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Joints: What is the Best Pain Relief Treatment In Knees, Fingers and Other Joints

Updated on July 31, 2012

Through the process of aging, inadequate diet and other factors leading to a number of health conditions, you may be one of many people who has damaged joints. Pain is the key indicator for joint damage. Arthritus is the number one cause. Although it is unknown what causes Arthritis many experts believe it has to do with diet. There have been so many stories of people who, after changing their diets, experienced joints pain relief. Whatever the cause may be, it is important, once symtoms develop, to seek a solution before permanent damage occurs.

A good example to use for joint pain is the knee. The knee is known as a hinge joint which is formed by two bones (femur and tibia) and is held together by four ligaments. Articular cartilage is a slippery surface at the ends of the femur and tibia and underside of the kneecap which allows friction-free, painfree movement of the knee.

The normal knee joint is surrounded by a membrane (the synovium which produces a small amount of thick fluid (synovial fluid). The synovial fluid helps to nourish the cartilage and keep it slippery. The synovium also has a tough outer layer (the joint capsule) which protects and supports the joint.

When the body begins to attack its own joints this is known as rheumatoid arthritus. Inflammation of the synovium is caused by agents of the immune system(white blood cells). The inflamed synovium causes warmth, redness, swelling, and pain. The synovium thickens and makes the joint swollen and puffy. As this process continues abnormal synovial cells invade and erode cartilage and bone within the join, which causes surrounding muscles, ligaments, and tendons weaken.

Next comes spurring of the bone and erosion of the cartilage. As the cartlidge begins to break down and wear away, the bones under the cartilage begin to rub together. The result is pain, swelling and loss of motion. Over time the joint may lose its shape and become deformed. Bone spurs can develop along the edges of the joint. Pieces of bone and cartilage can break off and float inside the joint resulting in more damage and pain.

Dr. Gurkipal Singh has stated there is a "impending health disaster." He was describing a growing problem that he calls the "gastroprotection gap." With the number of people developing arthritis on the rise due to the aging of the baby boom generation, the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) has increased among older Americans.

Older NSAIDs, such as aspirin, diclofenac, ibuprofen and naproxen, are known for causing gastrointestinal problems, such as ulcers. Besides the pain of ulcers is the problem of the ulcers beginning to bleed. This is a great concern especially amoung the elderly. Bleeding ulcers can be fatal, so preventing them is important.

The natural approach to treating and preventing joint pain is the safer, more beneficial approach. Unfortunately, many people do not understand how natural remedies work. If results are not seen within 1/2 hour after consumption they conclude that the product doesn't work. Unlike prescription drugs and over the counter medications which just mask the problem and provide temporary pain relief, natural remedies work over time to give the body the ability to self- heal. This process may take anywhere from one week to a couple of months.

The following natural remedies for joint pain and inflammation have become very popular and are widely used today:

Glucosamine - Most of the research on glucosamine has focused on its ability to stop the progression of osteoarthritis. For example, in a 2001 double-blind, placebo-controlled study in Lancet, 212 patients with osteoarthritis of the knee randomly took 1,500 mg of glucosamine daily for three years. At the end of the study, the placebo group showed a significant loss of cartilage, but the glucosamine patients did not. Studies also show that glucosamine reduce inflammation and relieve pain.

Tumeric - treats mild osteoarthritis pain and inflammation. Only animal studies have proven its ability to reduce joint inflammation, but the herb has a long history of being used for inflammation in Ayurveda, the traditional medical system of India.

Ginger - has long been used in traditional medical practices to decrease inflammation. In fact, many health care professionals today use ginger to help treat health problems associated with inflammation, such as arthritis. In a study of 261 people with osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee, those who received a ginger extract twice daily experienced less pain and required fewer pain-killing medications compared to those who received placebo.

Vitamin C - Researchers compared the diets of 73 participants who developed inflammatory polyarthritis during an eight-year period, and 146 who remained arthritis-free. After analysis, researchers concluded that people who developed arthritis ate fewer fruits and vegetables than those who did not develop the disease. Participants who ate the least fruits and vegetables had twice the risk of developing inflammatory arthritis. There was also a significant difference in how much vitamin C people with arthritis consumed compared to those who did not develop arthritis. Participants who consumed the lowest amounts of vitamin C were three times more likely to develop the arthritic condition than those who consumed the highest amounts of vitamin C.

