- Alternative & Natural Medicine
Joint Pain and Supplements that Help
Joints form the connection between your bones. They provide support and assist with movement. Bone damage and joint pain can be caused by disease as well as sprains and other injuries. The most common complaints involve the Knee, followed by Shoulder and Hip pain but any joint in your body can be effected.
Joint pain is known as Arthralgia and comes from the Greek, Arthro or Joint and Alegos or pain. Joint pain is a very common health issue that affects the quality of life of millions of people around the world. It impacts your livelihood and just about everything you do. You don't realize or appreciate how important joint health is until you suffer with acute or chronic pain and your mobility has been compromised.
Degenerative Joint Disease
Arthritis is an inflammatory joint disorder and is the most common cause of Joint Pain. There are many types of Arthritis ranging from Osteoarthritis to those associated with inflammation of an overactive immune system such as Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of Arthritis. It is also known as "Wear and Tear" and "Old Person's Arthritis". Age is not always the only culprit in Osteoarthritis. Other factors such as injury to the joint, overuse, an occupation that puts you at risk, excess weight and genetics can cause the cartilage of a joint to wear away.
The Joint Components
- Cartilage is the connective tissue that covers the end of the joint bones. It enables the bones to move smoothly over one another and acts as a natural shock absorber.
- The Synovial Membrane covers the cartilage and produces Synovial Fluid.
- The Synovial Fluid fills the space between the two bones. Synoviial Fluid becomes more viscous with applied pressure and thins between shocks to perform its lubricating function. It serves as a buffer between the bones providing cushioning and lubrication, reducing friction and allowing flexibility.
Information on Quality Products and Companies
Supplements for Joint Pain
Whereas Medications only treat the symptoms, Supplements are natural substances that treat both the causes and the symptoms.
Use caution when choosing both the supplement and the brand. Dietary Supplements are not regulated by the FDA in the same way in which Pharmaceuticals are regulated. The ingredients and amounts of those ingredients found in each tablet can vary widely. Some brands fall far short of what is listed on the label. Choose a reputable, well established brand.
Discuss Supplementation with Your Physician
- If you have an allergy to shellfish. This may not be an issue because an allergy to shellfish is usually to the fish proteins and not the Chitin which is the carbohydrate from which Glucosamine is extracted.
- Glucosamine is an Amino Sugar and may increase blood sugar in Diabetics.
- If you take a blood thinner such as Coumadin or you take a preventative dose of Aspirin daily, Glucosamine supplementation may increase your risk of bleeding.
- Not recommended during Pregnancy and Breast Feeding
- Glucosamine is a natural substance in the body that stimulates cartilage production and inhibits its breakdown
- Glucosamine Supplements are derived from Chitin, the shell of shellfish, and are thought to ease joint pain, improve flexibility and slow the progress of Osteoarthritis
- Take the recommended dose of 1500 mg daily for at least two months and continue if a favorable response has been noted
- Glucosamine taken with Vitamin C, Bromelain, Chondroitin Sulfate and/or Manganese may enhance the benefit of Glucosamine
- Possible side effects: Gas, Soft Stools, Upset Stomach, Drowsiness, Insomnia, Headache, Skin Reactions, Sun Sensitivity, Nail Toughening, Temporary increase in Blood Pressure and Heart Rate
Consult Your Physician
- If you have Asthma. An exacerbation of formerly well controlled Asthma while taking Chondroitin has been reported
- Prostate Cancer: There are a few studies mentioned on HealthBoards that associate Chondroitin with Prostate Cancer
- If you are Pregnant or Breast Feeding
- A natural substance in the body that is an important component in the structure of cartilage
- Partially responsible for cartilage resiliency
- Chondroitin assists in the repair of cartilage
- Chondroitin is either synthetically produced or is derived from cow trachea or shark cartilage
- When taken together with Glucosamine it has been shown to increase therapeutic effects
Chondroitin is safe and relatively free of side effects when taken at the recommended dosage of 200-400 mg taken three times daily or 800-1200 mg taken in a single dose daily
There have been many short term clinical trials that show the efficacy of supplemental Chondroitin Sulfate in Osteoarthritis
Possible Side Effects that have been rarely reported include mild stomach discomfort, nausea, diarrhea, constipation hair loss, sensitivity to sunlight, allergic reactions such as hives or rash, swelling of lower extremities and/or eyelids, increased blood pressure
Green Lipped Mussels
- Green Lipped Mussels are a shellfish found only in the oceans off Northern New Zealand
- In order to get all the Health Benefits from Green Lipped Mussels they must be eaten fresh and raw (Cooking them destroys most of the nutrients) or taken in supplement form
- Research Green Lipped Mussel Extracts in order to make the best choice for Nutritional Benefits and Effectiveness
- The extract stops or reduces inflammation
- The extract is effective in easing joint pain and improving flexibility due to its lubricating and anti-inflammatory properties
- Not recommended if you are Allergic to Shellfish.
