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What can it do?

Welcome to the beta Arthritis Virtual Assistant. At the moment it can give you general information about your condition and medication, and provide you with useful exercises to help manage your arthritis.

Why do we need your help?

The Arthritis Virtual Assistant has been built to learn and improve with every use. That way, whenever you use it, you’re indirectly helping another person get the answers that they need for their arthritis.

What can you ask?

You'll get the best response if your question relates to a single type of arthritis, and is expressed as clearly and simply as possible. For example, "What are the best exercises for osteoarthritis?" or "What are the side effects of methotrexate?"


Are you sure you want to close your conversation?

Your conversation will not be visible the next time you visit the Arthritis Virtual Assistant. If you want to keep a copy of the advice you've been given, you can print it using the button at the top of the chat window.

How would you rate your experience so far?


Arthritis Virtual Assistant

The Arthritis Virtual Assistant (AVA) allows you to ask questions and get answers about your condition and how best to manage it. It’s based on over 80 years of our research and uses artificial intelligence to decide on the best responses to give you. The AVA is currently in ‘beta’ testing which means it’s still learning and will improve as more people use it.

The AVA provides general information. For further info, or if you have any concerns you should speak to a healthcare professional.

The AVA is intended for UK users. Medical practice may differ in different regions, so please seek local advice instead of using the AVA if you are outside the UK.

By using the AVA you confirm that you understand and accept the terms of use and consent to how we will use the information you provide.

See full terms
Helpline 0800 5200 520 More information

Call us for free information, help and advice on your type of arthritis.

All calls are recorded for training and quality purposes.
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Complementary medicine for osteoarthritis

There are many different complementary and herbal remedies that claim to help with arthritis, and some people do feel better when they use complementary treatments. However, on the whole these treatments aren’t recommended for use on the NHS because there’s no clear evidence that they work

Glucosamine and chondroitin for osteoarthritis

Glucosamine and chondroitin are compounds that are normally found in joint cartilage. Some studies suggest that taking these supplements may improve the health of damaged cartilage. Other studies, however, don’t show any benefit so we still don’t know for sure whether they work or not.

Glucosamine and chondroitin are similar to each other. You can buy them from your chemist or health food store. You’ll need to take a dose of 1.5 g of glucosamine sulphate a day. You may need to take them for several weeks before you can tell whether they’re making a difference.

Glucosamine hydrochloride doesn’t appear to be effective, so always check that you are taking glucosamine sulphate.

Most brands of glucosamine are made from shellfish. If you’re allergic to shellfish, make sure you use a vegetarian or shellfish-free variety. Glucosamine can affect the level of sugar in your blood, so if you have diabetes you should keep an eye on your blood sugar levels and see your doctor if they increase. You should also see your doctor for regular blood checks if you’re taking the blood-thinning drug warfarin.

Homeopathy for osteoarthritis

Many people are interested in homeopathy, and a number of different homeopathic remedies are used for osteoarthritis. However, no evidence can say for certain that the remedies are effective.

Acupuncture for osteoarthritis

There’s some research showing that acupuncture can sometimes help ease osteoarthritis-related pain. The effect may not last long, which means that you’ll need repeat sessions. Other studies show no benefit from acupuncture. NICE guidelines do not currently recommend acupuncture for osteoarthritis.

Manipulation for osteoarthritis

Manipulation (a type of manual therapy) by a chiropractor or osteopath can often help neck pain and back pain. Its use for osteoarthritis in other joints is limited. If you do want to try it, make sure you choose a practitioner who is registered with the appropriate regulatory body.


0800 5200 520

Our new helpline: Call us for free information, help and advice on your type of arthritis. Open Mon–Fri 9am–8pm.

All calls are recorded for training and quality purposes

Virtual Assistant

Our new Arthritis Virtual Assistant uses artificial intelligence to answer your arthritis related questions 24/7.

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Arthritis Research UK fund research into the cause, treatment and cure of arthritis. You can support Arthritis Research UK by volunteering, donating or visiting our shops.