A small army of seniors already swears by chondroitin for arthritis relief -- and the latest research shows they're not swearing in vain.

The new study confirms that chondroitin can beat pain, ease stiffness, and even restore function to patients suffering from osteoarthritis of the hands.

Researchers gave 162 patients suffering from radiographic hand osteoarthritis either 800 mg of chondroitin sulfate or a placebo every day. After six months, those who took the real supplement enjoyed a dramatic reduction in hand pain (nearly 9 points on a visual analogue scale).

The visual analogue scale is a 100-point scale where patients estimate their pain levels. Since most of them started around 40, a nine-point drop is an improvement of nearly 25 percent.

They also saw improvements in morning hand stiffness, grip strength, and overall function.

As good as chondroitin is, it's even better when you pair it with glucosamine.

Glucosamine and chondroitin together can actually restore cartilage to your joints and repair the damage caused by years of osteoarthritis.

For an added boost, add some gentle movement exercises to your routine. Yoga, for example, has been shown to ease pain and restore function in patients who suffer from hand osteoarthritis. And Tai chi, the slow and graceful martial art, has shown to help combat osteoarthritis of the knees.

Put that together with the arthritis-battling duo of glucosamine and chondroitin, and you have yourself a winner.