The Efficacy of SAMe in Reducing Joint Pain
Consult Your Physician
- SAMe may interact with Antidepressants and is not recommended for someone who is taking MAOIs or has been diagnosed with Biploar Disorder
- SAMe may worsen Parkinson's Disease
- Has been shown to be an anti-inflammatory and analgesic whose effects can be felt in as little as one week
- SAMe was shown to be more beneficial than Ibuprofen or Aspirin in decreasing Joint pain, reducing swelling, decreasing morning stiffness and increasing range of motion
- Dosage ranges from 600-1200 mg daily for Osteoarthritis. It is recommended that you start with the lower recommended dose and gradually increase as needed.
- It is important that you get sufficient amounts of Vitamins B12, B6 and Folate as SAMe works closely with them
- Possible Side Effects with high doses include flatulence, vomiting, diarrhea, headache and nausea
What is Saponifiable?
Saponifiable is a chemical term used to describe a substance that can be mixed with lye to form soap.Unsaponifiable oil fractions cannot form soap and, like other “good” fats, have special health benefits when ingested.
~Dr. Theosodakis, Author of "The Arthritis Cure"
Arthritis Research and Therapy Study
According to one study publshed in Arthritis Research and Therapy:
Avocado/soybean unsaponifiables in a 300-mg daily dosage did reduce NSAID use and provide long-term symptomatic relief in two well-done clinical trials of three and six months. Patients with osteoarthritis of the hip appeared to attain a greater degree of benefit.
- Avocado Soybean Unsaponifiable (ASU) is an extract made from the oils of Avocados and Soybeans and are one of the most promising remedies for Osteoarthritis
- ASU stimuates cartilage repair
- It prevents further damage to joints by reducing flammatory chemicals produced by the body
- ASU decreases pain and inflammation and reduces the need for often dangerous NSAIDS
- Eating large quantities of Avocados and Soybeans will not produce the same effect because only a small portion of the oils are unsaponifiable
- A usual dose is 300 mg taken daily and a therapeutic effect is noted between 2 weeks and 2 months
- Consult your Physican if you take Thyroid Medication, MAOIs or Blood Thinners
- A naturally occurring sulfur compound in the body
- Plays a crucial role in the formation of muscles, nails, hair and skin
- Sulfer is necessary in the formation of Collagen, the primary constituent of Cartilage
- It has pain relieving properties and can be effective at easing Joint Pain when taken with Glucosamine
- Small amounts of MSM are found in Grains, Fruits, Vegetables and Milk but processing, storage and cooking may render them ineffective.
- A naturally occurring compound found throughout the body including joints
- A significant component of Synovial Fluid
- Helps Cartilage absorb water which makes cartilage more resistent to compression
- MSM can be synthetically produced or made from Rooster Combs
- Extracted from Curry Spice Tumeric and relieves Joint Pain by inhibiting Prostaglandin which is an effect similar to that of Aspirin and NSAIDS
- A daily dose of 2 GM of Curcumin Extract was found to provide pain relief that was equivalent to that of Ibuprofen for Osteoarthris of the knee.
- Black Pepper derivative enhances the effect of Curcumin
- CAUTION: Curcumin is known to inhibit blood clotting so it should be avoided for at least two weeks prior to major surgery. Not recommended for use if you are being treated with blood thinners such as Warfarin and Plavix.
- The healing power of Willow Bark has been recognized for thousands of years
- The Bark contains Salicin which is the precursor of today's Aspirin
- It also has antioxidant and fever reducing (antipyretic) qualities
- Unlike Aspirin which can cause harm to the stomach lining, Willow Bark passes through the digestive tract and is converted to Salicylic Acid in the liver and intestine
- It works more slowly than Aspirin but the therapeutic effect of pain relief lasts longer
- Consult Your Physician: Willow Bark is a powerful herbal extract that may react with other medications.
- Avoid Willow Bark if you are Sensitive or Allergic to Aspirin or taking a Blood Thinner
- Willow Bark is not recommended for children or women who are Pregnant or Nursing.
- An Ayurvedic Herb also know as Indian Frankincense
- Used for joint soreness and inflammation
- Improves blood flow to the joints
- Helps to prevent damage to joints
- Relieves Morning Stiffness, reduces Swelling, inproves Flexibility
- Possible Side Effects: stomach upset, skin rash
Supplements Can Improve Your Joint Health Naturally
Supplementation for Joint Pain can be safe and effective, relieve your symptoms and improve the health of your joints without the side effects of medications. Many supplements have additional health benefits as well. Do your research to find the supplement with the highest quality that can give you the maximum benefit.
In addition to supplementation , life style changes can also improve your joint health, mobility and quality of life. Improve your nutrition, normalize your weight and exercise regularly.
If you are being treated for any health conditions you should consult your Physician before you start taking any supplements as they may interfere or interact with medications you are currently taking.