Best Joint Supplements for Comfort
November 19, 2021
It was bound to happen. After spending your life playing sports, performing your job, or simply doing your daily chores, you experience “wear and tear” joint issues, the most common cause of joint issues. “Wear and tear” rarely affects those under 40 and almost everyone over 75 has it in one form or another, so will dive right into providing some healthy insights on one of life’s most trusted bone connectors.
In This Healthy Insight:
- What is a Joint?
- Main Cause of Joint Pain
- Traditional Herbs for Joint Support
- Vitamins for Joint Health
- Minerals that Support Joints
- Tips for Maintaining Joint Health
What is a Joint?
A joint is typically defined as a point where two bones connect. Most allow for movement, but some become fused.
- Not all joints move. Skull joints don’t. While the plates become connected as you grow, they’re still considered joints.
- Movable joints are called synovial joints and contain synovial fluid that allows them to move smoothly.
- Tendons connect muscle to bone; ligaments connect one bone to another.
- Cartilage covers the bone surface and keeps bones from rubbing against each other.
- Ball and socket joints, such as hip and shoulder joints, are the most flexible because they enable movement in many different directions.
- Hinge joints allow movement like a hinged door. Knees and elbows are hinge joints.
- The knee is the biggest joint connecting three bones: thigh, kneecap and shin. It’s also the most likely to be injured.
- Joints are built to be sturdy. Each year the average person takes millions of steps, so joints can hold up under constant use, but they’re not indestructible. Joint issues are extremely common.
Main Cause of Joint Pain
It was bound to happen. After spending your life playing sports, performing your job, or simply doing your daily chores, you experience “wear and tear” joint issues, the most common cause of joint issues. “Wear and tear” rarely affects those under 40 and almost everyone over 75 has it in one form or another.
The cushion (think carpet padding) wears out and bone rubs against bone. This leads to discomfort and stiffness, usually in the larger weight-bearing joints like hips and knees, but it can occur in other joints as well. Extra weight can exacerbate the problem. But there’s no need to resign yourself to the recliner when there are things you can do to keep you comfortable and active.
While research is limited, traditional herbs for joint support include:
Vitamins D and C can benefit joint health so make sure you’re getting enough.
Vitamin D and Joint Health
Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium to build and maintain strong bones. Vitamin D is also important for muscle and nerve health. Insufficient amounts of Vitamin D reduce calcium levels, weaken bones, and affect your immune system. Certain medications can further deplete Vitamin D, making supplementation important. Be sure to discuss with your doctor about what’s right for you.
Vitamin C and Joint Health
Known as a powerful antioxidant to keep your immune system strong, Vitamin C also assists collagen, a main protein in joint tissue and bone. It may also help protect against further development of joint issues and encourage joint comfort overall.
Minerals that Support Joints
This is the classic bone mineral that keeps them strong and healthy. Did you know that adequate calcium throughout life, as part of a well-balanced diet, may reduce the risk of osteoporosis? It’s true! Calcium also helps to balance pH so your bones do not become too acidic.
This important trace mineral promotes muscle and bone strength. Unfortunately, many Americans don’t get enough magnesium from their diet since it is not present in many foods.
Boron is thought to play an important role in the metabolism of calcium and magnesium, two other minerals vital for bone and joint health. This often-overlooked mineral can be found in apples, grapes, and peanut butter but can still be difficult for your body to absorb.
Tips for Maintaining Joint Health
- Lose weight. Even if you lose just a few pounds, it’ll improve the way your joints feel. In fact, if you are only 10 pounds overweight, it increases the force on the knee by 30-60 pounds…with every step!
- Exercise regularly. When joints hurt, people have a tendency to avoid moving around, so their muscles get weak. This, in turn, creates stiff muscles (called contractures), making it even more difficult to move. It becomes a cycle that’s hard to overcome. Walking, swimming, stretching, dancing and yoga are all great ways keep moving without further straining your joints. Just be sure to allow for short rest periods in between your exercises.
- Try physical therapy. A professional therapist can help you strengthen the muscles around the joints for increased mobility and comfort. They’ll teach you simple, at-home exercises to help with your daily activities.
- Apply heat. Using heat from warm baths, a heating pad or hot towels may alleviate the pain and stiffness.
- Use topical treatments. Topical rubs containing menthol, MSM, and glucosamine are effective at relieving joint pain.
- Eat foods high in antioxidants. The American diet is full of processed foods, refined sugars, white flour, salt, and a host of preservatives and chemicals, making it difficult, if not impossible to get the nutrients we need from food alone.
- Try supplements. When used regularly, many people find nutritional supplements provide effective, long-term support.
Despite what you may have heard, you can stay active and stay independent…for life. Get started with your joint health plan today. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Individual results may vary.