Q. I’m writing to tell you about my excellent experience using gelatin for hip pain. I’ve had a chronic ache in my hip for several years. I’ve seen a chiropractor, whose ministrations were effective but temporary. Pilates helped for just a little while, and yoga had no effect. My doc took an X-ray and said she didn’t see any arthritis. The chiropractor said he did and told me to eat Jell-O.
I decided to give it a try on the theory that it was perfectly harmless even if it didn’t work. For about six weeks I ate roughly half a packet of Knox Gelatine a day (prepared, not dry). No effect. But in a fit of hunger and frustration one day I gobbled up the remaining half pan, about two packets worth. The next morning I awoke completely pain free.
I went online and found that people who use it recommend one packet a day. I’ve been doing that now for about two months, with only a very occasional twinge in my hip after driving for 12 hours. I don’t know why it started working, but since my hip doesn’t hurt, and it’s easy and cheap, I’m just doing it.

A. This remedy fits our favorite criteria: won’t hurt, might help, and doesn’t cost too much. Thanks so much for sharing your experience. Anyone who is interested in other non-drug approaches for joint pain may be interested in our Guide to Alternatives for Arthritis.

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  1. Minerva
    Reply

    I had been suffering with achy joints for a little over 10 years, doctors weren’t listening because all tests showed I was within normal range of everything they tested. Yet, I could NOT move well and was in constant pain… I’m only 37! Then my mom read about taking gelatine to ease the pain in a home remedies book. I didn’t listen, but then she asked me to do her the favor of printing out some info on this subject off the internet for some friend.
    She’s very wise, the friend was me! She knew I would at least try it, if I found others online with similar afflictions. So I gave it a try, straight from the packet into my mouth (little by little, about two teaspons each day) taking sips of water in between, then about 6-8 oz. of water right after. By the third night (still skeptical), I was able to move my toes! Not only that but with no pain! It had been a decade I hadn’t felt this way! In about a week and a half after starting, my hands were not swollen and I was able to type, brush my hair, and other tasks I hadn’t been able to do right before. To me, it is a personal miracle, since docs weren’t helping, I am so thankful! And that’s why I’m sharing this.

  2. Tymothy Smith, L.Ac.
    Reply

    Gunfire, you may want to try the gelatin as its own, I have found both for myself and those I work with that taking it away from food appears to have more benefit.
    If you feel that it isn’t helping in the next few weeks, you may want to add in glucosamine and hyaluronic acid (which appears to have an affinity with elbow joint issues).
    Lastly, some people find that eliminating certain food groups, those particularly of the night shade family (eg. tomato, peppers, eggplant) reduces symptoms as well.
    All the best, Tymothy

  3. Gunfire
    Reply

    I have problems with my elbow joints & tendons from heavy lifting. I’ve been doing a packet of gelatin a day for about a week. So far it hasn’t helped really, but tendon regeneration takes a while so I’m sticking with it. I make sure I eat a sachet with every meal, for breakfast I’ll mix the dry crystals into cereal, for lunch I’ll dissolve them into a pasta sauce, then for dessert I’ll make up a sachet of aspartame free sugar free jello with a sachet of unflavoured together. I’ll have dry sachets mixed into protein drinks too. Gummy bears are a pretty good source of gelatin too, if you don’t have to watch your calorie intake too much.

  4. PaniP
    Reply

    Boil 1/2 cup barley with 3 cups of water 1 tablespoon dry parsley flakes
    add 1 tablespoon honey to make a tea. I use more water it makes it a little weaker
    This helps decrease swelling in the legs and feet.Try it, it can’t hurt. These
    are all natural food products. Post your comments.

  5. beau10
    Reply

    I was trying to devise different gelatin recipes and thought combining the Knox with sugar-free jello would be nifty. WRONG!!!! The sugar-free jello is SWEETENED with ASPARTAME. I jettisoned the jello, telephoned Knox and inquired re recipes. The rep and I discussed my reasons for the gelatin; she stated many people had contacted Knox about experiencing the same result as in this article. She stated because of legal restraints she could not advise me on the use – only offer the additional recipes and also said I could find additional recipes at the online site.
    I suggest the use of stevia to sweeten any gelatin dessert. I also suggest (in my opinion) avoiding sugar-free jello because of the aspartame.
    To add: I have tried some interesting combos of the gelatin with pureed cantaloupe, oranges, pineapple, mango and watermelon sweetened with stevia. The great thing is I can eat any mistakes.

  6. EC
    Reply

    I have tried several methods. In my case, is osteoarthritis and it hurts specially on my ankles and sometimes in my wrists. I tried several things and now I’m getting closer to a better solution; even though is not totally cured. I am using turmeric in all my food at least when I’m home, sometimes I also add ginger. Also I change my exercise of jogging to biking and walking. Now I am trying with copper little chains or plain cable around my ankles on the upper part. The jello suggestion seems very worth trying for me, and yes I would go with plain; no colors or sugar added.

  7. Kathleen
    Reply

    Any instructions on using Certo – the liquid fruit pectin (each pouch is 3 oz) and how this compares to the gelatin (which is animal sourced correct?) I guess I”m wondering if it has to be gelatin or can fruit pectin be substituted?
    Thanks!
    PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: MANY PEOPLE FIND CERTO (ABOUT A TABLESPOON) MIXED IN 3 OR 4 OZ OF JUICE (GRAPE OR POMEGRANATE ESPECIALLY) CAN BE HELPFUL. YOU ARE CORRECT THAT GELATIN IS NOT FOR VEGETARIANS.

