How Fish Oil Increases Joint Mobility

by IVL Products

Many Americans take fish oil supplements because they are known to help prevent heart disease, enhance the look and health of skin and hair and even bring relief from the symptoms of depression.  Another good reason to pop those pills is the benefits of omega-3 fish oils for joints.

What are the benefits of omega 3 fish oil for joints?

What Is Omega-3?

Omega-3 fatty acids are called essential fats because the body cannot make them and must rely on getting them from diet. Omega-3 fats are special because they are an integral part of cell membranes throughout the body. They affect the function of cell receptors in these membranes and provide essential compounds for making hormones that regulate blood clotting, the contraction and relaxation of artery walls and help to control inflammation. They are also crucial to the binding of receptors in cells that regulate genetic function.  This is what makes them helpful in preventing heart disease, stroke, keeping your eyes moist, your skin soft and supple and your hair strong and shiny.

The key compounds in omega-3 fatty acids are alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and are found in several types of foods. They are most abundant in fish, specifically cold-water “oily fish” like:

  • Mackerel
  • Salmon
  • Herring
  • Tuna
  • Halibut
  • Cod
  • Trout

Other foods with omega-3 fatty acids include walnuts, flax seeds, olive oil and green leafy vegetables.

Related:  Could Fish Oil One Day Take the Place of Statin Drugs?

The Benefits of Omega-3 Fish Oils for Joints

Joint pain is largely caused by inflammation of the cartilage and tissue in the joint, leading to stiffness and decreased range of motion.  EPA and DHA have been shown in clinical studies to reduce inflammation, and to a lesser degree ALA, by decreasing the presence of inflammatory markers like IL-10 and TGF beta.

In petri dish studies, when omega-3 fatty acids were incorporated into the cartilage cell membranes of joints they appeared to decrease the enzymes that degrade cartilage and inflammatory cytokines. An “over expression of cytokines” by the immune system causes inflammation to the body beyond what is needed, essentially attacking healthy cells and destroying them.

Fish Oil Supplements

It is difficult to get enough omega-3 fatty acids through diet alone. Taking a fish oil supplements is an easy way to incorporate enough into your daily diet so you don’t get burned out eating fish for every meal.

For adults choose a fish oil supplement with 30% or more EPA and DHA in addition to eating fish and plant foods rich in omega-3s. Be sure to consult with your doctor before adding any new supplements to your diet to avoid unfavorable drug interactions.  Then you’ll be on your way to enjoying the benefits of omega 3 fish oil for joints!


Top 5 Supplements to Heal Your Joints

by Health News

Arthritis is a common condition affecting over 52 million people in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This painful condition is caused by inflammation and stiffness in the joints. Despite it being such a widespread disease, there is no cure for arthritis, which leads many sufferers to seek natural arthritis treatment. 

natural arthritis treatment

Here are 5 of the most effective supplements considered the best forms of natural arthritis treatment available:


Boswellia has been used for centuries in folk medicine to reduce inflammation. The plant resin is extracted from the trees which grow in the dry mountains of Africa, India and the Middle East. Scientific trials show that boswellia is effective in treating osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, tendonitis and bursitis by reducing inflammation. In an eight-week randomized double-blind trial on 30 patients suffering with osteoarthritis of the knee, the participants given boswellia extract reported reduced knee pain and swelling. They also had improved mobility and longer walking distance than those who received a placebo, showing that boswellia should be considered an effective natural arthritis treatment.

White Willow Bark

Another natural anti-inflammatory herb is white willow bark. It contains acetylsalicylic acid which has similar attributes to aspirin but does not irritate the stomach lining. Research so far on white willow bark as a natural arthritis treatment has shown inconsistent results. However, a 2001 study on 78 osteoarthritis patients by Phytotherapy Research concluded that white willow bark showed moderate pain-reducing effects.

Turmeric for natural arthritis treatment

Commonly used in curries, this yellow spice from the ginger family has many medicinal uses in India. As well as a digestive aid, it is claimed to reduce pain, inflammation and stiffness in those suffering from rheumatoid and osteoarthritis. The active agent in turmeric is curcumin, which blocks inflammatory cytokines and enzymes, thereby reducing inflammation and pain. Studies show that taking 50 mg of turmeric up to four times a day provides long-term improvement in pain and inflammation for chronic arthritis sufferers.

Related:  Ginger for Muscle and Joint Pain Relief

Hyaluronic Acid

Another common natural arthritis treatment is hyaluronic acid which is naturally found in the synovial fluid of joints. Clinical trials continue to show that supplements of hyaluronic acid can be an effective solution for treating arthritis.

