Most people will suffer some sort of joint pain at some time in their life and usually as we age this becomes more of a problem.
Orthodox treatments generally rely heavily on the use of NAIDs (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) to relieve the discomfort. These can be very useful in the short term to offset acute pain and inflammation, but can have some not so nice side effects in the long term.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can include Naprogesic, Synflex, Celebrex, Brufen and Voltaren. Most of these types of drugs are relatively quick acting and can be used as short-term remedies. However, they all invariably cause some side-effects, such as gastrointestinal problems, sometimes skin rashes or renal dysfunction in the long-term and do not do anything to improve the original condition that is causing the pain.
Alternative treatments usually include the use of Glucosamine, Chondroitin or Green Lipped mussel extract combined with the supplementation of fish oils.
Any Glucosamine/Chrondroitin product is slower acting than NSAIDs and needs to be used long-term, but is however, safe to use and free of side-effects. If used consistently over a long period they will greatly reduce inflammation and improve the condition of cartilaginous and ligamental tissues. Therefore, symptoms such as joint tenderness, swelling, pain and restriction in movement improve greatly.
Glucosamine is a constituent of Glycoaminoglycans, which play an important role in joint structure and joint cartilage. They act as lubricating agents that aid optimum joint mobilty. There is a reduction in Glycoaminoglycans as a person ages. Glucosamine is therefore thought to play a part in helping maintain cartilage and repair.
There are two main forms of Glucosamine used in supplements: Glucosamine sulphate and glucosamine hydrochloride. Both have been found to be effective in the treatment of osteoarthritis and both are absorbed via similar mechanisms. Although many supplements contain up to 1500mg I have found that in general half that amount is effective.
Chrondroitin sulphate is also a component of the cartilaginous matrix and can also be effective in reducing joint pain. Like Glucosamine is extracted from the cartilage of either shark, shellfish or bovine origin.
Glucosamine HCL is generally NOT extracted from shell fish or other sea-foods and can be safer for those people who have a high uric acid level or who are prone to attacks of gout.
For many people Green Lipped mussel extract can be more effective. It contains naturally derived glucosamine in its natural base of natural proteins, minerals, mucopolysaccarharides and omega 3 fatty acids. I have used green lipped mussel extract in its original form for many years and found it works extremely well and is less expensive that other Glucosamine products.
Antioxidant products such as Turmeric and Tart Cherry can also often work extremely well in helping to reduce joint pain.
Products containing Artemesia also can be useful especially if there is a connection with gut dysbiosis.
Also, when dealing with any type of joint damage it is very important that the circulation to the joint is improved (use at least 1tbsp of flaxseed oil or eat oily fish daily).
Adequate mineral levels are also vital in order to allow the body to heal. One tablespoon of colloidal minerals daily is usually sufficient.
Also see page on ‘Castor Oil packs.’
Up-dated Jan 2017