EASNA review the best joint supplements designed to help manage the joint pain and maintain joint health in the modern world and work environment.
The best joint supplements on the market right now are far from perfect. A lot of them oversell their ability to help, but that doesn't mean they're not effective. Typically they're more dosed towards treating normal joint pain, long term health or helping relieve osteoarthritis rather than more extreme cases of rheumatoid arthritis and their symptoms.
Typically speaking most studies suggest that if you're on heavy medication then they can help to reduce dependency, but wouldn't get rid of it all together. As for less severe joint pain then natural supplements can be a realistic way to treat joint pain.
We've also looked at the best combined joint supplements and broken down who they'd be best for. We've judged them on their ingredients quality, customer reviews, ability to support long term joint health, relieve inflammation and support with joint pain as well as their value.
We've ranked the best combined joint supplements available over the counter at the moment. And these three supplements are all quite different, focusing on treating joint pain in different ways. One with a focus on Omega 3 as the backbone, another with Glucosamine Hydrochloride and the final choice focusing on Bromelain as the core. They each represent relatively different methods. And if you're wondering why not one supplement with everything in? Because as of yet nobody makes it, and it would need to be about an 8-10 pill serving, which we expect wouldn't sell all too well no matter how good the anti inflammatory properties were most people wouldn't want to add that many pills to their daily intake.
The most commonly asked questions about joint pain relief supplements
Supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin have been shown to be effective in reducing pain and inflammation and are part of describable treatment in some countries. In addition, omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to improve joint function . While more research is needed, natural supplements may offer a safe and effective way to reduce pain killer usage in managing arthritis pain.
Fish oil is a slightly better source of EPA and DHA, two types of omega 3 fatty acids that are important for joint health. Algae, on the other hand, is a good source of ALA, an omega 3 fatty acid that is important for cognitive function. Whilst there is a slightly lower amount of eicosapentaenoic acid in algae it is more bioavailable, meaning your body absorbs it more easily. As such there really isn't much if any difference, except that Algae may be a little bit better for brain benefits, but it shouldn't make any odds when it comes to joint pain relief.
It will depend on your specific intolerances, what medications your on and what type of arthritis you have. All of the ingredients in our best ingredients list are agreed on by the arthritis foundation. But, as a rule of thumb we'd suggest that Omega Three Fatty Acids, K2 followed by Ginger and Turmeric supplements are probably the best as these all work to alleviate joint pain and inflammation, and don't just find use with their pain relieving effects, like glucosamine hydrochloride. They're also all very well tolerated with no serious side effects with the exclusion of allergies.
While it is generally safe to take omega 3 supplements for joint swelling, there are a few potential interactions to be aware of. For example, omega 3 can increase the activity of blood thinners such as warfarin. As a result, people who are taking blood thinners should be monitored closely by their doctor if they start taking omega 3 supplements. In addition, omega 3 can interact with some types of chemotherapy drugs. Therefore, people who are undergoing chemotherapy should speak with their doctor before taking omega 3 supplements.
Physio Flex Pro mixed with an off the shelf omega 3 supplement is by far the best option on the market at the moment. It focuses on ingredients that it can fit into a 2 pill a day supplement and doesn't waste space on too many ingredients that it can't possibly fit in a standard 1000mg capsule. Adding in a highly functional dose of Bromelain and a large dose of Selenium along with six others, most of which are well dosed. The selenium is an interesting ingredient. It's not in a lot of other supplements, but has been shown to be very effective. 
The only catch is that you should not take any other selenium supplements as it is possible to too heavily dose it. In terms of the other ingredients they use an effective curcumin extract dosage and their Zingiber ginger extract means that there's a functional dose even in a small pill, not requiring 3 grams a day as you would normally for it's anti inflammatory effects to work. It could be a little bit higher, but is still effective to help with relieving joint pain.
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We do recommend that you take an omega supplement as well as Physio Flex Pro, but any supermarket omega supplement will do, and if we compare it to Relief Factor this presents a much better value proposition in terms of active ingredients for your dollar.
