While the prescription pain industry explodes, more and more people are turning to side-effect free natural alternatives to handle their joint pain issues. Over the counter (OCT) and prescription pain medications may deal with joint pain temporarily but more and more Canadians are realizing it does not target the root cause. To deal with the root cause effectively we need natural drug-free alternatives and this is why people are turning to nature for ways to quench the fire of inflammation naturally.
Inflammation is the underlying cause of most diseases and joint pain is no different. To effectively target inflammation use a combination of botanicals and vitamins well documented for their ability to provide relief to joint pain sufferers.
A key component of joints is glucosamine which helps to promote collagen synthesis by stimulating the activity of chondrocytes. The chondrocytes are the cartilage forming cells of the body found in the joint capsule. Collagen is a key component of the cartilage that acts as the buffer between the bones of a joint so that they are not grinding upon one another producing friction and pain. Glucosamine is also required for the synthesis of mucopolysaccharides, which are found in the tendons, ligaments, cartilage, synovial fluid (the lubricant between the joints), mucous membranes, eyes, blood vessels and heart valves.
MSM is a naturally occurring sulphur-containing compound. The ‘S’ in MSM is Sulfur and it is crucial for the running of the Sulfation Pathways of Detoxification in the Liver. It is also backed by numerous clinical studies which demonstrate the ability of this compound to dramatically reduce pain and inflammation. As a result, these studies also show that those supplementing with MSM see an increase in physical mobility and general wellness and wellbeing.
Hydrolyzed Collagen Peptides
Hydrolyzed Collagen Peptides have been found to provide relief in those suffering from osteoarthritis. In particular, Peptan™, a patented collagen, has been clinically proven to boost osteoblast activity which are the bone building cells of the body. Many people don’t realize this but 90% of your bone matrix is made up of collagen synthesized from these osteoblasts and when collagen stores are low in the body bone and joints suffer. In one study, those individuals with the most severe pain found the greatest relief by supplementing with hydrolyzed collagen from Peptan™ and they were able to reduce their need for pain medications. In addition, oral supplementation with Peptan™ hydrolyzed collagen stimulates the chondrocytes within the joint capsule which is essential for establishing strong cartilage. Cartilage acts as the buffer between bones reducing friction, inflammation and its attendant pain and so getting the chondrocytes to work is the key to building up the worn-down cartilage. The result is increased mobility and a better quality of life.
Vitamin C is not just for the prevention of colds and flus, it plays a crucial role in collagen synthesis. Your body cannot make collagen without it! Supplementation with vitamin C has been shown to reduce the breakdown of cartilage in those with osteoarthritis. It also has an analgesic effect.
If you have pain you need to know about curcumin and its benefits. Curcuminoids are the alkaloids derived from turmeric which have anti-inflammatory benefit and provide massive pain relief. BCM-95™ in particular is a highly bioavailable form of curcumin which has been proven to reduce pain and inflammation in the body faster and better than Curcumin-95 extract. In fact, it is clinically proven to be 7x more bioavailable in the body compared to regular curcumin. Curcumin in general is known to be helpful for treating a number of different health concerns including: cancer, Alzheimer’s, liver disease, gastrointestinal complains, respiratory conditions and even mood disorders. However, curcumin is most commonly known and used for joint pain and inflammation. Studies have found that in some cases curcumin is as effective for relieving pain and inflammation as Ibuprofen.
Not just a culinary spice, ginger, like turmeric, has anti-inflammatory benefits. It is also analgesic, anti-nausea, anti-ulcer and shows strong antioxidant activity. It can significantly decrease joint pain and inflammation when taken on a daily regular basis over a 3-month period consistently. A University of Miami study suggested that it could one day be a substitute for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID’s).
This herb reduced the need for pain medications in multiple clinical studies of arthritic patients as well as those suffering from back pain. Some studies have also found this herb to have anti-inflammatory action.
Bromelain is a commonly known as a digestive enzyme. It is derived from pineapple and have additional benefits beyond improving digestion. The enzymes in Bromelain have displayed anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties due to eh the inhibitory effect it has on pro-inflammatory pathways.
Studies have found that individuals with Rheumatoid Arthritis generally have lower Vitamin B6 levels compared to the general population. Low levels of B6 are correlated with higher levels of pro-inflammatory molecules, which leads to greater inflammation in the body.
Adequate intake of Vitamin D3 is crucial for a healthy immune system and low levels have been associated with a number of autoimmune diseases as well as cancer. Higher in takes of Vitamin D3 are associated with a reduced risk of developing Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)., There is also evidence that those who have already developed the disease and suffer from RA may benefit by increasing their daily intake.
HA is a natural component of all connective tissues including the skin. This compound is used both orally and by injection for the treatment of osteoarthritis and joint pain. Hyaluronic acid is a component of joint fluid, cartilage and skin tissue. It is present as a coat around each cell (chondrocyte). Hyaluronic acid has an amazing ability to absorb water and it contributes to the cushioning effect of cartilage as well as the lubrication of joints. HA has been proven to benefit all joints, however key studies have shown that it is particularly good for knee pain and improving knee mobility.
This herb is commonly known as Frankincense and is used as an anti-inflammatory agent for various conditions like: osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, bursitis, tendonitis, ulcerative colitis, asthma, sore throats and allergic rhinitis. Studies have found improvement in both pain and functionality scores after supplementation with Boswellia. Significant improvements were seen within just seven days of initiating supplementation.
It is important to realize that short term inflammation is perfectly normal and is a part of a healthy immune response. It is chronic, long-term inflammation that, if left uncontrolled, leads to illness, and disease. With natural health products we can often achieve the same results as allopathic western medicine without the side-effects because they target the root cause and not just control the symptom of pain. However, we need to keep in mind that natural supplements do take time to work. It takes many years for issues like arthritis to develop and so patience needs to be exercised when engaged in a healing process that involves natural supplements. Natural supplements are not Band-Aid solutions like Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen. The ingredients discussed above are working to repair joint tissue and reverse chronic inflammatory processes. The aim is to treat the cause of the problem and ultimately to reduce pain and improve function over the long-term for a better quality of life.