Am J Arthritis | Volume 5, Issue 1 | Research Article | Open Access

The Efficacy of Topical Curcumin 5% Gel for Knee Osteoarthritis

Soumya G Rao1*, Pranav Bantval2 and Rishi Chiniga3

1Department of Rheumatology, Palomar Health Medical Group, Poway, California 92064, USA
210th Grade Canyon Crest Academy, San Diego, California 92130, USA
311th Grade Francis Parker High School, San Diego, California 92111, USA

*Correspondance to: Soumya G Rao 

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Introduction: Curcumin is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound although its oral clinical use is limited by low bioavailability. Osteoarthritis (OA) is characterized as a painful, inflammatory arthritis of the cartilage and standard therapy like NSAIDs have increased risk of side effects. The primary objective was to determine the efficacy of topical Curcumin 5% gel in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee. Materials and Methods: This was a one week, randomized, double-blinded, vehicle control, pilot study. Patients with bilateral OA of the knee were selected and were given two types of gels, Curcumin 5% gel and control agent (Aloe Vera gel). They were asked to apply one gel on each knee twice daily for one week. The primary efficacy outcome was change from baseline to week one in Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) pain score. Secondary outcome included WOMAC subscales, patient Global Assessment and numeric rating pain score. Results: Significant reduction in WOMAC pain scores from baseline were observed in topical Curcumin 5% gel -2.47 compared to the control -0.70 for OA of the knee at week one, with the p-value being 0.03. No side effects were seen. Conclusion: Administration of topical Curcumin 5% gel 2 ml twice daily resulted in significantly greater improvement in pain reduction at week one versus control. Topical Curcumin 5% gel is an effective and safe alternative to treat osteoarthritis knee pain.  


Curcumin; Topical; Gel; Osteoarthritis; Knee Pain; Turmeric


Rao SG, Bantval P, Chiniga R. The Efficacy of Topical Curcumin 5% Gel for Knee Osteoarthritis. Am J Arthritis. 2021; 5(1): 1021..

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