Customers Physio Flex Pro Reviews
Customers reviews of Physio Flex Pro are generally a lot higher than the rest of the competition although this is as likely due the supplement having reasonable marketing. It's also the go to for our staff at EASNA.
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Relief Factor is a good Omega 3 combined supplement, it actually covers the correct dosage of Omega 3 to relieve joint pain unlike a lot of other supplements which contain the natural fatty acids.
Beyond that they include Resveratrol which is a relatively new compound although as we mentioned earlier it has a lot of studies backing it and is listed on the supplements page of the arthritis foundation. With it being relatively new it's not made it into a lot of other supplements yet.
It also adds in a good dose of turmeric supplement within the effective range for the anti inflammatory benefits.
The only downside is we'd have liked to have seen a slightly higher dose of Resveratrol, as this is a relatively costly ingredient however, we expect this is why it was a little under the ideal range.
Generally speaking we like Relief Factor as an all rounder for less severe joint pain relief and ongoing joint health maintenance. If you don't want to have to buy multiple joint supplements then Relief Factor is probably the best way to go even if it is a little overpriced.
Customers Relief Factor Joint Support Reviews
The main issue we have with relief factor is the way that they handled their marketing. The supplement is fine for minor cases however a lot of their marketing would have people believe it would be effective as a stand alone for more serious cases, this has resulted in some negative reviews of Relief Factor.
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All in all however, Relief Factor is a good all around supplement for people who don't want to purchase multiple different supplements, although it is a little bit expensive for what it is. It should really cost about $15-20 less per month than it does.
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Osteo Bi Flex goes all in on the collagen and as such it isn't for everyone, not everyone is going to tolerate a dose of glucosamine hydrochloride quite so high, but there's a good chance it will work for pain relief if you do.
They also add in Vitamin D which almost half of US adults have a deficiency in which exacerbates joint pain and deterioration. We would like to see this in more supplements designed to reduce joint pain. They do also have Boswellia in a decent dose, like Physio Flex Pro.
Osteo Bi Flex is not the best value on the list, in fact it pretty much just about makes it onto the list, because it's the best at it's particular sub type. We would recommend taking it with an Omega oil supplement as well.
We should mention that glucosamine supplements are most effective at treating pain, rather than being joint health supplements, they've been shown to not really do much for reducing tissue erosion.
Customer reviews of osteo bi flex are mixed, users either love it or hate it. This can easily be put down to the side effects which most negative reviews complain about. We'd recommend starting with a half dosage of Ostea Bi Flex and seeing how you feel before taking the full dose as some people don't tolerate the high dose of glucosamine and chondroitin well and for these people side effects can be quite severe.
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Nuzena is a good value supplement, the only really downside is that it under doses bromelain and uses the cheaper form of glucosamine sulfate rather than HCL. Using boswellia and a high volume of curcumin it's quite effective at dealing with chronic joint pain, curcumin has been shown to be effective at dealing with symptoms in multiple studies and it's particularly well dosed in Nuzena.
The most interesting ingredient which does make up for glucosamine sulfate, is Quercetin, it's not common in joint supplements, it's a relatively new ingredient in terms of testing and not incredibly well proven, but has potential in treating osteoarthritis. It's been lab tested on human cells , meaning in theory it works well at treating inflammation, but does requires a few more trials before we'll see it in many more supplements.
Nuzena is best paired with a fish oil or a different omega supplement to achieve maximum benefits to joint health. We'd also recommend taking a multivitamin to ensure that your joints are optimally supported.
Nuzema makes relatively sensible claims about it's working time and we're inclined to agree with them that taking them for a month should show improved mobility and pain reduction.
Low dose of MSM
Vit K2 - Recent studies have shown that Vitamin K is incredibly important for sufferers of joint pain, particularly those with Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoporosis.  Insufficient vitamin K was also shown to be related to the progression of osteoarthritis.  And beyond that Vitamin K has an anti-inflammatory effect that is independent of it's essential function in helping prevent cartilage breakdown and maintaining joint function.  As a lot of this information is relatively new, with most studies being from 2017 onwards, it's not made it's way into a lot of supplements for arthritis yet, but it is being allowed for clinical recommendation in many countries.
