Strontium and Arthritis

Published: September 11, 2012

The mineral strontium (present in a supplement that supports healthy bones) has been shown to improve both osteoporosis and arthritis, and even decrease bone pain in cancer patients. This newest study showed that taking the strontium also decreased back pain associated with spine arthritis while actually preventing progression of the arthritis. Below are the study's findings.

Effects of Strontium Ranelate on Spinal Osteoarthritis Progression

O Bruyere1, D Delferriere1, C Roux2, J D Wark3, T Spector4, J-P Devogelaer5, K Brixen6, S Adami7, J Fechtenbaum2, S Kolta2, J-Y Reginster1

Objective: The aim of this study was to determine whether a 3-year treatment with strontium ranelate could delay the progression of spinal osteoarthritis (OA).

Methods: This study was a post-hoc analysis of pooled data from the Spinal Osteoporosis Therapeutic Intervention (SOTI) and TReatment Of Peripheral OSteoporosis (TROPOS) trials performed on 1105 women with osteoporosis and concomitant radiological spinal OA at baseline, and for whom lumbar x-rays were available at baseline and over the 3-year treatment period. The presence and severity of osteophytes, disc space narrowing and sclerosis in the lumbar intervertebral spaces was graded according to a validated method, and an overall OA score was calculated for each intervertebral space. Back pain (measured on a five-point Likert scale only in SOTI) and health-related quality of life (SF-36 questionnaire) were assessed at baseline and after 3 years. Patients who suffered an incident or progressive vertebral fracture during the study were excluded from the analysis.

Results: The proportion of patients with worsening overall spinal OA score was reduced by 42% in the strontium ranelate group, compared with placebo (RR, 0.58; 95% CI, 0.42 to 0.79; p = 0.0005). Significantly more patients in the strontium ranelate group experienced an improvement in back pain after 3 years, compared with placebo (p = 0.03), while no significant difference was observed in terms of health-related quality of life between these patient groups.

Conclusions: The results of this post-hoc analysis suggest that strontium ranelate could reduce the progression of the radiographic features of spinal OA and back pain in women with osteoporosis and prevalent spinal OA.


Published Online First: 26 October 2007. doi:10.1136/ard.2007.075572 Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases 2008;67:335-339

Jacob Teitelbaum, MD

is one of the world's leading integrative medical authorities on fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. He is the lead author of eight research studies on their effective treatments, and has published numerous health & wellness books, including the bestseller on fibromyalgia From Fatigued to Fantastic! and The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution. Dr. Teitelbaum is one of the most frequently quoted fibromyalgia experts in the world and appears often as a guest on news and talk shows nationwide including Good Morning America, The Dr. Oz Show, Oprah & Friends, CNN, and Fox News Health.

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