Do you experience pain in your knees that worsens during exercise or long walks? Are you finding it more and more difficult to write with a pen or type on a computer without cramping in your fingers? Is your tennis or golf game off because of nagging discomfort in your wrists?
If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, you may be suffering from chronic joint pain, which can be caused by a variety of reasons, including:
- Osteoarthritis – a condition that affects the joints in the knees, fingers and wrists.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis – an immune disease that attacks the joints.
- Acute Gout Arthritis – a buildup of uric acid (normally flushed out of the body in urine) in the joints.
- Fractures – caused by injury or stress to the joints. Tendonitis – an inflammation of the tendons that connect muscles to bones.
- Bursitis – inflammation of the bursa (fluid sacs) found between the tendons and the skin or bone.
- Infectious Diseases – such as influenza, hepatitis and Lyme’s disease.
Relief is in Sight
Now that we’ve identified possible sources behind your joint pain, what can you do to relieve that pain? Well, medications such as aspirin and ibuprofen can relieve symptoms, as can therapeutic stretching and warm baths. Also, consider these supplements:
Rosehip: Research out of Denmark has found that rosehip may have anti-inflammatory and painkilling effects. In one study at Copenhagen University, 94 people with osteoarthritis were given either a rosehip supplement or a placebo. After three weeks, those taking the real supplement had significantly less pain than the people taking the placebo, and needed to take fewer ordinary painkillers to manage their remaining pain. After three months, they also reported a significant decrease in joint stiffness. The active ingredient in the rosehip supplement – a fatty acid called a galacto-lipid – has no known side effects.
CH-Alpha: In a German study, athletes with joint pain took CH-Alpha, a liquid supplement containing collagen hydrolysate, a collection of proteins and amino acids (the building blocks necessary for joint health). After taking CH-Alpha, the athletes had significant improvements in mobility and experienced reduced pain upon exertion or movement.
Bromelain: An herb with anti-inflammatory properties, bromelian has been shown to be beneficial for sufferers of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Chondroitin: While controversial since formal medical studies have questioned its effectiveness, chondroitin is believed to draw fluid into the cartilage, making joints more flexible as a result. It is often combined with glucosamine in pill form.
Hylauronic Acid: A natural substance found throughout the body, particularly in the fluid surrounding the joints, Hylauronic Acid has been shown to decrease with age. HA supplements may help relieve symptoms related to osteoarthritis.
Omega-3s: These essential fatty acids, commonly found in fatty fish, have been shown to help reduce inflammation.
Ginger: Whether brewed in teas or taken in pill form, ginger has long been appreciated for its anti-inflammatory effects.
Turmeric: A savory spice hailed for its pain-relieving properties and inflammation relief.
Boswellia: Long used in ayurvedic medicine, this fragrant herb has been used to treat rheumatoid arthritis.
If you suffer from chronic joint pain, you know the effect it can have on your everyday activities and overall health. But with these helpful solutions, you can be on your way to a long, healthy and pain-free life!
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