The extent of a cartilage injury needs to be determined by X Ray or Ultra sound. If badly damaged it may need to be repaired surgically. If, however there is no major injury and the cartilage is simply ‘worn’ then there are many herbs and other supplements on the market that can help to ease joint pain.
Glucosamine can reduce inflammatory pain and also help to protect the cartilage. Green Lipped mussel extract also comes into this category as it contains naturally occurring glucosamine. This is an excellent product for all joint and cartilage problems, as long as you are not prone to getting gout! Take at least 500-1000 mg daily long-term.
Flaxseed oil is great, as it not only eases inflammation but also improves circulation to the joints by improving the flow of the blood through the body. The usual dose is about 1 tablespoon daily, plus it is a good idea to also use as much oily fish as possible – salmon, sardines, herrings, cod etc to further boost Omega 3 levels.
Evening Primrose oil has the action of increasing the production of anti-inflammatory prostaglandins and can therefore be useful for inflammatory situations.
Comfrey cream is an old fashioned by excellent remedy for any damaged tendon or joint. It greatly relieves pain and speeds healing.
Arnica & cloves also make an excellent cream to use when there is joint pain.
All minerals need to be increased, particularly magnesium, calcium, zinc, selenium, silica and boron. The easiest way to get all these, plus all trace elements in adequate amounts and in an easily absorbed form is to take 1 tablespoon of Colloidal minerals daily.
B vitamins are very important, particularly vitamin B6, which helps reduce swelling and vitamin B12 which greatly reduces nerve pain and also helps protect the nerves. These should both be taken in conjunction with a Vitamin B complex tablet.
As mentioned above, there are many herbs that can reduce joint pain. Some useful ones are Devil’s claw, Yucca, Wild yam, Willow bark, Wood betony, Celery seed, Boswellia serrata and Ginger.
Magnetic products work extremely well for many people. For pain caused by cartilage damage, the small adhesive magnets are convenient and inexpensive. To ease the pain of damaged knee cartilage you need to apply at least three, one on either side over the cartilage area and one medially below the knee. For situations where the knee in unstable, the magnetic knee supports are better.
See page on ‘Magnetic Therapy’.
Castor oil packs are another very effective (if old fashioned) remedy for damaged cartilage or tendons. They often only need to be used for a few days but at times for more serious injury may have to used on a three days on, three days off basis.
See page on ‘Castor oil packs’