Devil's Claw

Finally, Devil's Claw (Harpagophytum procumbens) is an herbal plant from South Africa which contains harpagoside, a natural anti-inflammatory. It is frequently used as a natural arthritis treatment as it has been shown to decrease joint pain in sufferers. Devil's Claw taken as a 2% powder can be a natural alternative to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for arthritis sufferers, as well as reducing back pain and other painful inflammatory conditions.

Many of these natural painkillers and anti-inflammatory supplements are combined in formulas for natural arthritis treatment and are well worth considering as a safe alternative to prescription drugs for treating painful swollen joints.

30 Days to Rethink How You Take Supplements


Look Beyond NSAIDS For Inflammatory Arthritis Pain Relief

by Cindy Gray

More than 33 million Americans take NSAIDs every day to cope with the moderate to severe pain associated with inflammatory arthritis. While they may provide temporary relief, NSAIDs come with potentially serious side effects, and in some cases may even worsen the inflammation they are prescribed to relieve.

NSAIDs work by suppressing prostaglandins, which are lipids produced by the body to deal with injury. The body produces two types of prostaglandins, those that cause inflammation and those that fight inflammation. Unfortunately, NSAIDs suppress BOTH types of prostaglandins so the medications have the potential to do more harm than good.

It is important to note that NSAIDs are powerful drugs and they affect many organs in the body including the heart, kidney and liver. The gastrointestinal side effects are so well-documented that in 2009 the FDA ordered all manufacturers of NSAIDs to list the dangers on the product labels. Problems range from mild stomach upset to potentially fatal stomach bleeding and ulcers.

Related: Natural Anti-Inflammatory Supplements vs. NSAIDs

Many people risk the serious side effects because they think NSAIDs are their only option for pain relief, but there are many natural remedies that can ease the pain of inflammatory arthritis.  Millions of Americans use nutritional supplements to deal with arthritis symptoms.

Glucosamine and chondroitin supplements can speed the formation of new cartilage and help block enzymes that harm cartilage. A study conducted at Montreal Hospital found that patients who take supplements containing glucosamine and chondroitin have less pain and inflammation. Arnica Montana, often called “mountain daisy” for its bright yellow flowers, has been used for centuries to treat joint pain. It is available in capsule and powdered forms online and in natural health stores.

Talk to your holistic health practitioner to determine the supplement formation and dosage that best suits your needs. Treat your back pain the natural way and avoid the harmful side effects of NSAIDs.   


Why You Need Yoga for Lower Back Pain

by Cindy Gray

Yoga has many health benefits, both physically and mentally. It incorporates a gentle range of effective stretching techniques which can be beneficial for reducing lower back pain while helping to strengthen back muscles, lowering stress, improving circulation and balancing mood.

Yoga can ease lower back pain and improve inflammatory arthritis of the hands

Yoga principles are a form of exercise, but they are the opposite of aerobic exercises. This means that yoga can be practiced by all ages and abilities, even those in pain. Two key areas of physical health that can be eased with regular yoga exercises are inflammatory arthritis and lower back pain.

Yoga for Inflammatory Arthritis

The Journal of Rheumatology reported the results of a study on patients who had inflammatory arthritis of the hands. They found that those who practiced yoga as a therapeutic treatment had a greater range of movement in their fingers. They also reported less pain and tenderness in their arthritic finger joints than those who did not practice yoga.

Yoga for Lower Back Pain

A study of 25 patients suffering from lower back pain found that yoga provided significant benefits. After a six month trial period, 80% of those participants who practiced yoga reported reduced lower back pain compared to 44% of the study group who were given medications instead. 

Over time, just 12% of the yoga practitioners suffered an acute episode of arthritis pain while 56% of the medication group suffered a serious arthritis episode.

Related: Yoga and Natural Supplements for Back Pain Relief

Yoga and Muscle Strength

The more physical form of yoga known as Hatha Yoga relies on learning controlled breathing techniques, Pranayama, while holding complex body postures. Yoga increases muscle strength as you practice positions and movements. As weak muscles and misaligned posture are the main cause of lower back pain, it makes sense that practicing postures that strengthen the muscles, particularly in the lower back, will reverse the unnatural muscle stretching and reduce back pain.

Other yoga positions strengthen abdominal muscles which, together with back muscles, maintain a healthy muscle network that supports the spine. When these muscles are toned and conditioned they can significantly prevent or reduce lower back pain.