  8. Barb
    Reply

    Since I have diabetes, I’m making my own Knox recipe using one packet daily: 1/4c grape juice, 3/4 c water and l tablespoon Splenda. As a kind of lunch dessert, it’s not bad and contains only 10 carbs.

  9. beau10
    Reply

    Is it possible to mix sugar-free jello with the Knox gelatin? I use Knox in my homemade slow cooker yogurt and that does not seem to be something you would eat plain.
    PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: KNOX GELATINE COULD BE MIXED WITH JUICE OR PRESUMABLY WITH THE JELL-O OF YOUR PREFERENCE. JELL-O ITSELF HAS GELATIN IN IT, SO CONSIDER THAT WHEN YOU ESTABLISH THE DOSE.

  10. Tymothy Smith, L.Ac.
    Reply

    There are multiple ways gelatin can be taken. You can simply make jello and eat it as you would, but this can be cumbersome if you are taking a whole packet each day (ie. the knox brand). Simply pouring it into a large glass of water, giving a stir and drinking rather quickly as it does congeal is generally the most efficient manner.
    In general it’s well to include other supplements at the same time as gelatin has a long history of use (particularly as suggested by the great healer Edgar Cayce) to bring in other nutrients. Thus taking the gelatin with say Glucosamine, Turmeric, HA, whathaveyou, is well and as we in natural medicine oft say ‘can’t hurt.’
    Lastly there are a number of brands available. Knox appears to source from Brazil as well as the states, some feel that this is not socially responsible as the cleared rainforest is frequently used for cattle grazing.

  11. T.L.
    Reply

    I have been having hip pain for some time. I know I have osteoporosis and am on Fosamax. I took Forteo injections for two years and they did not help. I had back surgery for spinal stenosis and it has helped but did not eliminate pain completely. I would like to try the gelatin. How much should I eat daily and is the sugar free gelatin less effective than the unflavored Knox?

  12. Barb
    Reply

    I’ll give Knox a try. I know I have degenerative joint disease in my right hip and don’t even want to think about hip replacement. I’ll be 80 in September and want to go right on enjoying my step aerobics classes! I am going to see how a little Splenda and some grape juice work for palatability.

  13. fbl
    Reply

    I wonder if gelatin would help my hips. My left hip is 100% necrotic and the right is 25%. From a head on auto collision 5 years ago.
    My Pettibon Chiropractor has me doing specific exercises and I am still mobile but want to put off hip replacement as long as possible. I am very sensitive to metal and many other substances. I can do a bit over a mile a day on my treadmill (with handles) and then do the exercises on my Rebounder (with a safety bar). Walking long distances is not possible even with my cane.
    Do you think the gelatin remedy would offer me any help? Do you know of anything else that might grow my cartilage back in my left hip and stop the progress of the necrosis in my right?

  14. Becci
    Reply

    I also would like to know how to prepare the gelatin. Does this relate to the stories I hear about putting a package of Certo into grape juice and drinking 1/2 cup daily for joint pain? Does anybody have any experience with either of these remedies and fibromylgia joint pain?

  15. LSW
    Reply

    Try the sugar-free Jello which won’t add extra calories. Kroger has their own brand which is cheaper and Royal also has a sugar-free option which I buy at Walgreen’s.

  16. ebm
    Reply

    I agree, I would not eat the sugar, food color laden Jello type stuff either. I used to
    make it with natural fruit juice (no raw pineapple, it keeps it from jelling), it’s not
    very sweet but I prefer it not so sweet. I very seldom drink juice, only diluted with
    club soda or water, much better than soda. Some people have suggested Certo pectin was helpful to them.

  17. Lilly S.
    Reply

    My husband has a lot of hip pain and the remedy with gelatin sounds very helpful, he would like to try it but how do you use it, i think the plain gelatin would be the one but do you let it set or just drink it after it has been mixed with water? We enjoy your column very much, thank you keep up the good work.

  18. BK
    Reply

    I agree with the other writer about the sugar. Each packet contains about 20 grams of sugar which combined with all the other sugar that is in food products this results in a high daily intake of sugar.
    I also had been experiencing hip pain and to the best of my knowledge this was due to just getting older. I went on fish oil and hyaluronic acid (HA) and my PT suggested some stretching exercises. This helped as I now do not experience any hip pain at all. Not sure which of the three is doing the most for eliminating the pain but the combination works. I’m also going to experiment with turmeric/curcumin as that also is supposed to help with these kinds of issues.

  19. abigail
    Reply

    Is the ache in the joint itself or in the muscles where they insert into the joint? If nothing shows on the xray, perhaps this is a muscle ache/ connective tissue situation similar to fibromyalgia.
    A fascinating remedy. thanks for sharing it with us.

  20. P Porter
    Reply

    I would like to try the gelatin for hip pain, but you do not say how to prepare it. Just by itself or use regular Jello that has lots of sugar? I would think that plain gelatin mixed with only water would be hard to enjoy.

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