Non-Pharmaceutical Therapy for Osteoarthritis


  • Exercise
  • Maintain ideal weight


  • Anti-inflammatory diet possibly beneficial. Evidence limited.
  • Consider omega-3 fatty acid supplementation. More research needed.


  • Useful adjuncts to treatment: biofeedback, cognitive behavioral therapy, guided imagery, self-hypnosis, journaling, meditation/mindfulness based stress reduction.


  • Mounting evidence for therapeutic value.

Manipulative Therapies

  • Research showing benefit beginning to emerge.

Dietary Supplements

  • Glucosamine 1500 mg daily in 3 divided doses
  • Chondroitin Sulfate 1000-1200 mg daily single or divided doses
  • S-Adenosyl-L-Methionine (SAMe) 200 mg tid; may take up to 1600 mg qd
  • Methyl Sulfonyl Methane (MSM) 500-1000 mg two to three times daily
  • Herbal Anti-Inflammatories (see Pearls for Clinicians on Osteoarthritis for dosage, efficacy, and precautions):
    • Boswellia
    • Cat’s Claw
    • Devil’s Claw
    • Ginger
    • Phytodolor
    • Stinging Nettle
    • Turmeric
    • Willow Bark
  • Other supplements: see Pearls for Clinicians on Osteoarthritis for supplements with future promise.

Please see the downloads section for more detailed clinician and patient information.

Disclaimer: This information is for general education. Please work with your health care practitioner to use it in the best way possible to promote your health.

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For Clinicians

Handouts for patients:


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