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Glucosamine Injections

The effect of glucosamine injections on osteoarthritis has proven beneficial particularly for improving physical function and for reducing pain and swelling. Glucosamine has been available since the first crustaceans graced the planet. Little did humans realize that crabs, lobster, and shrimp had something more to offer than a tasty appetizer; their shells also offered glucosamine, a beneficial health supplement that researchers discovered would help restore connective tissues in human cartilage.

Glucosamine Injections And Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis affects many joints including those of the hands, shoulders, small appendages, and knees. It causes swelling in the hips, redness, stiffness, and reduces fluid in the cartilage used to support flexibility and motion. Glucosamine can be offered in many ways, but injections help deliver glucosamine precisely offering immediate relief at times. Glucosamine taken orally as a supplement to the diet is beneficial but can’t be applied to the area of immediate pain and swelling.

Glucosamine Injection Side Effects

Glucosamine injection side effects may include localized irritation at the injection site. Other side effects may include dose dependent side effects. If too much glucosamine is taken, nausea and diarrhea may occur. Compared with other treatments for osteoarthritis, glucosamine has relatively few side effects. Traditionally doctors and other healthcare providers have prescribed NSAIDs to relieve the pain and swelling of osteoarthritis and related conditions. With these come the risk of internal bleeding and ulcers.

In comparison, glucosamine injections have few side effects and many benefits. Pain improvements reported by patients are wide ranging, and glucosamine reportedly repairs connective tissues and cartilage. Many patients report improved function taking less supplements.

Is Glucosamine For Everyone?

Glucosamine injections appear to be safe for virtually everyone. There are some studies suggesting that patients on blood-thinning medications or anticoagulants should avoid taking glucosamine injections unless they consult with their healthcare provider. Glucosamine may put a patient at risk for uncontrolled bleeding. Still other patients who are allergic to shellfish should avoid glucosamine because much of the glucosamine available is derived from shellfish.

Glucosamine may interfere with glucose metabolism, so individuals with diabetes or other glucose intolerance should also consult with a physician or other healthcare provider prior to supplementing. Glucosamine is also not recommended for pregnant or lactating women.

Glucosamine pairs well with chondroitin and MSM, which enhance the pain relieving effects of glucosamine. These supplements may also improve the ability of glucosamine to repair and restore cartilage in the body.

References:
Towheed T; Maxwell L; Anastassiades, TP; Shea B; Houpt J; Welch V; Hochberg MC; Wells GA. Glucosamine for Osteoarthritis. October 7, 2009. The Cochrane Library. Available: http://summaries.cochrane.org/CD002946/glucosamine-for-osteoarthritis
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