Turmeric For Knee Pain | Full Guide With Benefits, Dosage, Risks, And More

Written By on May 3, 2022 — Medically Reviewed By Mich Torres (PT)

Curcumin is widely used for its health benefits in cardiovascular disease and other conditions. But, what about turmeric for knee pain?

Well, researchers have found that this spice (turmeric) may provide relief in osteoarthritis knee pain, much like painkillers do. But, with fewer side effects. (1)

We’ll discuss that in detail below, apart from other topics to help you take this supplement safely. Here’s a summary of the topics we cover, click on them to go to its section:

How does turmeric help knee pain?

To understand this, you first need to know the basis of knee pain. See, this symptom is usually a consequence of joint inflammation.

An efficient way to manage this is by reducing the chemicals that cause inflammation in the first place. That’s exactly what non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) do.

However, these drugs can cause several side effects if taken for too long. Due to this, researchers are studying herbs and supplements with the same beneficial properties but fewer risks.

And, they’ve found turmeric is one of the most promising for managing knee pain.

This is because of its main active ingredient – curcumin. This compound has potent anti-inflammatory effects, much like pain relievers. It also has antioxidant properties. (1)

That’s why turmeric extracts can be a safer alternative for managing knee osteoarthritis pain and other types of joint-related problems.

Benefits of curcumin for knee pain

Several studies on curcumin have found it’s quite beneficial in aiding a host of conditions. Like cancer treatments, or heart disease. (2, 3)

Now, curcumin can help knee pain in the following ways (1, 4):

Its anti-inflammatory effects keep the knee joint cartilage in optimal condition.

Cartilage is regenerated by specialized cells called chondrocytes. Research shows the anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin are particularly active in these cells.

Now, in knee joint diseases, there is almost always an inflammatory cause involved. If this chronic inflammation is under control, then the chondrocytes can function normally and create healthy cartilage.

So, taking curcumin can reduce joint inflammation, letting chondrocytes do their job. This in turn helps maintain healthy cartilage, delaying the knee osteoarthritis process.

Its antioxidant properties can prevent joint cartilage destruction.

Free radicals are byproducts of certain body processes or of environmental pollution.

When accumulated, they can destroy cells, like those present in our joints. This in turn worsens knee pain, by further degrading cartilage cells.

But antioxidants like curcumin protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. Which can prevent further injury while allowing the cartilage to regenerate.

Dosage of curcumin for knee pain relief

Studies show that up to 1000 mg per day of turmeric extracts when taken for 8 to 12 weeks can reduce arthritis pain. This improvement in symptoms can be similar to taking painkillers such as ibuprofen. (4)

But as little as 200 mg can provide benefits in osteoarthritis patients. (5)

Forms of turmeric that help knee pain

Turmeric is a household spice in India and China. But in the western world, few people are aware of its many forms and how to even consume it.

Apart from its use in the kitchen, there are other ways you can take it to benefit from it as much as possible:

  • Turmeric extracts.
  • Homemade paste/cream.
  • As a dietary supplement.

In supplement form, you can take it as a pill.

Honestly, it’s the easiest way to benefit from turmeric without having to add it to every food.

You can take it whole like a normal supplement. Or, grind it into a fine powder and take it with your food or a liquid to enhance absorption.

Just make sure the supplement has black pepper in it. The piperine present in it helps your body absorb as much curcumin as possible.

We recommend VitaPost’s curcumin supplement for that very same reason. It has piperine combined with the best amount of turmeric to help your knee pain.

Check it out: The only curcumin supplement we recommend for knee pain.

Risks and side effects of taking turmeric supplements

Turmeric supplements are well-tolerated by most people and have minimal risk of adverse effects.

Although rare, they can happen to people that ingest higher doses than recommended by the manufacturer. The side effects that may occur include:

  • Gastrointestinal issues like nausea, heartburn, and diarrhea.
  • Dizziness.

High doses can also increase the risk of kidney stones. (6)

Other supplements for knee pain relief

Several supplements are available for helping manage knee pain caused by degenerative joint disease – turmeric is just one of them.

Other dietary supplements widely used for knee pain relief include:

Turmeric and glucosamine can be taken together to boost the effects of both. But check with your doctor first before doing this if you have a previous medical condition.

Check this out: Top 8 supplements for knee pain

Other therapies for knee pain

Supplements can help knee pain, yes. But to actually recover from it, you must do other therapies as well.

The type of treatment will depend on your cause of knee pain, but these usually include:

This can help: 12 Best treatments for knee pain

FAQs

How to use turmeric for knee pain?

You can take it as a supplement, use it as an added spice to your foods and/or beverages, or make a turmeric paste for knee pain.

How much turmeric should I take for joint pain?

Studies show that taking 1000 mg per day of turmeric can help reduce joint pain. (1, 4)

Is curcumin good for arthritis?

Yes. Curcumin is a natural pain reliever with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Conclusion: Can turmeric help knee pain?

Turmeric and its active ingredient – curcumin,- are well-established as potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agents.

This makes it an ideal supplement for those looking for natural and non-invasive ways to treat their knee pain. It can provide similar results to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, with fewer side effects.

Studies show that taking 1000 mg per day of turmeric extracts for 8 to 12 weeks can help reduce knee arthritis pain. (2)

Resources

  1. Daily, James W et al. “Efficacy of Turmeric Extracts and Curcumin for Alleviating the Symptoms of Joint Arthritis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials.”Journal of medicinal food vol. 19,8 (2016): 717-29.
  2. Hasima, Noor, and Bharat B. Aggarwal. “Cancer-linked targets modulated by curcumin.” International journal of biochemistry and molecular biology 3.4 (2012): 328.
  3. Peddada, Krishi V., et al. “Role of curcumin in common musculoskeletal disorders: a review of current laboratory, translational, and clinical data.” Orthopaedic Surgery 7.3 (2015): 222-231
  4. Paultre, Kristopher et al. “Therapeutic effects of turmeric or curcumin extract on pain and function for individuals with knee osteoarthritis: a systematic review.” BMJ open sport & exercise medicine vol. 7,1 e000935. 13 Jan. 2021.
  5. Gupta, Subash C et al. “Therapeutic roles of curcumin: lessons learned from clinical trials.” The AAPS journal vol. 15,1 (2013): 195-218. DOI: 10.1208/s12248-012-9432-8
  6. Tang, Minghua et al. “Effect of cinnamon and turmeric on urinary oxalate excretion, plasma lipids, and plasma glucose in healthy subjects.” The American journal of clinical nutrition vol. 87,5 (2008): 1262-7.

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Author
Sony Sherpa (MD)
Sony Sherpa is a board-certified clinical doctor and currently, she is working as a medical officer in the emergency department of a renowned hospital. With a medical degree completed at a young age, she writes medical articles with accuracy owing to her medical knowledge and thorough background research.

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