5 Best Supplements For Joint Pain
Bones and Joints in the human body, function, etc
The human body is made up of several joints and bones. There are different types of joints in the body; ball-and-socket joint (eg shoulders), saddle joints (eg thumb to the hand), hinge joints (eg knees) and pivot joints (wrists). A joint can be described as a connection between two or more bones that are made up of cartilage, tendons, and ligaments. This cartilage works as a buffer that reduces the shock or friction between bones. The ligaments and tendons help provide stability and movement around the bones.
Supplements For Joint Pain – Source: https://www.versusarthritis.org/about-arthritis/conditions/arthritis/
Important vitamins and minerals in the joint structure
The bones contain 99% of the calcium in the body and there is more of this mineral in the body than any other. Together with phosphorus, calcium is responsible for the strength we have in our bones and teeth.
Other functions of calcium in the body include, helps to regulate the heartbeat, supports blood clotting, muscle contractions and nerve function.
Vitamin D is an important vitamin that is required by the body to help absorb calcium and phosphorus in the small intestine – without Vitamin D, the calcium won’t work. It plays a critical role in regulating the amount of calcium that is absorbed from food, most of which contribute to building strong teeth and bones. Vitamin D which is also known as the “sunshine vitamin” is made in the skin when the skin is exposed to sunlight.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, so any excesses get stored in the fatty tissues and the liver.
The body automatically stops producing more once enough has been made. Vitamin D deficiency affects the way calcium gets absorbed into the bloodstream. Severe deficiency results in a condition known as rickets where the arms and legs become bowed. The healthiest source of vitamin D is sunlight; however, some food sources of Vitamin D include salmon, cereals, mackerel. In seasons when there is limited sunlight, Vitamin D supplements are recommended by experts for adults and children over 5 years old. It is recommended that we take a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of Vitamin D during autumn and winter.
Supplements For Joint Pain – Vitamin D Supplement
Ageing and Joint care
The bones in our body continue to grow in length and mass until around the age of 25 to 35 years when they reach their peak mass. This mostly differs from everyone as things like gender, lifestyle, physical activity and maybe genetics all influence the rate at which the bone grows. Once you have reached your peak bone mass, decline sets in and you end up losing bone faster than forming new ones with weaker joints setting in.
From the age of about 30 years, the rate at which the body absorbs calcium starts to decline until the age of about 50.
After 50 years, this rate of decline increases due to changes in the body and this results in lower bone mass. Because of this decline, it is important to be conscious about our dietary needs of calcium in our adulthood to ensure we maintain healthy joints and bones.
Supplements For Joint Pain – Aging and joint health
Maintaining Healthy Joints
The ideal way of maintaining healthy joints is to keep the bones and joints strong. Below are some tips that will help you achieve healthy joints.
Regular Exercise – Regular workouts are known to help improve the joints. However, certain exercises can cause stress to the bones and joints. The more you move, the less stiffness you’ll have.
Maintain a healthy weight – Having a healthy weight helps with healthy joints. It is reported that every extra 30 pounds of weight you carry feels like 30 pounds on the knees. The right weight reduces the pressure on the knees which helps increase mobility and comfort.
Healthy eating habits – This is one of the primary ways of feeding the joints and bones with the right nutrients, vitamins or minerals. Foods such as eggs, fish, soybeans and some leafy greens are great sources of foods that may help support healthy joints.
Check your posture – Don’t slouch
The use of supplements
Causes of joint pain
Arthritis is a generic term used for describing joint and musculoskeletal pain. It can also be used to describe pain, swelling, and stiffness in a joint or joints. In the UK alone, it is estimated that around 10 million people are thought to have arthritis and this cuts across people of all ages and genders. It is, however, more common in the older population.
Supplements For Joint Pain – Healthy Joints vs Arthritic joint – Source: National Library Of Medicine US [Public domain]
The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis which occurs when the joint cartilage breaks down, exposing the bone ends to rub against each other. Some symptoms of osteoarthritis include pain, stiffness, and loss of movement. Sometimes, the early stages of osteoarthritis can happen without inflicting much pain in and around the joints but can still lead to damage inside a joint. Osteoarthritis is known to be common in women over the age of 45. Maintaining a healthy weight can help reduce the risk of getting osteoarthritis of the pain associated with it as being overweight can make it worse.
