Role of Curcumin in Common Musculoskeletal Disorders: a Review of Current Laboratory, Translational, and Clinical Data

Orthop Surg. 2015 Aug;7(3):222-31. doi: 10.1111/os.12183.


The Indian spice turmeric, in which the active and dominant biomolecule is curcumin, has been demonstrated to have significant medicinal properties, including anti-inflammatory and anti-neoplastic effects. This promise is potentially very applicable to musculoskeletal disorders, which are common causes of physician visits worldwide. Research at the laboratory, translational and clinical levels that supports the use of curcumin for various musculoskeletal disorders, such as osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, musculocartilaginous disorders, and sarcoma is here in comprehensively summarized. Though more phase I-III trials are clearly needed, thus far the existing data show that curcumin can indeed potentially be useful in treatment of the hundreds of millions worldwide who are afflicted by these musculoskeletal disorders.

Keywords: Curcumin; Osteoarthritis; Osteoporosis; Sarcoma; Turmeric.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Bone Density Conservation Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cartilage Diseases / drug therapy
  • Curcumin / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Muscular Atrophy / drug therapy
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Osteoarthritis / drug therapy
  • Osteoporosis / drug therapy
  • Sarcoma / drug therapy
  • Translational Research, Biomedical / methods


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Bone Density Conservation Agents
  • Curcumin