A new study has found that creatine may also be beneficial for those suffering with joint pain.
In the randomized double blind study, 24 women suffering from osteoarthritis and aged from 50 to 65 were assigned to two groups. One group was given creatine following a standard dosing protocol of 20g per day for a week followed by 5g per day for the next 11 weeks. The other group received a placebo.
Both groups then underwent a resistance training exercise program consisting of leg press, leg extension, and half-squat in the 8 to 12 rep range three times a week.
At the end of the 12 weeks both groups had significant reductions in pain but only the creatine group showed improvements in joint function, stiffness, quality of life and an increase in leg lean muscle mass.
The investigators concluded that the main reason for this effect is the increased muscle mass and power which supports and strengthens the underlying joint. They also speculate that creatine supplementation may also improve energy supply in the joint cartilage stimulating it and aiding repair.
No doubt further studies on the benefits of creatine plus resistance exercise in osteoarthritis will emerge in the near future.
Neves M Jr et al. Beneficial effect of creatine supplementation in knee osteoarthritis. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2011 Aug;43(8):1538-43