Our Naturopath explains joint pain and how to help relieve symptoms, as well as help with diet and exercise recommendations..
Joint pain is a common issue that many of us deal with every day. It can vary from mild soreness to debilitating pain. The most common complaints of joint pain are in the knees, shoulders, hips and ankles. There are many causes of joint pain and it is always recommended to find out the underlying cause of your discomfort. Your GP, specialist, physiotherapist, chiropractor, naturopath or other qualified therapist could help you determine the cause of your pain. Some possible causes of joint pain can be:
• Injuries such as sprains and strains
• Bursitis, tendonitis or myositis
• Body/spinal misalignment
• Overuse or excess pressure from heavy weight
• Osteoarthritis due to degeneration, ageing, injury or obesity
• Autoimmune such as rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia or multiple sclerosis
• Nutrient deficiency
Depending on the cause of your joint pain, there are natural products on the market as well as lifestyle recommendations to help repair the joint and regulate inflammation and pain.
Glucosamine is a popular choice for people with osteoarthritis as it targets joint stiffness, pain, swelling and limited range of motion. It is naturally occurring in the body but decreases production with age. It helps build up cartilage, tendons and synovial fluid which helps to lubricate the joint. Products such as Henry Blooms Glucosamine 1500 Plus is enhanced with BioP which allows for better absorption. This product provides joint cushioning to help relieve the pain caused by osteoarthritis. It reduces inflammation, swelling and increases joint mobility.
Omega 3 Fatty Acid:
Omega 3 is an effective anti-inflammatory essential fatty acid commonly used for joint pain associated with inflammation.
There are 2 main types of omega 3:
1. ALA (Alpha-linolenic acid) comes from vegetarian food sources such as vegetable fats and oils, nuts and seeds. This source of omega 3 is suitable for vegans and vegetarians.
2. EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (Docasahexaenoic acid) are the fatty acids found in fish such as salmon, trout, mackerel, sardines, tuna and anchovy as well as shell fish.
Omega 3 Fatty Acid is used for disorders like rheumatoid arthritis, joint pain and stiffness and orks by reducing the production of pro-inflammatory enzymes and cytokines.
Vitamin D (Cholecalciferol)
A Vitamin D deficiency can be the cause of joint pain as it is responsible for calcium absorption, a mineral vital for bone health. Vitamin D can be absorbed through sunlight exposure or supplementation. It is suitable for those with rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, those with vitamin D deficiency and the elderly and works by helping the body effectively absorb calcium, which builds and maintains strong bones.
Green Lipid Mussel
Green Lipid Mussel Is a mussel native to New Zealand with a variety of compounds that have a therapeutic and anti-inflammatory effect when taken.It is ideal for people with gout, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, septic arthritis involving inflammation, swelling and joint pain and works by reducing the production of the enzyme cyclooxygenase which creates inflammation.
Turmeric is a therapeutic and culinary spice used vastly for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects on the body. It is known to treat stiffness, pain and inflammation relating to joint pain, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and bursitis and works by blocking inflammatory cytokines and enzymes.
Low impact exercised can help strengthen muscles around the joints and maintain bone health. It can also help regulate weight relieving pressure of the joints.Always check with your doctor or therapist about what type of exercise is best for you.
○ Range-of-motion exercises: This will help improve stiffness by stretching muscles and increasing the range of motion.
○ Strengthening exercises: This includes weight exercise and will help strengthen muscles and surrounding muscles to the joint.
○ Aerobic exercises: Low impact aerobic exercises like swimming, walking and bicycling can help with circulation and weight loss.
○ Other forms of exercise include yoga, tai chi and Pilates.
Warm up before exercising or apply heat to warm the muscles surrounding the joint. Slow movements and low impact to avoid pain and injury. Warm showers can also relax the muscles and relieve pain as well as applying an ice pack to the joints after activity can also be helpful if needed especially with swelling.
Eat a healthy balanced diet with adequate protein and essential fatty acids. Foods like fish, nuts and seeds
Eat a diet high in nutrients like vegetables and fruits such as green leafy vegetables, sweet potato, red peppers, garlic, leeks, shallots, ginger, avocado, watermelon berries, grapes, and fruits high vitamin c fruits like citrus fruits.
Reduce inflammatory foods such as refined sugar, alcohol, fried foods and fast foods
Drink plenty of water and herbal tea, avoid sugary drinks and soft drink
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Choice Pharmacy Naturopath
B Applied Science (Naturopathic studies)