SupplementS

All recommendations for supplements are not intended to represent medical advice. Because of the potential for interactions between supplements and medications, ask your doctor before starting a supplement regimen.

There are several overall classes of supplements that could be appropriate for someone suffering from chronic pain. The main types are supplements that help with inflammation, sleep/mood, and overall pain. Medical marijuana and CBD oil will be covered in another area of the website.

Anti-inflammatory supplements include those that can work to help with the inflammation that is often part of joint and spine pain. Listed below are some of the most commonly used treatments.

 

                                             Fish oil
Fish  oil  is  often  used  to  help with arthritis pain.

Omega-3     supplementation     in    particular   has

helped   with   joint  pain  in  some studies.  Making

sure   that   the   fish  oil   is  natural  (not made  in a

lab)  and  not  contaminated with mercury or other

toxins is important.

                                   Turmeric extract
Tumeric also  can function as an anti- inflammatory.

The most important component of  turmeric root is

curcumin  which  makes up  only a  small part of the

powdered  spice.  Making  sure  that  the  product is

95%   curcumin   (extracted  from  turmeric  root)  is

crucial.

        Avocado-soybean unsaponifiables (ASU)

ASU  is  used as a  prescription  anti-inflammatory  for

arthritis  pain  in  France  where it is called piascladine.

It  often  helps  with arthritis  pain  but  may take up to 

several months to show benefit.

 

                                            Boswellia
This Indian herb has been used in Ayurvedic medicine

for  centuries.    An  extract   (Boswellic  acid)  can  help

those  with arthritis.  Boswellia can upset the stomach,

though.

 

                            Glucosamine/chondroitin
Glucosamine    and    chondroitin    are   often   used   in

combination  for   arthritis.   The  medical  evidence  for

effectiveness is mixed,  but many do see benefit.  A two

month trial is usually sufficient.

Supplements to help with sleep and mood are also potentially useful. The most common treatments are again listed below: 

  1. 5-HTPa precursor of serotonin and thus can help with mood and sleep. Dosing at bedtime seems to work best. This should not be used in combination with any medication that raises serotonin levels.

 

   2.   Valerian root/ Kava kavaoften used for insomnia. While they are often effective,                     there have been some reports of severe liver injury in those taking these supplements.

Finally, there are supplements intended to help specifically with pain. The most often discussed in the media of late is kratom, which functions much like an opioid. It is highly likely that the sale of kratom will soon be restricted by the FDA.

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