Stress may be another cause of back pain, causing shoulders to be hunched and muscle to be misaligned. Yoga includes stretching and relaxing techniques which reduce that tension and alleviate the lower back pain it causes.

With the additional benefit of improved blood circulation, yoga stretches the lower back, lowers stress and strengthens muscle tone to align the body and reduce or prevent lower back pain. As it also improves mobility in those with inflammatory arthritis of the hands, it’s never too late to consider joining a yoga class to improve your physical and mental health.


Why You Need to GAG for Natural Arthritis Treatment

by IVL Products

One of the undeniable signs of aging is that joints become painful as they succumb to years of wear and tear. With few effective drugs on the market, osteoarthritis sufferers are increasingly turning to natural arthritis treatment for relief. Here’s how they work.

GAG supplements are a natural arthritis treatment to help replace cartilage in joints

Most of the joint cartilage is made up of water (70-80%) with the remainder being elastic collagen fibers, chondrocytes and proteoglycans. Collagen is a particularly important component of the joint cartilage as it provides cell strength and structural integrity to hold the joint firmly but flexibly together while being worked.

Chondrocyte cells contained in the cartilage produce proteins known as proteoglycans which are linked to glycosaminoglycans, or GAGs for short. These important chondrocytes build and repair the collagen fibers and proteoglycans using glucose to maintain the worn cartilage.

Unfortunately chondrocyte cells stop building and repairing damaged joint tissue as we reach adulthood, meaning that those joints have to provide a lifetime of movement and wear. The cartilage between the bones in the joint eventually begins to wear. With less cushioning, the bones begin to grind painfully together during exercise or movement. This is what causes the pain of arthritis.

Related: Video Blog: What Causes Arthritis Pain?

Natural Arthritis Treatment from Dr Weil

Dr Andrew Weil offers a number of suggestions to help reduce arthritis pain and provide natural arthritis treatment. Losing weight and reducing strenuous activity that puts additional stress on worn joints is a good way to start. Instead, take up swimming, cycling and light weight training to keep muscles strong without putting undue strain on painful arthritic joints.

Dr. Weil recommends dietary changes to reduce the symptoms of osteoarthritis. Lower inflammation by eating turmeric, ginger, flaxseed and plenty of oily fish, or take omega-3 fatty acid supplements. Don’t neglect those 5-a-day portions of organically grown vegetables and fruits as a good source of antioxidants which help reduce tissue damage from free radicals.

Finally, top up those joints with supplements of glucosamine sulfate which is used to manufacture glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) in the cartilage. Take a supplement of chondroitin to increase synovial fluids and protect the cartilage. A supplement of evening primrose oil provides gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) to reduce inflammation.

This natural arthritis treatment is very easy to implement. It is proven to help prevent painful arthritis and reduce the inflammation associated with osteoarthritis, safely and naturally.


Three Natural Arthritis Treatments in Your Kitchen

by Cindy Gray

Arthritis is a very common disorder that causes pain, stiffness and limited mobility in the joints.  Inflammation is the source of discomfort and often requires strong non-prescription and prescription pain relievers. However, there are several natural arthritis treatments that can be found in your kitchen.


Many cultures around the globe have been using ginger in variety of medicinal ways. The root of the plant is where its many health benefits are contained. In addition to adding a spicy kick to many dishes, helping alleviate nausea, and being a rich source of antioxidants, ginger has powerful anti-inflammatory properties.

Research conducted in 2001 found that ginger oil reduced knee pain in participants diagnosed with osteoarthritis.  The journal Arthritis published a study that compared the effectiveness of ginger extract to medications like cortisone and ibuprofen for arthritis suffers.  The ginger extract was as effective in reducing cytokine production (a substance produced by the body with inflammatory effects, linked to arthritis pain).

That’s good news for those who want to avoid the unpleasant side effects of cortisone (aka betamethasone) like depression, seizures, muscle weakness and sleep problems, just to name a few.

If you are eating fresh ginger, two or three tablespoons grated into your dish are a correct amount for most people.  Taking ginger in capsule form (100 to 200 mgs) is the best way to reap the benefits of ginger as a natural arthritis treatment.


Turmeric is another natural arthritis treatment in your kitchen, and is a probably on your spice rack. Turmeric is not as widely used in the U.S., but is a staple in Chinese and Indian diets for its taste and many health benefits.

Related: Turmeric - The Natural Cancer Fighter in Your Curry

Curcumin, the main compound in turmeric, is a powerful anti-inflammatory. Like ginger, clinical studies comparing it to regular drugs for pain relief showed turmeric to be as effective for pain relief, but without the unpleasant side effects of OTC and prescribed medications.  In addition to being an anti-inflammatory, turmeric is an abundant source of antioxidants that help neutralize cell damaging free radicals.