Vit D - Vitamin D also seems to be largely ignored by joint pain relief supplement makers, but people with low vitamin D levels will often experience joint pain, it's also important for long term joint health. Whilst supplementation of Vitamin D3 will not improve pain in people with sufficient levels, it can stop problems getting worse, with low vitamin D levels being linked to the progression of Rheumatoid Arthritis amongst other joint conditions. 
Omega 3 - Omega 3 fatty acids are probably the most well known of all joint pain relief supplements. Most people are aware of the need for Omega 3 to maintain brain and joint health. What most people don't realise is quite how much Omega 3 is optimal, with recommended daily intakes being around 1100mg. This is even more shocking to people when they realise a lot of popular omega 3 supplements contain less than a 3rd of this, the well known Omega XL being one such example.  Using omega in supplements for arthritis pain has been shown to be quite effective, with patients showing significant reduction in joint pain and inflammation in multiple clinical trials. 
Ginger - Ginger has been shown to be effective as a supplement to reduce joint pain,  the only issue with ginger as used in joint health supplements is that very large doses are required to relieve joint pain. With studies showing that 3000mg a day are required to be effective. Fortunately there are now specific extracts such as Eurovita Extract 77 which have been trailed to be as effective  with 12 times less volume by extracting just the active gingerols.
Curcumin extract (Turmeric) - Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric extracts, it's been well studied and is one of the best joint supplements for relieving pain. Typically most studies used it in conjunction with other pain relievers, but noticed a reduced requirement in a lot of randomized clinical trials. The only thing that really holds Curcumin back from being fully clinically backed is that most of the studies have not been of substantial enough size, but almost all shown in multiple meta analysis  show it to be effective in doses of 500mg-1000mg for treating arthritis pain, lower is typically required for OA by comparison to RA.
Glucosamine hydrochloride - Glucosamine, often combined into a supplement containing both glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate is mostly effective at treating joint pain, but not the narrowing that causes arthritis symptoms or improving movement and inflammation. It is required to be used in quite high dosages and some people seem to be intolerant. However, if you've tried other supplements then it's not a bad port of call. It does seem that chondroitin which it is often paired with is less effective. It is listed as being allowed for clinical treatment in the UK  and other european countries to be dosed at 1250mg/day or above. Some supplements will use glucosamine sulfate, this is less effective and you would need to take more to get the same results.
Methylsulfonylmethane - MSM is quite well backed as a natural supplement for joint pain. The arthritis foundation lists the most effective dosage of 6000mg, so it's not something that can really be added in an effective dosage to combined joint supplements. 
Bromelain - Has showed promise as a treatment for joint pain in general and for osteoarthritis. But more studies are needed. 500mg is the standard dose for OA, with up to 2000mg for RA.
Boswellic acid - Boswellic acids have been widely reported to produce anti-inflammatory activity and as a result it's been shown to have promise in treating chronic inflammatory diseases including osteoarthritis, Parkinson's and even simple injured joints. 
Resveratrol - Is a relatively uncommon ingredient for a joint supplement. As of right now only 2 quality supplements that we're aware of contain it. Although it has been shown to be effective at treating joint pain. It's been shown to be effective in relatively low doses of around 100mg which makes it good for combined supplements.  It like omega 3 is also really good for brain health.
1 - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5494092/
2 - https://blogs.bmj.com/rheumsummaries/2021/04/12/vitamin-k-is-involved-in-osteoarthritis/
3 - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5026413/
4 - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3539179
6 - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7362115/
7 - https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11710709/
8 - https://www.arthritis.org/health-wellness/treatment/complementary-therapies/supplements-and-vitamins/supplement-and-herb-guide-for-arthritis-symptoms
9 - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5003001/
10 - https://bnf.nice.org.uk/drugs/glucosamine/
11 - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6747466/
12 - https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30160612/
13 - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7601319/
14 - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4808895/