A Comprehensive List of Natural Joint Pain Supplements and Treatments for Arthritis
Healthy joints enable us to enjoy a wide range of motion, from holding a pencil to riding a bike to dancing to our favorite song. When you begin to feel pain or discomfort in the joints, that range narrows–for some, that narrowing is significant. Most people experience joint pain or arthritis in the knees, hands, shoulders, and hips, but a person can develop arthritis in any of the joints. Depending on the type of arthritis, people often experience symptoms like redness, heat, stiffness, swelling and, of course, pain. Chronic joint pain or arthritis can develop from old injuries, aging, or increased inflammation in the body.
Almost 54 million Americans have arthritis, and more than half of those people are of working age. Not only are they in pain, but they have to work through that pain on a regular basis. In order to get through the day, people often take drugs to numb the pain or otherwise make it manageable.
Treating Arthritis and Joint Pain
Treating joint pain and arthritis typically calls for a comprehensive plan that includes certain drugs, joint pain supplements, lifestyle changes and topical treatments. One of the most common medications for arthritis are non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID), which can be purchased over the counter or with a prescription. There are some known risks with taking NSAIDs, including increased risk for strokes, heart attacks, gastrointestinal bleeding, and other side effects. Other common over the counter joint pain drugs include aspirin, ibuprofen, or Celecoxib. When taken on a daily basis (or if you’re over 60, have thinning blood or have stomach ulcers) these come with their own share of side effects including. The most common over the counter topical treatments contain methyl salicylate (Bengay).
Choosing natural alternatives may be a better option for those weary of drugs for arthritis, or if other medical conditions prevent the person from taking aspirin or NSAIDs.
Joint pain supplements, medications and topical treatments are essentially after the same thing: to reduce inflammation that causes the pain in the first place. Check out this list of joint pain supplements and topical ingredients to look for in your natural pain relievers.
Green tea: Green tea has a compound known as epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), that reduces the inflammation in joint tissue. EGCG alters the body’s molecules that help contribute to inflammation and damage within the joints, especially in rheumatoid arthritis.
Omega-3 fatty acids: Supplements like fish oil are known for being anti-inflammatory, and it is especially beneficial for those with osteoarthritis. People with osteoarthritis have said it reduces inflammation related pain, improves the ability to function, and helps them become less dependent on NSAID medication.
Glucosamine and Chondroitin: Both of these ingredients are found in human cartilage and are favored for treating swelling and pain for people with osteoarthritis. Not only does this combination treat pain, but it improves the ability to function, especially for people who are affected in the knee.
Vitamin A, C, D, E: These essential micronutrients have antioxidant properties that work together to treat symptoms of arthritis. Research backs the effectiveness of these essential micronutrients in treating rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
Turmeric: This popular South Asian spice also has incredible anti-inflammatory uses. It treats symptoms of painful joints and relief from exercise and other physical activity. Compared to Ibuprofen, turmeric relieves pain at the same standard, naturally.
Joint Pain Supplements
This list of joint pain supplements contain chondroitin, have no negative levels of contaminant metals, and met at least 90% of their labeled levels of glucosamine, hydrochloride, or sulfate:
- Kirkland Signature Clinical Strength Supplement
- NOW Extra Strength
- The Vitamin Shoppe Joint Solution
- Nature’s Bounty Extra Strength Complex
Topical Treatments For Arthritis
Enduras Recovery Cream: This cream calms persistent aches and pains in the joints while helping soothe activity-related fatigue, so you can keep living your active lifestyle. With active ingredients such as Vitamin A, C, D, and E, many people with arthritis pain, swelling, and stiffness have found that Enduras Recovery Cream does exactly what they need it to do.
Epsom Salt Soaks: When submerged in hot water, Epsom salt water deconstructs into magnesium and sulfate. These helpful elements soak into your skin, eventually soothing joint pain and relaxing stiff muscles.
Capsaicin: Capsaicin is an ingredient found in chili peppers that triggers endorphins, which block pain signals in the body. This key ingredient in peppers does as much for your joint pain as it does adding flavor to your everyday soups and dishes. Sprinkling a little spicy pepper on your food can also help your body fight off joint pain. Creams containing capsaicin are popular for its ability to stimulate nerve endings and fight pain signals in your body. Topical containing capsaicin are sold at most pharmacies.
Cold and Heat Therapy: Cold and hot packs each have their intended use. For joint pain they can work wonders in two different ways. Applying heat is known for relaxing stiff bodies and soothing sore muscles. This also works for joint pain. By stimulating and improving blood flow and circulation, heat soothes stiff joints and increases range of motion. Applying cold can help soothe the redness and heat that can sometimes spike up in the inflamed joint.
Finding a solution for symptoms of joint pain can alleviate the stress of everyday life. Both supplements and topical treatments, as well as lifestyle changes like exercise and diet, work together to help reduce joint pain. Finding a solution that works for you will not only soothe pain and give you your life back but it will also increase the quality of tomorrow.
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About the Authors
William Goolsbee has spent his career in Life Sciences including leading roles in drug development in immunology and genetic medicine. Recent senior positions include Chairman of the Board at Sarepta Therapeutics and Founder and CEO at Metrodora Therapeutics.
Dr. Gil Price
Gil Price M.D. is the Chief Medical Officer at the Propharma Group, where he provides medical supervision for all clinical trials. He previously served as the Chief Executive Officer of Drug Safety Solutions, where he oversaw safety monitoring for drugs in clinical development. Dr. Price also served as the Director of Clinical Development at Medimmune Oncology and Director of Medical Affairs at Glaxo.