Osteoarthritis and the Ideal Treatment Essay

Osteoarthritis and the Ideal Treatment Essay

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Osteoarthritis and the Ideal Treatment

Osteoarthritis, or degenerative joint disease, is a form of arthritis characterized by the breakdown of cartilage within joints. Cartilage serves to provide cushion at the ends of bones, and when the cushion is not sufficient, as in osteoarthritis, the bones rub together. As a result, osteoarthritis sufferers are constantly plagued by stiff, swollen, and inflamed joints (http://www.arthritis.org/answers/diseasecenter/oa.asp). It is a relatively common condition, with an estimated 20 million American sufferers, most of whom are elderly (http://webmd.lycos.com/content/article/1668.50297). Traditional treatments include Tylenol, aspirin, or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), but the long-term negative effects of these drugs combined with the fact that they offer only short-term relief has led doctors and scientists to search for better treatment options. While nutritional supplements as a form of alternative medicine have been slow to gain acceptance by American physicians (Schenck, 2000), glucosamine has surfaced as a consistently effective treatment method for osteoarthritis, and when used in conjunction with chondroitin, the relief this treatment program can provide for sufferers of this debilitating condition is long-awaited and much-welcomed.

What is glucosamine?
How does it work?
How effective is the treatment?
How does the glucosamine treatment compare to traditional methods of treatment?
What evidence is offered in support of these claims?
What’s the downside?
Scientific Analysis of Data

What is glucosamine?

Glucosamine is a natural sugar produced by the body and found in some foods (http://webmd.l...

... middle of paper ...

...lysis. Journal of the American Medical Association, 283 (11), 1469-75.

McCarty, M.F. (1994). The neglect of glucosamine as a treatment for osteoarthritis: A personal perspective. Medical Hypotheses, 42, 323-327.

Pipitone, V.R. (1991). Chondroprotection with chondroitin sulfate. Drugs Exp Clin Res, 17, 3-7.

Schenck, R.C. Jr. (2000). New approaches to the treatment of osteoarthritis: oral glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate. Instructional Course Lectures, 49, 491-494.

Tapadinhas, M.J., Rivera, I.C., & Bignamini, A.A. (1982). Oral glucosamine sulfate in the management of arthrosis: Report on a multi-centre open investigation in Portugal. Pharmatherapeutica, 3, 157-168.

Towheed, T.E., & Anastassiades, T.P. (2000). Glucosamine and chondroitin for treating symptoms of osteoarthritis: evidence is widely touted but incomplete. JAMA, 283(11), 1483-1484.

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