chondroitin or glucosamine first. The supplement may give you some relief from certain types of arthritis and other joint conditions. While there are many different types of chondroitin supplements on the market, they typically have the same active ingredient: chondroitin sulfate.
Chondroitin sulfate is found in cartilage, and is most commonly taken as a supplement for people with joint pain due to osteoarthritis. Some brands will also add glucosamine and MSM to their products, which boosts the benefits. Even better is if you add turmeric and omega-3s to the mix. Chondroitin can be taken in pill form or as a cream that can be applied directly to the skin. We don’t think creams are as good as supplements, though, due to absorption issues and the different mechanisms of action in your body.
The effects of chondroitin on joint pain are actually mostly anecdotal, believe it or not. Large studies show no strong effects on joints. Yes, there are studies that show chondroitin may be helpful for people who experience joint pain due to osteoarthritis, but according to the Examine research team, meta-analyses of these studies showed that they were poorly designed. It’s a bit of a letdown considering how much hype glucosamine and chondroitin have been getting.
This doesn’t mean you should discredit glucosamine and chondroitin altogether. As we said, many people report actual improvements from these two supplements, and sometimes studies may not be showing you the complete picture. So, if you struggle with hip pain which is often experienced alongside other symptoms such as pain in the knee, lower back, or neck, chondroitin is still worth checking.
Glucosamine and Chondroitin for Hip Pain – Does it Work?
The combination of glucosamine and chondroitin is a popular treatment for people who have osteoarthritis or hip pain. The two supplements work together to reduce inflammation, repair cartilage, and ease pain. They can even help with the trigger finger to an extent.
The specific inflammatory pathways that they affect include keratinocyte migration and proliferation, cytokine production, and prostaglandin release. It sounds like a mouthful, but bear with us. If you want to learn the nitty-gritty of how chondroitin and glucosamine affect your hip pain, read on…
Chondroitin sulfate, as far as current studies suggest, works by binding to the receptors of cells in cartilage and stimulating the release of molecules that relax their tension. This in turn increases their ability to deform without pain. Increasing this response allows more room for incoming healing cells to accumulate and aid in repair processes. Sounds good, but what does all of this mean? Essentially, it means that you’ll need to take chondroitin for yourself and for at least 4-8 weeks to judge its effects. It’s hard to say how it will work for your hip pain as everyone has unique bodily chemistry.
Essentially, the theory is that glucosamine chondroitin works by reducing inflammation and stimulating the growth of new cartilage. The key word here is theory, though. There is not enough evidence to support this theory. There are some promising results but we’ll need more study reviews to confirm these findings.
Safety of Combining Glucosamine and Chondroitin
For most people, taking glucosamine chondroitin is safe. However, like all things we put in our body, there can be side effects. If you’re sensitive you might feel an upset stomach, heartburn, or headaches. It’s also important to talk to a doctor if you are taking other medicines.
Glucosamine and chondroitin can interact with these:
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol, others): Taking glucosamine sulfate and acetaminophen together might reduce the effectiveness of both. source
- Warfarin: This is a blood-thinning drug. When taken with glucosamine or chondroitin, it might increase the risk of bleeding. source
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): Glucosamine might increase the anti-inflammatory activity of NSAIDs like ibuprofen. source