As we age, the cartilage in our joints begins to wear down and deteriorate, causing bone-on-bone friction—just as painful as it sounds. This condition is known as osteoarthritis, and it affects more than 27 million Americans. There is no magic remedy to turn back time for your cartilage, but a few simple solutions can reduce wear and tear and strengthen joint tissue as well as relieve the pain and inflammation associated with arthritis pain.
Glucosamine & Chondroitin
Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate occur naturally in human cartilage. Studies have shown that taking them together in supplement form can help ease severe joint pain and slow the ravages of time on your joints.
Capsaicin cream applied topically uses a substance found in hot peppers to reduce joint pain by blocking pain receptors and releasing endorphins. Though the cream may sting a bit when it’s first rubbed in, on the bright side, the surface pain distracts your attention from the deeper, more significant joint pain within.
Fish oil is a valuable source of omega-3 fatty acids, with anti-inflammatory properties that soothe aching joints. Studies determined that arthritis sufferers who took fish oil were less reliant on pain medications to keep joint pain at bay.
Studies conducted on laboratory rats showed that curcumin, a vivid yellow chemical found in turmeric, diminished inflammation in their joints. Turmeric is often used in Indian dishes, especially curries.
Research on arthritis patients found that ginger root helped to quell joint pain when used in combination with prescription arthritis medication. Ginger has strong anti-inflammatory properties, especially when taken in concentrated amounts.
Authors of a 2004 study reported that willow bark, commonly used to treat pain due to inflammation, does lessen joint pain in some cases. Willow bark extract is available in supplement form at most vitamin and nutritional shops.
Some Turkish and German studies demonstrated that stinging nettle extract suppresses discomfort due to inflamed joints. The recommended dosages are 1,300 mgs per day in capsule form or three cups of stinging nettle tea per day.
As we age and our bodies inevitably start to get more finicky, basic tasks become daunting physical challenges. Making your way from place to place, going up and down stairs, and getting down low to clean or get something off the floor gets tougher and tougher as the years go by. Though none of these remedies are guaranteed to turn back time for your joints, they may help put a bit more spring into your step and bring about some much-needed pain relief.
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