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7 Tips: What You Need To Know About Nutritional Approaches for Musculoskeletal Inflammation

Some nutritional approaches, such as dietary supplements, have a long history of use for symptoms of musculoskeletal inflammatory conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and tendinitis. There isn’t enough evidence to support the use of many of them for inflammatory conditions, but a few may have modest benefits. 

Here are 7 things to know if you are considering using a dietary supplement for inflammation:

  1. There is some evidence that omega-3 fatty acids may provide a modest benefit for symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.

  2. Turmeric and willow bark have been used for many years for inflammatory conditions. However, there’s only a small amount of evidence suggesting that willow bark might be helpful for chronic low-back pain and osteoarthritis, and there’s not enough evidence to support the use of turmeric.

  3. Bromelain, a mixture of enzymes found in the pineapple plant, may be helpful as an addition to other forms of treatment for acute nasal and sinus inflammation, but there isn’t enough evidence to show whether it’s helpful for other types of inflammation.

  4. Theres moderate evidence that devils claw, an herb native to Africa, is beneficial for osteoarthritis of the spine, hip, and knee. Devil’s claw may also have modest short-term benefits for low-back pain.

  5. Its unclear whether ginger supplements are beneficial for osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or joint and muscle pain.

  6. There’s some evidence that thunder god vine—a plant native to China, Japan, and Korea—may reduce some symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis; however, thunder god vine may be associated with serious side effects.

  7. Take charge of your health—talk with your health care providers about any complementary health approaches you use. Together, you can make shared, well-informed decisions.