To relieve nagging joint pain, people will try everything from swimming in the Dead Sea to taking a whole host of pharmaceutical and OTC drugs. And while these remedies are sometimes known to produce temporary results, they don’t solve the underlying problem. The truth is, there are only two things you need to know to end your joint pain for life. These two tips go hand-in-hand, and are the two best-kept secrets for healing joint pain from the inside out.
End Joint Pain Tip #1: Strengthen Your Muscles
Incorporating weight barring exercises into your daily routine can significantly improve arthritis-related symptoms such as pain, stiffness and restricted mobility. Strengthening the muscles surrounding the joints offers the joints significantly more support, resulting in less strain on the joints.
In fact, a study recently published in The Journal of Rheumatology found that patients suffering from osteoarthritis of the knee reported a 71 percent improvement in their knee extension strength, and a 43 percent reduction in their pain after following a four month, home-based strength training program.
As we previously reported, the benefits of a strength training routine are many. To reduce joint pain, increase mobility and improve quality of life, the CDC recommends following this basic strength training routine, which can be done right in the comfort of your own home.
End Joint Pain Tip #2: Tackle Inflammation
Whether your pain is the result of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or just a long day in the garden, the cause of the pain is inflammation. For most people, joint pain is the result of inflammation caused by the age-related breakdown of cartilage in the joints. Most people reach for OTC medications, creating a vicious cycle of dependence. But rather than simply masking the pain or temporarily reducing inflammation, there are ways you can put an end to inflammation by supplying your body with the right nutrients. Here are three effective ways to relieve and prevent joint inflammation from the inside out:
1. Rebuild and protect your cartilage: Glucosamine–a naturally occurring component of the cartilage matrix and synovial fluid surrounding joints–has been successfully used as a supplement to rebuild cartilage in joints. Supplementing with glucosamine is particularly useful because its presence is essential for cartilage repair to occur.
2. Slow your body’s inflammatory response: There are several foods and supplements known for their ability to interrupt the body’s inflammatory response. Curcumin–the compound extracted from the popular Indian spice, turmeric, is a natural anti-inflammatory agent that may reduce the breakdown of cartilage, reduce connective tissue inflammation and reduce the release of the body’s own glucosamine supply.
3. Support collagen: You can further reduce joint inflammation and improve joint flexibility with the collagen-supporting mineral — sulphur. MSM, short for Methylsulphonylmethane, supplements are a great source of bio-available sulphur, a mineral essential for healthy connective tissue and joint function. Taking this supplement can help decrease joint pain by increasing cartilage flexibility. Why is this important? Inflexible cartilage causes inflammation at the surrounding joint surface – which results in pain. Additionally, supplementation of sulphur is important because it is often lost when food is processed, dried, cooked or preserved, not to mention it’s completely deteriorating from our soil.
Carolyn Banach, MS RD has a Master’s of Science degree in Dietetics from D’Youville College and is truly passionate about the science of nutrition. She currently works as a Dietitian in the integrative health industry and is an advocate for natural wellness, nutrition education, and food policy change. She also has advanced expertise in the nutritional care of gastrointestinal disorders and is an expert on the gluten free diet. In her spare time, Carolyn enjoys shopping at her local farmer’s market, traveling with her husband, reading nutrition research, walking her dog, and working on her blog, DC Wellness Scout.