Approximately fifteen million individuals in the United States experience severe joint pain, while almost half of the American adult population experience persistent pain associated with arthritis. When your joints become inflamed, stiff, or achy, it can be difficult, painful, and utterly frustrating to perform even basic activities. Many people reach for over the counter and prescription medications to reduce their inflammation and pain. Unfortunately, many of these pain relievers come with a number of unpleasant side effects. Luckily, there are several healthy lifestyle changes that can help with pain relief such as eating an anti-inflammatory diet, maintaining a healthy weight, and doing strength training exercises. In addition, there are a number of nutritional supplements for joint pain and inflammation that can help improve your joint health.
Supplements for Joint Pain
- Avocado Soybean Unsaponifiables
Avocado soybean unsaponifiables is a combination pain reliever that is created from the extract of avocado and soybean oil. This combination has been shown to not only prevent cartilage break down, but also aid in cartilage repair. Avocado soybean unsaponifiable can also provide pain relief for those suffering from osteoarthritis.
Boswellia, also known as Indian frankincense, blocks the enzymes that can cause the foods you eat into molecules that attack your joints. This powerful anti-inflammatory herbal supplement reduces pain and reduces joint inflammation. Unlike other supplements, Boswellia may begin relieving your pain in as little as a week, but research suggests treatment for at least 4 weeks. Furthermore, Boswellia improves mobility by improving joint function.
- Chondroitin and Glucosamine
Glucosamine along with chondroitin are two of the supplements recommended by the Arthritis Foundation. These two powerful substances are found in your joint cartilage and have been shown to help rebuild the worn-out cartilage in arthritic joints. However, if you are allergic to shellfish, please consult your doctor as this supplement may need to be avoided since it is derived from crustaceans like shrimp and crab.
Cartilage provides cushioning support that protects joints from injury. These important cushions are made up of collagen, a protein that has been shown to improve and strengthens your ligaments and joints. In addition to this, collagen helps the body create new cartilage, relieve pain, and even strengthen your bones.
Curcumin is the active compound found in turmeric. This powerful anti-inflammatory substance provides turmeric with its bright yellow color and unique flavor. Curcumin disrupts the pro-inflammatory cells that are responsible for joint inflammation and pain experienced by arthritis sufferers. To maximize the effectiveness of curcumin for joint pain, you will need to include a small amount of black pepper with your curcumin supplement. Luckily, the top curcumin supplements include the needed black pepper.
- Devil’s Claw
Devil’s claw is a South African plant that is used as a powerful pain relieving supplement. Arthritis, low back pain sufferers, and those who suffer from chronic headaches can find relief with devil’s claw. Devil’s claw improves joint function and reduces pain in arthritis sufferers. You will reap the maximum benefits from devil’s claw in about two to three months.
- Green Tea
Green tea has been used for centuries medicinally. Green tea contains polyphenols, which provide anti-inflammatory properties to halt chronic inflammation. Polyphenols also provide antioxidant protection which fights free radicals damage to cells. Finally, the polyphenols decrease the production of inflammatory molecules by the immune system. You can enjoy a cup of tea or take a green tea supplement to reap the myriad of benefits that green tea offers.
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega three fatty acids like those found in fish oil, flaxseed oil, and other foods increase the production of a certain chemical that is used to control inflammation in the body. If you are experiencing inflammation due to arthritis, an omega three supplement or consuming omega three fatty acid foods like fatty fish (mackerel, salmon, and tuna), flaxseeds, kidney beans, seaweed, chia seeds, hemp seeds, edamame, and walnut can help relieve the symptoms of arthritis naturally.
In the 1950s, scientists found a potent anti-inflammatory called PEA. PEA, also known as Palmitoylethanolamide, has been shown as an effective pain reliever for arthritis, fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel, multiple sclerosis, and more. This substance binds to cells in the body and reduces inflammation and pain. If you are experiencing joint pain, this natural pain reliever supports a healthy inflammatory response and supports the body’s natural pain response.
SAMe, or S-adenosyl-methionine, naturally occurs in the body. This powerful compound provides anti-inflammatory protection and pain relief to tired, achy joints. In addition to this, SAMe offers cartilage protection and has been shown to relieve pain as well as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen without the side effects. It will take a few weeks to reap the full benefits of this powerful; however, once this potent compound begins working, your joints will thank you.
- Vitamin D
Vitamin D has been associated with an increased risk of developing osteoarthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. In addition to this, the risk of hip fractures, muscle weakness, and osteoporosis increase with low vitamin D levels. Vitamin D can be found in supplements, dairy products, and fortified cereals. In addition to this, you can get the vitamin D that you need by spending some time outdoors without sunscreen. Typically, you will only need to sit outside for about fifteen minutes or until your skin gets pink to get the vitamin D your bones and joints need.
Integrative Approach for Pain Relief
As you can see, there are several supplements that can help alleviate joint pain and reduce inflammation. Supplements are should not be viewed as a quick fix for joint pain as the beneficial effects will be experienced gradually. It is advisable to avoid supplements with toxic contaminants and binders that are difficult to absorb and digest.
Determining the best supplements for your unique needs can be challenging. Our integrative practitioners knowledgeable in chronic pain management, bone health and supplementation will help identify the best pain supplements for you. Also, reducing pain and disability from joint pain is a complex process. Your physician will provide guidance about lifestyle modifications and dietary changes to reduce progression of joint disease, reduce pain, and improve quality of life.