There are multiple alternative remedies and nutritional supplements that many people find effective for relieving pain from arthritis. I often recommend glucosamine, a natural building block of cartilage which, taken as a supplement, may be useful in strengthening and repairing cartilage. Chondroitin sulfate is commonly taken with glucosamine and may help make cartilage more elastic and spongy and help prevent the breakdown of cartilage. I usually recommend that patients try the supplements for three months. If they find that their symptoms have improved, they should continue to take the supplements. If not, they should save their money and try something else. (It is important to note that glucosamine is derived from the shells of crab and shrimp so it should not be taken by anyone allergic to shellfish.) Some studies indicate higher incidence of arthritis in people with low vitamin C and D intake. Arthritis patients should take vitamin supplements regularly. But always talk to your physician before taking any medications or supplements.