Adding turmeric to your diet by taking a supplement is the best way to get maximum benefits.  Take a 300-milligram capsule with the meals to reduce pain and inflammation due to arthritis.


Sweet, juicy exotic pineapple is proving to be tough on inflammation and a powerful pain reliever.  Bromelain, an extract from the fruit’s stem, has been shown to be an effective anti-inflammatory that helps reduce pain and joint swelling.

Pineapple has actually been used in Hawaii and other tropical cultures as an effective treatment for sore throats and digestive issues.  Besides tasting delicious, pineapples are also rich in vitamin C and calcium. The digestive enzymes it contains are called bromelain and the source of the fruit’s anti-inflammatory effects.

For natural arthritis treatments, taking bromelain in capsule form is best. There is no standard dose, but in general, from 80-320 milligrams of the extract taken two or three times a day could offer pain relief without side effects.

Natural Relief

Using natural arthritis treatments makes dealing with arthritis pain and discomfort much more manageable without having to suffer the side effects of many prescription drugs.  Always be sure to consult with your doctor before taking any supplements to avoid unfavorable drug interactions and to get the best dosage for you.

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Two Time-Tested Knee Pain Exercises

by Health News

If you suffer from chronic knee problems you may be naturally inclined to do less exercise to keep the pain at bay. However, the best treatment for achy knees can actually be using them more by doing some special knee pain exercises.

Exercise strengthens the muscles around the knee joint which decreases stress on the knee and protects from strain or injury, according to the Chairman of Rehab Medicine at Cornell Hospital. However, you must use good technique and form when exercising for knee pain.

Knee pain exercises can help strengthen supportive leg muscles.

Exercises to Avoid if you have Knee Pain

Avoid lunges, deep squats, hurdler’s stretches and full arc knee extensions if you suffer from knee pain. These knee pain exercises can put unnecessary strain on the knee joints.

Secondly, never bend your legs so far that the knee sticks out beyond the toes as it puts intense pressure under the kneecap. Instead, build up knee muscle strength with the following knee pain exercises, working up to more repeats as you strengthen those weak knee muscles.

Knee Pain Exercise One

This knee extension exercise should be done when sitting on a chair with your back straight and feet placed firmly on the floor. Fold a towel and place it under your knees for extra support, then gradually lift the right leg, extending it to a horizontal position and hold. Count to three then bend the knee, lowering the foot to the floor again. Repeat with the left leg, using a controlled motion. Build up to 10 leg extension exercises per leg. You should notice the upper thighs working hard to perform this knee pain exercise. That shows that these muscles are being strengthened with the effort of the exercises.

Related: Yoga and Natural Supplements for Back Pain Relief

Knee Pain Exercise Two

Once you have mastered the basic knee extension exercise, add ankle weights. You can buy ankle weights that fix around the ankle with Velcro. Start with two pound weights and increase over time to five pound weights. Use caution and listen to your body.

For this knee pain exercise you need to sit on a high work bench or sturdy table with your legs dangling freely. Lift the right foot with the weight up through 90 degrees until the leg is in a horizontal position. Hold for a count of three and then steadily lower the leg. Repeat with the left leg. Work up to 15 knee extension exercises for knee pain for each leg to build muscle strength and reduce those painful knees.

You’ll find a variety of extra knee pain exercises which will all help ease painful knee joints by building supportive muscle over time. 


A Devil of a Natural Arthritis Treatment

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Osteoarthritis is a disabling and painful condition that affects an estimated 27 million Americans. It is caused by joint cartilage wearing away and allowing the bones to rub together during natural movement. There are several supplements available that can provide a natural arthritis treatment to enhance the quality of life for those suffering from this debilitating condition. One that appears to be the most effective is the strangely named Devil’s Claw.

natural arthritis treatment devils claw

Devil’s Claw is the common name for the plant Harpagophytum Procumbens, also known as the Grapple Plant for its tenacious hooks or claws on the fruit. The tuberous root of this South African desert plant contains a beneficial substance, harpagoside, which that has been used for centuries for brewing into an herbal tea for medicinal purposes. Not only is it used as a natural arthritis treatment, it is also used to treat gastrointestinal conditions.

Research into Devil’s Claw has found it to be extremely effective as a natural arthritis treatment. A double-blind placebo-controlled study organized by Phytomedicine compared Devil’s Claw to the pharmaceutical drug Diacerhein. The drug was developed specifically to treat osteoarthritis of the hip.

