We try our hardest to manage our chronic pain through various ways. We eat healthy, manage our weight, exercise regularly, we use tools and aids to support our joints if necessary (such as knee support or elbow support), even seek out support groups who can help guide us through the mental and emotional challenges that come with living with arthritis.
Where do supplements fall in this spectrum of the arthritis sufferer’s dos and don’ts?
Trusted and reliable supplements have shown a lot of promise in terms of helping arthritis sufferers manage their pain, stiffness, and other common symptoms. When used in conjunction with traditional medicine and treatments, it has proven to be especially effective, with a lot of anecdotal support shared by arthritis patients.
If you’re looking to include joint supplements into your daily regimen, it’s best to understand what some of the most popular ingredients can do to help manage your joints, and how it helps control common arthritis symptoms. As always, before you start, please be sure to run it by your physician who can give you more information and also carefully monitor its effects on your body.
Glucosamine and Chondroitin
Glucosamine and chondroitin are the two components that make up cartilage—the tissue that cushions your joints. These components are naturally produced by our bodies but are also available as supplements and are popular ingredients for many joint supplements.
Natural glucosamine levels tend to drop as we age, so taking a joint supplement designed to replenish it may be able to help keep the cartilage in our joints healthy, and could even have an anti-inflammatory effect. Chondroitin on the other hand has been known to help lower pain and boost joint mobility, thus helping arthritic patients minimize the need to take painkillers.
A lot of anecdotal evidence supports the efficacy of collagen for joints. As one of the main proteins of cartilage, collagen could potentially improve symptoms of osteoarthritis by helping your body produce more joint collagen.
Increasing your Vitamin D intake has been known to help arthritis symptoms, especially for rheumatoid arthritis sufferers. Vitamin D aids your body’s ability to absorb calcium, which is critical to building strong bones. Too little vitamin D can cause you to have soft and brittle bones, affect your mood, and even cause chronic aches and pains.
Vitamin C is a known antioxidant that helps fight joint inflammation. It also supports collagen synthesis, which is the main protein in bone and joint tissue. There’s also evidence of vitamin C working to control inflammation caused by infection, which has been known to trigger arthritis flares.
Curcumin, the active ingredient of turmeric, is well known for its anti-inflammatory properties and may alleviate arthritis inflammation and pain. It’s a good source of antioxidants that has numerous health benefits, especially for arthritis sufferers.
Hyaluronic acid is also found in the joints, where it keeps the space between your bones lubricated. When joints are well lubricated, it helps reduce and relieve inflammation caused by the wear and tear of cartilage and bone in worn joints.
Boswelia extract has been said to reduce inflammation and acts as an analgesic that may help manage pain symptoms, minimize inflammation, and prevent cartilage loss.
Foods with high levels of antioxidants such as Goji berries can help fight free radicals and produce an anti-inflammatory enzyme that can reduce inflammation and pain.
Black Pepper Extract
Black pepper is a common household spice that has been known to reduce inflammation and minimize joint pain and swelling.
As we age, we will inevitably experience wear and tear on our joints. That’s not even counting the symptoms of chronic autoimmune conditions that affect our joints such as rheumatoid or psoriatic arthritis. A combination of lifestyle changes, opting for a healthy diet, and choosing the right vitamins and supplements can make a real difference.
Again, because supplements could interact with your current medications, be sure to speak to your physician. And if you have any questions, leave them in the comment section below and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.