Guideline for the management of knee and hip osteoarthritis


Supplement use in the context of osteoarthritis

Using supplements

Supplement use in the context of osteoarthritis (OA) management is widespread throughout the community. In general, these are readily available and relatively inexpensive (≥$30 per month per supplement). These supplements are usually taken in the form of an oral capsule on a daily basis. As can be seen in the evidence summary, there is frequently marked heterogeneity in the evidence (Appendix 5 of the Guideline for the management of knee and hip osteoarthritis: Technical document).

Individuals should be assisted in making informed decisions by considering the potential and known risks and benefits of the therapies they seek to use to relieve pain. Careful consideration should be given to the available information, and claims of curative potential and marked treatment effects that can be achieved with the use of these agents. It is important to be cautious when advocating for these supplements; however, when someone feels marked therapeutic benefit, do not underestimate the potential for placebo effects, particularly if these are safe and inexpensive. For people who are very enthusiastic about taking complementary and alternative therapies (eg supplements), it is generally advised they do so cognisant of potential side effects and interactions with regular medication use, and to use these for a period of time (eg four to six weeks) and cease if there is no benefit gained.

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