Related: Yoga and Natural Supplements for Back Pain Relief

After eight weeks, 50-70% of those taking Devil’s Claw reported less pain and improved mobility. The test showed that Devil’s Claw was more effective in treating the arthritis pain than the pharmaceutical drug and did not cause the unpleasant side effect of diarrhea that Diacerhein produced.

Recommended Dosage of Devil’s Claw as a Natural Arthritis Treatment

Devil’s Claw is available in capsules, powder, liquid and tincture. The adult dosage of Devil’s Claw for treating joint and arthritis pain, according to Dr. Andrew Weil, is 600 to 1200 mg three times a day. It is safe at these levels, but no studies have yet been conducted to confirm the effects of its use in the long term. However, it should be avoided by anyone with stomach problems such as ulcers, or those taking diabetic medications, as it can lower blood sugar levels.


Why Sulfur May Be the Answer for Chronic Back Pain

by IVL Products

It may smell a bit like rotten eggs, but sulphur is the eighth most common element in the human body, and is found in almost all of our tissues. Despite this fact, there is no recommended daily allowance of sulfur provided by the government or health agencies, which could be a contributing factor to chronic back pain.

Look to sulfur for relief from chronic back pain.

About 70% of American adults have reported experiencing lower back pain, according to national health surveys.  When the pain persists for 12 weeks or longer and is more than a dull ache that sticks around long after the initial incident, it’s diagnosed as chronic back pain. The symptoms can be milder one day, and more severe the next, but they are always present.  This has led some in the medical community to believe that a dietary deficiency could be contributing to the problem.

Sulfur’s Role in the Body

Many of our biological processes depend upon sulfur to work correctly. It helps maintain the integrity of the cell walls and produce collagen and essential protein that makes up the support bands beneath our skin. Sulfur is also needed to produce connective tissue, keratin (the key component in hair and the outer layer of our skin) glucosamine and chondroitin, which are part of our cartilage, the crucial cushioning tissue between the bones in our joints.

Sulfur also plays a critical role in keeping our metabolism humming along efficiently. When we become sulfur deficient, our metabolism becomes defective, damaging muscle and fat cells; this can lead to becoming glucose intolerant. When that happens, there is a number of muscular and skeletal disorders that can result, such as inflammation and chronic pain.

Upping Your Sulfur Consumption

Getting more sulfur in your diet is important, whether or not you are suffering from chronic back pain.   Adding the supplement MSM to your daily diet could help alleviate chronic pain. 

Related: White Willow Bark For Safe And Effective Pain Relief

MSM stands for methyl sulfonyl methane and is a naturally occurring sulfur compound found in human, animals and plants. It can be made manufactured into pill form or even a topical gel to help provide the correct daily dosage.  To date, MSM has proven to be non-toxic.

How Sulfur Can Help Relieve Chronic Back Pain

MSM has powerful anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce the pain of inflammation in joints and muscles.  For this reason, it is often used to treat a variety of discomforts such as:

  • Leg cramps
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Migraines and headaches
  • Joint pain and stiffness
  • Constipation

One of the ways MSM relieves chronic back pain and other disorders is by inhibiting the transmissions of pain impulses along nerve fibers.  This helps to reduce inflammation that could be compressing a nerve, and reduces muscle spasms, contributing to lower back pain.

Sulfur in MSM also has the ability to dilate blood vessels for improved circulation, bringing more nutrients to speed up the healing of damaged tissue. What’s more impressive is MSM’s potential to make cell membranes more permeable, letting the body’s own natural painkillers into damaged areas.

By reducing inflammation, enhancing blood flow to more flexible cells to allow for faster healing, MSM could play a big role in not only relieving chronic back pain, but also with the loss of joint mobility from arthritis.


Seven Exercises for Strains and Sprains Prevention

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Each year, many Americans experience strains or sprains, and those who face greater risk include athletes, overweight individuals, and people who have experienced these injuries in the past.  Strains are caused by physical overexertion or overstretching, and they affect the muscles or tendons.  Sprains result from trauma to a joint, and they affect one or more ligaments. Symptoms for both injuries include pain, swelling, bruising, and impaired range of motion. While the main form of treatment is RICE: rest, ice, compression, and elevation; and an ounce of strains and sprains prevention is worth a pound of cure.  Performed regularly, seven exercises help prevent the occurrence of strains and sprains.

For strains and sprains prevention, try stretching and flexibility exercises.

Stretching and Flexibility Routine for Strains and Sprains Prevention

Performed each morning, this exercise routine helps boost circulation to wake up muscles and joints and improves flexibility.

