Nearly 10% of Americans are living with arthritis, reports the International Association for the Study of Pain. The same source notes that musculoskeletal pain, including joint pain, is the most common type of chronic pain.
Aging, injuries, poor nutrition, and smoking all can lead to joint problems. It takes just one wrong move your hurt your wrist, knee, or ankle. A diet low in calcium, vitamin D, and other key nutrients can further worsen these issues.
One way to prevent and reduce joint pain is to make dietary changes. All-natural joint supplements can enhance your body’s ability to repair damaged tissues. Plus, they may help fill nutritional gaps.
Regular exercise is just as important. A sedentary lifestyle may contribute to joint pain, backaches, and bone diseases. In the long run, it may lead to arthritis, obesity, and other disorders that affect the joints.
Getting started is the hardest part. Here’s what you should know about the best joint supplements and exercises — and how to reap their benefits.
Unexpected Causes of Joint Pain and Inflammation
First things first, make sure you understand the connection between your lifestyle and joint health.
While it’s true that arthritis is often the culprit behind joint pain, it’s not the only cause. Nutrition, exercise, and lifestyle habits play a role, too.
For example, did you know that smoking may worsen back and joint pain?
The nicotine in tobacco reduces blood and oxygen flow to your tissues, which in turn, may cause degeneration. Over time, these changes can lead to osteoporosis, lower back pain, and aching joints.
Other lifestyle factors, such as bad eating and prolonged sitting, are just as harmful. Poor nutrition and lack of exercise contribute to weight gain.
Every extra pound puts stress on the spine and joints, which in turn may worsen your pain. At the same time, it causes your joints to become stiff. In the long run, a sedentary lifestyle and weight gain can increase your risk of arthritis, injuries, and inflammatory diseases.
Sugar and other food additives only make things worse. Cakes, cookies, and other sugary foods trigger the release of inflammatory cytokines. This process may lead to chronic inflammation, a major risk factor for low back pain and joint pain.
Aching joints may also be due to nutrient deficiencies. A diet low in vitamin D, for example, may cause muscle, bone, and joint pain. If left unaddressed, vitamin D deficiency may increase your risk of osteoporosis.
Luckily, you can prevent and manage joint pain naturally. The best vitamins for bone and joint health cannot replace a balanced diet, but they may help reduce pain and inflammation.
Glucosamine Supports Joint Health
Glucosamine sulfate, a key ingredient in bone and joint health formulas, may improve the symptoms of arthritis.
This compound occurs naturally in the human body, surrounding your joints.
Supplement manufacturers extract it from natural sources, like shellfish shells, or produce it in the lab. Generally, they combine it with chondroitin and other ingredients that support joint health.
Turmeric and Ginger Fight Inflammation
Turmeric and ginger boast antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic effects. When used as part of a balanced diet, they may help reduce joint pain and inflammation. Plus, they have none of the effects of pain killers.
Curcumin, an antioxidant in turmeric, may help in the treatment of musculoskeletal disorders.
In a recent study, this compound was just as effective as diclofenac for patients with knee osteoarthritis. Subjects who took curcumin reported fewer side effects than those using diclofenac.
Ginger has similar therapeutic activities. Like curcumin, it regulates inflammatory processes at a cellular level and offers pain relief. Due to its antioxidant effects, it protects your tissues from oxidative stress and inflammation.
In one study, subjects who took ginger extract had greater improvements in knee pain compared to the placebo group. Although they reported more GI symptoms than those taking placebo pills, the side effects were mild.
Hyaluronic Acid Promotes Tissue Repair
Some of the best bone and joint health supplements on the market contain hyaluronic acid (HA). This gel-like substance occurs naturally in your body. It has the role to lubricate the joints, reduce inflammation, and promote new tissue growth.
A 154-pound person has about 0.5 ounces of hyaluronic acid in his tissues. Its levels decrease with age, leading to joint stiffness and slow recovery from injuries.
Medically, HA injections are prescribed for sports injuries, osteoarthritis, and musculoskeletal disorders. But you can also use this compound in supplement form.
Clinical evidence indicates that HA can significantly reduce joint pain and stiffness. It may also improve bone metabolism, joint flexibility, muscle function, and knee muscular strength.
Regular Exercise May Prevent Joint Pain
As mentioned earlier, diet and exercise are equally important. Regular exercise, especially strength training, is particularly beneficial for the joints.
Weight lifting, for example, strengthens the muscles around your joints, which may help prevent injuries in the long run. Over time, it may increase bone mineral density and protect against osteoporosis.
Pilates, yoga, stretching, and other training methods keep your joints flexible. Cardiovascular exercise may help prevent bone loss and increase bone density.
Fight Pain and Aches with All-Natural Joint Supplements
All-natural joint supplements can reduce pain and swelling. Ginger, turmeric, Boswellia, and other ingredients are much safer than NSAIDs and have few or no side effects. Use them as part of a healthy diet and stay physically active to fully reap the benefits.
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