White Willow Bark - In a German study, the effectiveness of a willow bark extract providing 240 mg of salicin a day was compared to placebo in a 2-week randomized controlled trial in 78 people with osteoarthritis. After two weeks, the willow bark patients' pain scores were reduced by 14% compared to the placebo group, which had a 2% increase in pain scores.

Bromelain - The effectiveness of bromelain as an arthritis pain treatment has been well recorded in many clinical studies and experimental models. It is best to take bromelain on an empty stomach (between meals).

Quercetin - Quercetin is one of the most powerful and effective herbal anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant supplements on the market today. Quercetin has been found to prevent the development of a variety of conditions related to inflammation and free-radical damage, including arthritis, allergies, macular degeneration, heart disease, gout, and various forms of cancer.

While instant relief from joint pain is desirable, the destructive side effects and health risksĀ make drug treatments and unwise choice for joint pain. The benefits of natural remedies which allow the body to repair itself far outweigh the added time it takes to see results. If you are suffering from joint pain you owe it to yourself to get proper relief from


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    • profile image

      Johnd340 3 years ago

      I do consider all the ideas you've presented on your post. They're really convincing and can certainly work. Still, the posts are very brief for novices. May just you please extend them a little from next time? Thanks for the post. bdgcdagfecdd

    • profile image

      Lily Wong 5 years ago

      I'm very Great-full to every1 who has put down the very imp messages. Actually, my papa is suffering from blood pressure, joints pain, back pain...etc n many more illness. Even my mom is suffering from finger pain. She went for Check-up but the result is normal. So, i was confuse what action should i take for her pain?? Thank you all once again.. ^_^

    • fosamaxblogger profile image

      fosamaxblogger 6 years ago

      Thanks a lot for this very informative hub, Steve. Been looking for a comprehensive article about Joint Pains.

    • profile image

      Elations review 7 years ago

      I wanted to thank you for this excellent read!! I definitely enjoyed every little bit of it.I have you bookmarked your site to check out the latest stuff you post.

    • JTrempe profile image

      JTrempe 7 years ago from CA, USA

      Love the article. Don't forget about exercise! Muscles act as shock absorbers thus stronger muscles will help to protect joints. As a physical therapist I have helped hundres of people minimize their joint pain by developing a strength training program.

      For more information and specific treatment recommendations for your joint pain, visit

    • Pollyannalana profile image

      Pollyannalana 7 years ago from US

      Very good article, I took glucosamine for years and it did help with pain but I have a high blood pressure problem and just lately found out they have discovered glucosamine will elevate blood pressure. Fish oil helps it though so I will go back on that and I have used ginger and turmeric almost daily for about a year now. I love trying new things, searching for that fountain of youth.

    • Putz Ballard profile image

      Putz Ballard 8 years ago

      Excellent article!

    • OneStopWriteShop profile image

      OneStopWriteShop 8 years ago from Newark, Ohio

      First, thank you for posting the hub :) I live with severe chronic pain. I was in a three car MVA about ten years ago, and have had a lot of pain, mostly in my cervical spine. Later, began having other types of joint pain, hips, wrist, low back, etc... I tried everything, diet, water therapy, traction(daily-- now), aspirin, pain medicine, massage, chiropractic, back braces, heat/cold, icy-hot, joint relieving ointments, tens unit, oh what else, oh, hot tubs, laying upside down, stretching, yoga, (nothing works). My neck pain is so bad, I find myself sitting most of my life now, (which) is ok sometimes, and I am a creative writer. Although, I miss being more active. Sometimes, I think that there are solutions to reliving the pain in persons with chronic pain. Such as mine. Pain is symptom that something is not working properly in our bodies. Whether that is by aging (the nerve roots becoming trapped, or the facet joints becoming inflamed/degenerating). There are surgeries to correct joint damage, and correct disc bulges, etc... I don't believe the medical industry has the money, to allow people to get the treatment they (could have) had they had the right type of insurance. So we are left, reading blogs that offer help. Meanwhile, we sit in pain, and pray that maybe one of these days, a solution will reveal itself. Sorry for my frustration, this is a touchy subject for me. It is hard to write about pain, without getting worked up about "being in pain." Thank you for sharing your hub. *Please note* I'm not frustrated with you, lol, only this pain. See, pain becomes a part of the person, almost like a sibling. It goes wherever you do, and when it leaves, (you think) "Hmm, I wonder where that went." Course, mine doesn't leave unless I just had traction, for forty five glorious seconds, the world is mine again. I lie on my bed, look to the ceiling, and dream of waking up in a body that is free. -- KMW

    • tharrison65 profile image

      tharrison65 8 years ago from Long Beach, CA

      Extremely well put together.

