Chronic joint pain, regardless of its cause or origin, is a depressing and debilitating condition. It can often be made worse by the stress and depression it causes, creating a miserable pain-stress cycle. Pain relievers such as Acetaminophen (Tylenol®) and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories are plentiful and relatively inexpensive in the mainstream market, but are not necessarily safe over the long term and often have side effects. Here are some natural vitamin, mineral supplements that are available that have been shown in studies to be effective against pain:
MSM: (Methylsulfonylmethane) MSM is a sulfur compound found in some plants. It has been shown in doubleblind, placebo-controlled studies to have produced significant decreases in pain and physical restriction. (With my own patients, I've seen MSM produce significant reduction in joint pain, swelling, stiffness and inflammation in both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.)
Bromelain: This remarkable enzyme, obtained from the pineapple, has a long history of safe use and has demonstrated anti-inflammatory properties useful against joint pain.
Papain: Papain, an enzyme extracted from the papaya fruit, is a powerful weapon against both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. If you have rheumatoid arthritis, papain can increase your body's own analgesic response and reduce inflammation. If you have noninflammatory osteoarthritis, you can benefit from papain's ability to remove cellular waste products that build up in the joints.
How do you manage your chronic joint pain?