Natural Solutions For Joint Pain
What Causes Joint Pain?
Perhaps one of the most common reasons for joint pain in our country is arthritis. In fact, about 24% of all adults in the United States have a diagnosis of arthritis. There are several forms of arthritis, but some are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout.
Other common causes of joint pain include bursitis, tendinitis, and injuries.
Oftentimes, if an injury, like a broken bone or sprain isn’t treated appropriately, it can cause chronic pain later on.
Bursitis can affect you throughout your body. It’s traditionally thought to be caused by overuse of a joint through repetitive motion (like with sports or manual labor), to the point where the padding around your joint known as a bursa becomes inflamed. Sometimes a direct blow to a bursa can fill it with fluid. Other times, a systemic infection can find a home in a bursa and cause bursitis. Most times, bursitis happens for no other reason that the passage of time and the eventual damage of the cellular structures lining the bursal sac due to chronic inflammation and oxidative stress from diet and environmental insults.
Tendinitis is similar to bursitis in that its main cause is thought to be through repetitive motion, but it affects the tendon. Your tendon is a thick fibrous cord that connects your muscle to your bone, making it vital to a properly functioning joint. When overused, the tendon can become inflamed and cause pain. However, it is more probable that tendinitis is brought about by structural changes at the cellular level and poor bioenergetics from mitochondrial dysfunction. These issues again relate to chronic low-grade inflammation and oxidative stress.
Treating Joint Pain Naturally
If you’re experiencing pain as the result of any of these conditions, then your first instinct may be to apply heat or ice to the affected area. This can help when applied several times a day, for short periods of time.
Alternating heat and ice is a great way to approach this. Heat brings more blood flow and will induce healing, but also increase swelling. Ice will reduce swelling and numb the peripheral nerve endings and reduce pain.
It’s okay to rest for a short time after you experience an injury, but it’s still important to exercise. Exercise can allow for strengthening and continued function. If your condition is the result of repetitive use, say tendinitis in your elbow from playing tennis everyday, then maybe try something else short-term. However, no athlete has treated an injury with total rest. Movement and use is key – it may need to be guided for a while but it is still key. Eccentric protocols are excellent to promote tendon health; a good physical therapist can create a program for you with this principle in mind.
Exercise that’s low impact can help you remain active and mobile, while giving your joints the appropriate time to heal. Walking for 15 minutes after dinner, swimming, or yoga are great ways to improve your mobility and flexibility while taking the load off certain joints.
The deep stretching you get when practicing yoga can improve your flexibility and reduce stiffness, while strengthening muscles around the joint.
If you’re at an unhealthy weight, then reducing this can reduce strain on your joints. More importantly, reducing the amount of adipose tissue you hold will also reduce your levels of adipokines. Adipokines are inflammatory and damaging molecules made by adipose (fat) tissue. Exercising regularly and maintaining a good diet can help you achieve this.
Dr. Warner is a big advocate of the Mediterranean Diet. It’s a diet focused on fatty fish with Omega-3s and other healthy seafood, fruits, vegetables, extra virgin olive oil, and whole grains. It steers away from processed foods, but in general focuses on what you can eat, as opposed to what you can’t – unlike restrictive diets.
The foundational aspects of the Mediterranean Diet naturally lower chronic inflammation, which can help relieve joint pain as well. The diet and lifestyle also emphasize social connection and exercise; both are extremely important for control of inflammation and pain.
When you have extreme or chronic joint pain, you may be tempted to rely on NSAIDs, like ibuprofen for pain relief. But through a healthy diet, like the Mediterranean Diet, and the assistance of supplements, you can reduce inflammation and pain in your joints naturally.
Dr. Warner’s Well Theory features several supplements designed to reduce inflammation.
The Nervous System Multi by Well Theory is designed to support optimal aging. With ingredients like omega-3, PEA, resveratrol and more, you can make your personal aging more graceful, while reducing joint pain. If staying strong and having less pain as you age is important to you, then this could be a part of your routine.
Any of Well Theory’s CBD products are also a great way to reduce inflammation by helping your endocannabinoid system achieve homeostasis, balancing out your bodily functions.
Schedule A Consultation Today
Are you worried about developing any of these conditions? Are you already suffering from one or more? Schedule an appointment with Warner Orthopedics & Wellness today for an evaluation and to discuss treatment options with Dr. Warner and her dedicated team!