Begin by standing straight, with feet hip-distance apart.

  1. Drop the head gently to one side.  Keeping the shoulders straight, move one ear toward the shoulder.  Move the head gently to the other side, and repeat.  Roll the head forward slowly toward the chest, and through to the other shoulder.  Repeat in the opposite direction, but do not roll the head backward.
  2. Shrug the shoulders up and down gently 10 times.  Roll each shoulder gently forward 10 times and backward 10 times.  Roll both shoulders together forward 10 times and backward 10 times.
  3. Hold one arm straight out in front of the body.  Move it across the chest, using the opposite arm to pull it gently into the chest and down slightly toward the armpit to stretch the shoulder.  Repeat with the other arm.
  4. Hold the arms out to the side at shoulder height.  Move them in small forward circles, gradually widening with each rotation, and then back down to small circles.  Repeat the cycle with backward rotations.
  5. With eight repetitions in each position, start with the right leg and move it forward, backward, to the outside, and crossed over to the inside.  Repeat with the left leg.
  6. Hold the right foot out in front slightly.  Point and flex several times.  Rotate the ankle clockwise five times and counterclockwise five times.  Repeat with the left foot.
  7. Stand with knees bent slightly and hands resting on the thighs.  Move the right heel forward and flex the foot to straighten the right leg.  Bend forward slowly until you feel a gentle pull in the right calf and hamstring.  Hold for eight seconds, and switch sides.

Related: Ginger For Muscle And Joint Pain Relief?

More Strains and Sprains Prevention Suggestions for Athletes

To further prevent athletic strains and sprains, people should:

  • Always wear shoes that fit properly.
  • Warm up before sports, including practice.
  • Wear recommended protective equipment.
  • Do not participate if in pain or experiencing excessive fatigue or if you are sick.
  • Remember to drink plenty of pure water every day: hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
  • Also, take healthy internal oils such as flax seed oil, olive oil, etc.  Another supplement to take as an internal lubricant is aloe vera juice or gel.  

Cannabis-Related Drugs May Provide Pain and Inflammation Relief to Osteoarthritis Sufferers

by Cindy Gray

According to recent research from the Arthritis Research UK Pain Centre, synthetic chemical compounds similar to those found in cannabis have the potential to reduce both the pain and joint inflammation seen in osteoarthritis.  Osteoarthritis affects eight million people in the UK. The cartilage at the ends of bones wears away, causing joint pain and stiffness, and is a major cause of pain and disability.Osteoarthritis Relief from Cannibis-Related Drugs

Current treatment is limited to pain relief, exercise, physiotherapy and joint replacement. There are no drugs or therapies that slow its progression. Clearly, more effective treatment is urgently needed.

Cannabis contains a number of natural chemicals called cannabinoids, to which our brain responds in various ways. Cannabis and synthetically manufactured cannabinoid compounds have previously been shown to relieve pain in animal models of arthritis, but so far their use has been limited because of undesirable psychological side effects.

This new study shows that selectively targeting one of the molecules involved in the body's natural pain-sensing pathways can reduce pain in animal models of osteoarthritis, partly through actions in the spinal cord and brain.  The compound used in this study is a synthetic cannabinoid molecule manufactured in a laboratory, not derived naturally from the cannabis plant.

Interestingly, this study showed for the first time that the amount of receptors for this synthetic molecule in the spinal cord was directly related to osteoarthritis severity, which means this drug target may have significant clinical relevance to osteoarthritis pain.

Cannabinoids are known to have anti-inflammatory effects. Indeed, this study shows that the synthetic molecule reduces inflammation in osteoarthritis. Thus, drugs targeted to this molecule’s receptor may have a dual beneficial effect for people with osteoarthritis by providing pain relief as well as reducing joint inflammation.

These findings are significant, as spinal and brain pain-signaling pathways are known to make a major contribution to pain associated with osteoarthritis.

Millions of people live daily with the severe pain caused by osteoarthritis, and better pain relief is urgently needed. This research suggests that there is potential to develop a synthetic drug to relieve both pain and inflammation in this condition by mimicking the behavior of cannabinoid receptors and without causing serious side effects.

If you regularly suffer from debilitating joint pain and inflammation, there are also natural supplements formulated with many powerful, proven pain and inflammation fighting ingredients to help improve joint flexibility and movement.



