There has been much controversy over the use of joint support supplements like glucosamine, chondroitin and methysulfonylmethane (MSM) and their effectiveness for osteoarthritis. Some studies find a protective effect, some do not. This is yet another article supporting the use of chondroitin sulfate in osteoarthritis, demonstrating a protective effect on bone cartilage loss and bone erosions within 6 months of use for the knee.
The bottom line is that these supplements are very safe to try on a trial basis. There is a wide variation in price, however, and, as the adage goes, you get what you pay for. I always recommend to patients that they start with the more expensive brands, and one that contains a combination of all three compounds mentioned above. After at least 3 months, if you find that it is effective for you, then you can try to substitute for a less expensive brand. This way, you have established that it works for you and it was not a matter of quality.
And of course, couple this supplementation with an evaluation by a chiropractor that has a strong soft tissue focus–many times “arthritis” pain is NOT coming from the joint, but rather the soft tissues surrounding the joint itself. Address this aspect of the problem and the pain goes away or gets significantly better.