A Guide to Joint Health
By Alena Shelly
Arthritis and joint pain are major concerns for millions of Americans. Many people who suffer from these afflictions find themselves turning to anti-inflammatory drugs as a way of dealing with the pain and discomfort. Others try to “live with it” and push forward even though the pain can be debilitating and prevent them from living a full, active life. Joint health supplements have been found to be effective in helping ease some of these problems for many sufferers.
As a rule, anti-inflammatories function by blocking the body’s production of a substance called prostaglandins. These prostaglandins are responsible for swelling in the body, particularly the joints, which inevitably lead to the pain we feel. While some people are allergic to standard “pill-form” anti-inflammatories, other problems which long-term use of these medicines can cause include high blood pressure, stomach problems including ulcers, and kidney damage. Supplements can help augment the pain relief and joint problems such as swelling, but patients are strictly warned to consult their medical caregiver as the supplements may have adverse reactions if taken in combination with medicines.
One of the most commonly used natural supplements is fish oil. These supplements are often used to help reduce cholesterol, but they have another added bonus. The presence of omega-3 fatty acids, of which fish oil is loaded, can lower the occurrence of joint pain, particularly from rheumatoid arthritis. Unlike many supplements, fish oil has been tested in numerous scientific studies regarding its healing abilities. (The same basic supplement is also sometimes sold under the name of Krill Oil; no matter what the name, the result is still the same—a solid dose of omega-3 fatty acids.) Other supplements use natural herb and fruit elements included ginger, blueberry, pineapple, turmeric, and pomegranate as well as oils extracted from black currants, evening primroses, and hemp.
Chondroitin and glucosamine have become two favorite supplemental substances which, when used in conjunction, have been shown to improve joint pain, particularly for patients with bad knees. Another popular option in looking at natural herbal supplements is the use of gels and salves made from menthol and eucalyptus. These two substances have long been used for the healing qualities by providing a warming sensation which helps to ease joint pain. Many salves currently on the market contain these and other similar products as the key ingredient.
One of the most promising aspects of these supplements is that many of them feature little to no negative side effects. So if you are suffering the pains and pangs of old age and wear and tear on your joints, it might be a good idea to speak with your doctor about the benefits of adding these supplements to your daily regimen.