Drugs Related to Cannabis Provide Pain and Inflammation Relief in Osteoarthritis


Daily Ginger Consumption Eases Muscle and Joint Pain

by Cindy Gray

Did you know that for centuries, ginger root has been used as a folk remedy for a variety of ailments such as colds and upset stomachs?   In the Indian and Chinese systems of medicine, ginger root is used to help cleanse the colon, reduce spasms and cramps and stimulate circulation. However, it is best known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Many studies show that ginger can improve morning stiffness, swelling and joint pain associated with arthritis.Ease Muscle and Joint Pain with Daily Ginger

And now in a 2010 study, researchers at the University of Georgia have shown that daily ginger consumption significantly reduces muscle pain caused by exercise.  While ginger had previously been shown to exert anti-inflammatory effects in rodents, its effect on human muscle pain was not known before this study.  Since some people believe that heating ginger during cooking increases its pain-relieving effects, study authors carried out two studies to look at the effects of treatment with both raw and heat-treated ginger supplementation on muscle pain.

The participants in these two studies, 34 and 40 volunteers, respectively, consumed capsules containing two grams of either raw or heat-treated ginger or a placebo for 11 consecutive days. On the eighth day they performed 18 extensions of their elbow flexors with a heavy weight to induce moderate muscle injury to the arm. Arm function, inflammation, pain and a biochemical involved in pain were all assessed before the study began and for three days after the exercise.

These studies show that daily ginger supplementation reduces exercise-induced muscle and joint pain by up to 25 percent. However, this effect was not enhanced by heating ginger beforehand.

Muscle and joint pain are very common types of pain. Specifically, exercise-induced muscle and joint pain are common injuries, especially related to sports and activities such as gardening and shoveling snow.

If you frequently suffer from these types of pain, ginger might just be the solution for you!  There are powerful formulas that contain many pain and inflammation fighting ingredients, such as ginger root extract, to help ease pain and improve joint flexibility and movement.

Imagine if your knees could bend more easily…your hips rotate more smoothly…your hands, wrists and fingers had better flexibility…and your back had renewed strength?  It’s possible to free up your joints and get much-needed pain relief, so why not give ginger or a ginger formula a try today?



Daily Ginger Consumption Eases Muscle and Joint Pain After Exercise


How Omega-3s Ease Arthritis Symptoms

by Institute for Vibrant Living

As you already know, arthritis is a disorder that involves inflammation of one or more joints. The most common form, osteoarthritis - also known as degenerative joint disease - is the leading cause of chronic disability in the US.

Omega-3 Fats For Arthritis Pain Relief

Arthritis sufferers experience a lot of pain, typically localized to the affected joint. This pain happens because of local inflammation, daily wear and tear and muscle strains caused by forceful movements and fatigue. Other symptoms include tenderness, morning stiffness and joint locking.

Treatment generally involves some combination of exercise, lifestyle modification and painkillers. If the pain becomes debilitating, joint replacement surgery is typically used to restore quality of life.

According to Dr. Christine Horner, diet is a powerful way to lower inflammation levels inside your body, even reverse arthritis without the need for either medications or surgery!

She points out that refined carbs, sugary foods such as cake, cookies and sweets, crackers, potato and corn chips - and red meat - are pro-inflammatory foods that create conditions favorable for arthritis, and can actually trigger it.

On the other hand, fresh, organic fruits and vegetables as well as the essential omega-3 fats are well-known anti-inflammatory foods.

In fact, according to Dr. Horner, omega-3 fats are the most anti-inflammatory foods we can consume. Among the omega-3 fats, those from fish oil - known as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) - are the most potent.

Omega-3 fats are converted within our body into biologically active substances called eicosanoids, which control many bodily functions such as muscle contraction, blood thickness and inflammation levels.

Some of the effects caused by omega-3 fats in our body are because of the actions of eicosanoids, but these essential fats also act inside cells in many other ways.

In fact, both animal experiments and clinical studies have shown that omega-3 fats in fish oil can significantly benefits the management of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, including osteoarthritis.

For example - in a 2006 study, 250 patients who had nonsurgical neck or back pain were asked to take a total of 1,200 mg of EPA and DHA daily, from fish oil supplements. Approximately a month after starting the supplement, they answered a questionnaire.

Of the 250 patients, 125 returned the questionnaire. Of these, 59 patients said they had completely discontinued their prescription painkillers thanks to the fish oil supplement. Overall, 60% stated that their joint pain had improved, while 88% said they would continue to take the fish oil. No significant side effects were reported.

In other words, omega-3 fish oil supplements are a safe and equally effective alternative to prescription painkillers for treatment of joint pain.

Source: Omega-3 Fats for Arthritis Pain Relief.   



