Do your joints ache? Is waking in the morning met with stiffness and pain? Do you feel old well before your time? Does your joint pain stop you from living a full, engaged life? Do you find it difficult to work, hit the gym, or even climb a set of stairs?
Many people suffer from joint pain and arthritis, but there is hope. There are natural, safe, and effective ways to calm inflammation and find relief. But before we share our top four science-backed treatments, it’s important to understand a little about what arthritis is.
While there are different types of arthritis, from wear and tear (osteoarthritis) to rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis to juvenile idiopathic arthritis, and more, the word literally translates as “joint inflammation.” One or more joints develop a damaging process that causes pain, reduced range of motion, stiffness, swelling, and tenderness.
And it’s common…
As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted, “In the United States, 23% of all adults — over 54 million people — have arthritis.” Those stats are similar worldwide. In fact, a 2020 study reported that the global prevalence of knee arthritis alone is 16%!
If your joints ail, you’re in good company. But there is good news…
There are four evidence-based ways to soothe inflammation and calm the discomfort of arthritis and joint pain…
Remain Physically Active
While the last thing you might feel like doing is getting up and moving, inactivity worsens arthritis. Just as a vehicle’s motor must continue to turn over lest it seizes up, so must your joints.
Remaining physically active:
- Builds and maintains the muscle strength required to support healthy joints and their motion
- Strengthens the bones that form either side of the joint
- May encourage the distribution of key nutrients inside your joints
- Promotes weight loss, where needed, which is important for calming joint pain
- Conserves and improves range of motion and performance
- Reduces symptoms
Low impact exercises maintain mobility without heavily stressing your joints. Swimming, aqua aerobics, walking, and cycling are perfect.
While it may sound counterintuitive, resistance training is also helpful. When pain strikes, reduced activity can follow. This can weaken muscles, fitness, and quality of life. However, a sensible, gradual weights program reverses these losses.
Seek the advice of a qualified health professional to advise and support you correctly.
Photo Credit: Healthline
Use Heat and Cold Therapy
Heat pads and cold packs are well-loved, simple remedies that may ease an achy joint.
As the article, Thermotherapy for treatment of osteoarthritis, said, “Heat may work by improving circulation and relaxing muscles, while cold may numb the pain, decrease swelling, constrict blood vessels and block nerve impulses to the joint.”
To use cold therapy:
- Apply a continual motion ice massage for 20 minutes per day, or
- Wrap a cold pack in a towel and apply it to the affected area for 10 to 20 minutes several times per day
If you lose sensation in the area, stop. If you have a chronic condition like Diabetes, speak to your health professional before beginning this therapy.
To use heat therapy:
The application of heat can be wet or dry. A simple example of the former is a lovely long soak in a warm bath. The latter might include a wheat pack, a hot water bottle, or an electric heating pad. Opt for low or medium heat only; high temperatures can burn your skin.
Apply Topical Gels
Have you heard of capsaicin? If not, it’s time!
This natural powerhouse comes from capsicum fruits: Chili pepper, red and green pepper.
As an article published in the journal, Molecules said, this fiery produce has a range of potential benefits, including “analgesic, anti-obesity, antipruritic, anti-inflammatory, anti-apoptotic, anti-cancer, anti-oxidant, and neuroprotective functions.”
(Its anti-obesity and anti-inflammatory benefits are why it’s in our fat-burning product, Hyperburn!)
Capsaicin’s analgesic properties make for a soothing therapeutic gel.
One study investigated the effects of rubbing a 0.025% capsaicin cream into painful knees. After only four weeks of treatment, pain decreased in those with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) by 57% and those with osteoarthritis (OA) by 33%.
Other studies have found that the topical application of a 0.075% capsaicin cream diminished tenderness and discomfort for people with OA and severe fibromyalgia.
Supplement With High-Quality Collagen
The protein collagen provides mechanical stability, strength, and resilience. Its properties and abundance allow it to give the body’s tissues spring, form, and hardiness, including those within the joint.
The articular cartilage, the cartilage that lines the joints, contains ample collagen. By providing a rubbery bounce, it acts as a shock absorber and protects against injury. However, in arthritis, the cartilage becomes damaged. This triggers inflammation and subsequent stiffness and pain.
Yet, dietary supplementation with collagen offers hope and relief… In particular, hydrolyzed collagen.
Research published in the journal, Current Medical Research and Opinion investigated the impact to joint pain of supplementing over 24 weeks. The results were staggering. When compared to placebo (receiving a pretend dose), collagen supplementation significantly improved:
- Joint pain at rest
- Joint pain when walking
- Joint pain when standing
- Joint pain when running in a straight line
- Joint pain when changing direction
It seems that these therapeutic benefits might stem from the protection of cartilage-producing cells, called chondrocytes, and anti-inflammatory effects that calm swelling.
Collagen, then, helps to relieve both joint pain and the triggers that cause it. This protein may also protect against arthritis in the first place and lessen the damage it causes.
Marine collagen is the most effective and bioavailable source of collagen. In short, this means your body can absorb and use it. That’s why our collagen supplement contains only 100% wild-caught marine fish; nothing else! We called it simply, collagen.
Arthritis is common. While this condition comes in various forms, each can ruin your joint health and your quality of life. But, help is at hand…
By remaining physically active, using heat and cold therapy, applying capsaicin-containing topical gels, and supplementing with high-quality marine collagen, you can protect your joints, calm pain and stiffness, and enhance joint function. We think that’s a win-win-win!