Another common form of arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis, and this occurs when the immune system turns against the body. In rheumatoid arthritis, the inflammation and extra fluid in a joint cause some problems which include; difficulty in movement in the joints, swelling and tender joints, severe tiredness and stiffness in the joints.
Other conditions that cause pains in the joints are;
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Infectious arthritis
- Juvenile arthritis
- Psoriatic arthritis
- Torn cartilage
The use of supplements for joint pain
The use of supplements for joint pain has been around for a long time. There is some mixed information on the efficacy of these supplements and the role they play in reducing or preventing joint-related problems.
Examples of some supplements for joint pain are Glucosamine & chondroitin, turmeric and rosehip extract.
Others such as Omega 3 fish oils and collagen are also important supplements that help support healthy joints.
- Glucosamine – This is obtained from shellfish shells and may not be suitable for people who may have some allergies. It can be described as a naturally occurring compound that occurs naturally in both human and animal tissues. It works on joint pain by reducing inflammation around the joints. It is reported that this effect of reducing inflammation is more effective when used alongside chondroitin supplements. Glucosamine and chondroitin are good supplements for joint pain.
- Turmeric – Turmeric has been around for very long and been used actively in Asia to treat medical conditions. Turmeric is a tropical plant with a bulbous root that is known to be very high in vitamins and minerals.
Some of the benefits of turmeric include; improving the immune system, supporting healthy blood sugar levels an also turmeric is good for supporting healthy joints.
The benefits of turmeric are mostly obtained from its active ingredient Curcumin. Joint conditions such as arthritis are associated with inflammation of the joints and there is no treatment for its fundamental causes. The main objective in treating arthritis is to reduce the pain induced by inflammation in the joints and any wear and tear of joints. Turmeric with its anti-inflammatory properties is one of the best supplements for joint pain.
- Rosehip – Rosehips are known to be rich in Vitamin C which appears to decrease inflammation by inhibiting the production of inflammatory proteins and enzymes. The vitamin c content of rosehip is higher than that found in citrus fruits. Most research available indicates that taking rosehip by mouth (including rosehip supplements) can help reduce pain and stiffness and improve function in people with osteoarthritis and it is, therefore, a good supplement for joint pain.
- Omega 3 (Fish Oil) – There are two types of omega 3 fatty acids found in fish oil that are required by the body to function properly; eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). EPA and DHA can help reduce inflammation which may result in joint pain.
EPA and DHA supplements may also help reduce stiffness in the joints and can, therefore, be used as good supplements for joint pain.
One scientific research that evaluated the effect of omega-3 fatty acids in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis concluded that daily supplementation with omega-3 results has significant clinical benefit.
Supplements For Joint Pain – Omega 3
- Collagen – The benefits of collagen supplements also applies to joint care. It is the most abundant protein found in the body and it is the major component of connective tissues.
Aside from helping support healthy skin, collagen also helps support healthy joints and may help reduce joint pain.
A study that reviewed scientific researches about hydrolysate collagen on cartilage, bones, and skin concluded that continual ingestion of hydrolysate collagen (collagen supplements) helps to reduce and prevent joint pain, bone density loss and skin aging. Another study that looked at the role of collagen hydrolysate in bone and joint disease concluded that collagen hydrolysate is of interest as a therapeutic agent of potential utility in the treatment of osteoarthritis and osteoporosis and that its high level of safety makes it attractive as an agent for long-term use in these chronic disorders.
Buying supplements for joint pain can be a daunting process especially with the various options on the market. Supplements that may help reduce joint pain include Turmeric, Rosehip, Glucosamine and Omega 3. It is important to get a product from a reputable brand that manufactures its products to international standards. It is also important to speak to a qualified medical expert before making the final decision.
DISCLAIMER: THIS SHOULD BE USED FOR INFORMATION AND EDUCATION PURPOSES. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO TREAT, DIAGNOSE OR PREVENT ANY DISEASE. WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO MAKE YOUR OWN HEALTH CARE DECISIONS BASED ON RESEARCH AND ADVICE FROM A QUALIFIED HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL
Abboud, J. and Abboud, S. (2008). No more joint pain. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Agin, B. and Perkins, S. (2008). Healthy aging for dummies. Hoboken, N.J: Wiley.
Healthline.com. (2020). Healthline: Medical information and health advice you can trust.. [online] Available at: https://www.healthline.com/ [Accessed 8 Jan. 2020].