    • smile8400 profile image

      smile8400 8 years ago

      It's very useful information for year old age person. whose suffering from joint pain. After 45 person feeling this type pain.


    • ken5000 profile image

      ken5000 9 years ago from St. George, Utah

      You have some very valuable information on joint pain here. Thank you.

    • backpainrelieftip profile image

      backpainrelieftip 9 years ago

      Natural or non drug biased is usually far better in my opinion too. Nice work.

    • hot dorkage profile image

      hot dorkage 9 years ago from Oregon, USA

      10 fish oil a day is a lot. and isn't white willow bark the precursor natural basis for aspirin anyway?

    • mulder profile image

      mulder 9 years ago from Warnbro Western Australia

      fish oil is fantastic for joint pain I have a bad back since taking fish oil I no longer take pain killer or anti flam tablets in fact my step father is riddle with Rheumatoid Arthritis the specialist doctor told him to take 10 fish oil tablets a day .

    • pjdscott profile image

      pjdscott 9 years ago from Durham, UK

      My wife has Arthritis and has taken Glucosamine for a number of years and found it extremely helpful. I have not heard of the other natural remedies you mention and will check them out.

      Many thanks for an important and very useful hub.

    • compu-smart profile image

      Compu-Smart 9 years ago from London UK

      I will do as you suggested!! thankyou..Its easier to say where i don't have pain than where i do and where i don't is from knees down to feet are fine and from my elbows down to my hands are fine!! its weird because if you were to look at me, you would see a young, healthy, looking guy! but that is soo far from the truth!!ok enough violins lol

      I am off to look up synergistically!

      Thankyou! you seem to know what your talking about and have given me a little light to find at end of tunnel!.

    • stevemark122000 profile image

      stevemark122000 9 years ago from Southern California

      I suggest you try the herbs in a combination fornula because they work synergistically together. I have had neck pain for several years. A friend of mine told me he used a herbal formula to get rid of his lower back pain. He said it took a few months but it took the pain away. About 4 months ago I started taking a herbal formula and today I don't have any pain. It took between 2 to 3 months to get this result.

    • compu-smart profile image

      Compu-Smart 9 years ago from London UK

      As someone who has had ankylosing spondylitis for about 10 years i am in constant pain "at times unbearable", but its not life threatening or contagious and i know there are far worse things one i could have so i am looking forward to trying the tips you have given here!


    • Rob Jundt profile image

      Rob Jundt 9 years ago from Midwest USA

      Great hub. As I age, I'm feeling a lot of the mileage incurred through hours of sports-related activities. I do some of these remedies now. The glucosamine & MSM in liquid form seem to work best. It just takes some time to have effect. I look forward to future hubs.

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

      Zsuzsy Bee 9 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Thank you for sharing this great information.

      great hub regards Zsuzsy

    • Sally's Trove profile image

      Sherri 9 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Good hub. Food for thought. Information presented well and without bias.

      It's good to know what remedies might be out there as alternatives to standard drugs for joint pain relief.

    • cgull8m profile image

      cgull8m 9 years ago from North Carolina

      I agree with Karen, I love they are all natural. Once I asked my brother about the joint pain despite doing exercise regularly. He told me to take frequent breaks and walk in between instead of sitting at one spot for a long time. That helped a bit.

    • Catherine Behan profile image

      Catherine Behan 9 years ago from San Diego

      I have recently tried a homeopathic cream called Topricin that seems to be working beautifully to alleviate my joint pain. You can read all about it at I was skeptical but I definitely have less pain after several weeks of use. Catherine

    • Karen Ellis profile image

      Karen Ellis 9 years ago from Central Oregon

      These natural remedies are good to know about - I'm strating to occationally have join pain. thanks.

    • LisaG profile image

      Lisakg 9 years ago from Caribbean

      Very well researched and put together. Great hub.

    • Eileen Hughes profile image

      Eileen Hughes 9 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      Very interesting study of this very big problem by many people of all ages. I have just done an article on glucosamine. The benefits and the side effects.

      Everything that is good also works in the opposite way as well. Pain isn't it. Good constructive hub. Thanks for that