Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science

Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science


Orthopedic Surgery


Dr. Nancy Reid



Purpose: The purpose of this article is to review the treatment of mild to moderate osteoarthritis (OA) in adults and compare the efficacy of curcumin versus diclofenac.

Method: A search for the literature was conducted using PubMed, Ovid, and Google scholar using the terms curcumin, diclofenac, and OA. After finalizing my search using PubMed clinical queries and Boolean operators, 22 pertinent articles were selected from the databases.

Results: Curcumin compared to diclofenac showed that the efficacy was comparable without the gastric side effects. Curcumin is most effective when used in preparations that enhance bioavailability.

Conclusion: Curcumin is not very soluble and has low bioavailability, but preparations that increase the bioavailability could effectively treat OA. When compared to diclofenac, one of the most prescribed non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs), the efficacy was comparable without adverse effects. Diclofenac and other NSAIDs have unwanted adverse side effects, including gastrointestinal and renal effects, and some patients cannot tolerate these effects. This makes curcumin a less toxic alternative for patients who cannot tolerate NSAIDs with compatible efficacy with diclofenac.


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