Joint Pain or arthritis is the number one chronic illness in America. One person in 7 suffers from it.
Many people are successfully using glucosamine, chondroitins and MSM to manage pain and to supply building materials for joint repair. While these are very helpful, particularly with osteoarthritis, I would like to mention some other natural remedies for arthritis.
Devils Claw and Yucca have both been used traditionally for arthritic and rheumatic conditions. They are anti-inflammatory and cleansing to the joints. The cleansing action is particularly useful in gouty arthritis.
Sea Cucumber is 25 times more powerful than aspirin in relieving inflammation. It is used in some arthritis formulations along with glucosamine, chondroitins and MSM. Celadrin is an ester of a fatty acid that acts as a lubricant, an immune system modulator and an anti-inflammatory. Clinical trials show phenomenal results. It is thought that Celadrin resets the immune system such that it does not attack and tear down the joints.
Hyalaronic Acid is used to lubricate and preserve moisture in the joints and it helps get nutrients to cells that don’t possess a blood supply – like your joints. Hyalaronic acid is also great for aging skin and dry eyes. It is available topically, for interal use, and by injection.
Natural anti-inflammatories known as COX-2 inhibitors - in reference to a specific enzyme that causes inflammation in the body. Celebrex and Vioxx are prescription COX-2 inhibitors. Much research is currently being done to identify natural COX-2 inhibitors which do not have the side effects of the prescription drugs. Well known COX-2 inhibiting herbs include ginger, rosemary, turmeric and boswellia – my favorite combination is called Zyflamend – which is touted by natural M.D.’s as being better than Celebrex and better for you.
Proteolytic enzymes are enzymes that reduce inflammation to levels at which the synthesis, repair and regeneration of injured tissues can take place. They are wonderful for both acute and chronic pain. They must be taken on an empty stomach or they will digest your food instead of your inflammation.
White Willow Bark is excellent as an anti-inflammatory and pain reliever. It is the original source of aspirin and is very effective at pain relief with none of the side effects of aspirin.
A whole body cleanse is an amazing tool to get rid of stored toxins that overload the body – sometimes leading to joint pain. Try one and see if it helps.
Last, but by no means least, are diet changes such as eliminating foods that trigger inflammation in the body such as white flour, orange juice, coffee, dairy, red meat or white sugar. These diet changes can be as remarkable as any drug or supplement in eliminating joint pain and inflammation throughout the body.
Margaret Durst is a naturopathic doctor who owns The Green House, a vitamin, herb and health food store in Mason, Texas.