What are the benefits of taking supplements in the treatment of knee and hip osteoarthritis?

What are the benefits of taking supplements in the treatment of knee and hip osteoarthritis?

What are the benefits of taking supplements in the treatment of knee and hip osteoarthritis?

Reece, Set in Motion Physiotherapy Director & Physiotherapist has provided us with the benefits of taking supplements in the treatment of knee and hip osteoarthritis. Set in Motion Physiotherapy takes rooms at the Walk-in Specialist Emergency Clinic. Reece works closely alongside WiSE Emergency Doctors and Orthopaedic Surgeons. 

  • Outpatient physiotherapy services
  • No referral required
  • HICAPS on-site available

For bookings, please call 02 9216 7676.


Osteoarthritis is an inflammatory degenerative disease that affects 1 in 11 people in Australia (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2019). Unfortunately, many people spend hundreds to thousands of dollars a year to try and improve their pain and function of their osteoarthritis hip and knee.

Whilst drug therapies such as fish oils, glucosamine, acetaminophen and many more may relieve symptoms, effect sizes are small to modest at best and their toxicity is unfavorable compared to conservative non-drug interventions (Zhang et al, 2007).

What about Tumeric?

Turmeric is an orange-yellow powder ground from the root of the turmeric plant. The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin, which makes up about 4–6% of the spice readily available for purchase at your local grocery store. It has been found through various studies that turmeric has both anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties.

In a Systematic Review that looked at 11 randomized controlled trials reviewed a total of 1009 participants. It concluded that turmeric was significantly more effective than placebo. In both reducing pain and improving function (Bannuru, Osani, Al-EID, Wang, 2018). Additionally, it was found turmeric is as effective as ibuprofen in improving function (Onakpoya, Spencer, Perera, Heneghan, 2017).

So how much do I need to take and how should I take it?

The studies varied in the amount of turmeric that was taken by patients. Currently there is no correct dosage, however, the amounts that had beneficial effects for patients was between 2mg/day to 80mg/day. In a full teaspoon, there is approximately 100-150mg. It should be known that turmeric isn’t absorbed very well by the human body which is why large amounts are usually taken.

Is it safe to take turmeric?

Using turmeric as a spice in food is safe, the only danger being if you use too much, you might have an upset stomach. It has been found taking concentrated curcumin in a supplement form can be dangerous for those who are on blood-thinning medications. It is suggested you check with your General Practitioner or Orthopaedic Surgeon and whether it’s okay for you to supplement with turmeric.

What do our Physiotherapist’s and Orthopaedic Surgeon’s recommend?

1. Physiotherapy is the first line of treatment:

Establishing a chronic care program that is targeted at improving your biomechanics through strengthening the correct muscles has a large amount of evidence in improving, pain, function and delaying or avoiding a joint replacement

2. Tumeric

3. Off-loading braces

These are specially designed to off-load the knee joint. Unfortunately, the braces that are offered at the chemist aren’t overly effective in reducing pain and improving function.

4. Fish oils, glucosamine and other natural medications:

We don’t recommend these to our patients, however, if you are finding them effective then we are more than happy for you to take them.

Reece Jones
Principal Physiotherapist
Set in Motion Physiotherapy

• Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2019). Osteoarthritis snapshot. [online] Available at: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/chronic-musculoskeletalconditions/osteoarthritis/contents/what-is-osteoarthritis [Accessed 30 Apr. 2019].
• Bannuru, R., Osani, M., Al-EID, F., Wang, C. 2018. Efficacy of curcumin and Boswellia for knee osteoarthritis: Systematic review and meta-analysis. International Journal of Rheumatic Disease, 48(3):416-429.
• Onakpoya, I., Spencer, E., Perera, R., Heneghan. 2017. Effectiveness of curcuminoids in the treatment of knee osteoarthritis: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials, International Journal of Rheumatic Disease, 20(4).

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