Natural Joint Pain Relief: Boswellia Extract Is An Effective Therapy For Osteoarthritis

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Did you know that the Biblical-era incense frankincense was most likely an extract from the resin of the tree known as Natural Joint Pain Relief: Boswellia Extract Boswellia?

Four species of Boswellia trees - found mainly in Africa and Asia - are known for their fragrant resin. They are also well-known for their anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic and analgesic properties.

However, Boswellia is more than just an ancient herbal remedy.

A recent review of studies on the effects of Boswellia extract on osteoarthritis concluded that it provided clinically effective natural joint pain relief, with no serious safety issues. The review authors noted that evidence for the effectiveness of Boswellia extracts was ‘encouraging’.

Further evidence comes from a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study on the effects of Boswellia extract on 30 patients from India with osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis is a chronic, progressive, degenerative disorder which typically affects the knee joint.

In the study, two groups of 15 patients were given either Boswellia extract or placebo for eight weeks. After the initial eight weeks, each group was ‘crossed over’ to receive the opposite therapy for eight weeks.

All patients receiving drug treatment reported a significant decrease in knee pain, improved knee flexibility and increased walking distance. Not only that, the frequency of swelling in the knee joint was reduced.

It’s worth noting that every one of the patients treated with Boswellia extract found relief from their pain and suffering.

The authors noted that “observed differences between drug treated and placebo being statistically significant, are clinically relevant”. Boswellia extract was well tolerated except for minor gut disturbances.

The study authors recommend Boswellia extract as a therapy for natural joint pain relief in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee, with possible uses in other forms of arthritis as well.

If you too suffer from pain and stiffness in your knee, back and hips, try adding in natural supplements that contiain Boswellia extract as a natural and effective way to help ease your pain and suffering.



What are the uses and benefits of Hyaluronic Acid?

by Health News

Relieve Joint Pain NaturallyOsteoarthritis, the leading cause of chronic disability affecting nearly 27 million Americans, happens because of cartilage breakdown that exposes bone surfaces and leads to joint degradation.

When we are young and healthy, our joints are full of a viscous fluid similar in consistency to raw egg white, known as synovial fluid. It cushions joints by providing elastic shock absorbing properties. Synovial fluid also carries nutrients to the cartilage and removes waste from the joint area.

Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a major component of synovial fluid and is mainly responsible for its resilience and shock absorbing properties. As we age, our body makes less HA and synovial fluid becomes less viscous - which is why joints become stiff with age.

Known as ‘nature’s moisturizer’, HA is a very large carbohydrate molecule. When bound to water, HA becomes a viscous gel. HA is present all over our body:

  • It is a major component of the nonliving ground substance in all connective tissue, which allows it to bear the kind of weight and withstand pressure that no other body tissue can - all because of HA’s ability to form a strong, viscous gel with water.
  • HA is found in the greatest concentrations in the skin, both in the deep underlying dermal areas as well as epidermal top layers. Young skin is smooth and elastic because it contains large amounts of HA, which provides continuous moisture by binding up to 1000 times its weight in water. With age, the skin’s ability to produce HA decreases.
  • Having healthy lustrous hair and a moisturized scalp means our skin has abundant HA. Similarly, the dermal layer of our lips is made up of connective tissue containing HA and collagen, both of which give our lips their shape and plumpness.
  • HA is highly concentrated inside our eyeballs. The fluid inside our eyes - known as vitreous humor - is made up almost entirely of HA, making it viscous. Vitreous humor acts as a shock absorber and also transports nutrients into the eye. During surgical procedures, HA has been directly injected into the eye to help maintain its shape.

In recent years, HA has become recognized as a successful therapy for people with joint problems. For example, clinical studies clearly show that repeated cycles of HA injections improve knee osteoarthritis symptoms and continue to benefit patients for at least 1 year after every cycle of injections.

These injections are painful and expensive - but what if synovial fluid could be replenished with HA easily and painlessly?

That’s exactly what an supplement with Hyaluronic acid (HA), taken daily, can nourish every joint in your body and guarantees inexpensive, lasting pain relief in your knees, back, shoulders, arms and hands; deep, natural sleep without painful joints keeping you awake; renewed self-confidence as you depend less on others, or worry about a fall or injury; freedom from toxic painkillers as well as expensive and invasive surgery; best of all, freedom to golf, drive, travel, play with your grandchildren, walk on the beach and squeeze every ounce of joy and satisfaction from your daily life.

Source: Hyaluronic Acid Uses and Benefits.


What's the #1 Supplement Every Man Should Take?

by Health News

What's the #1 Supplement Every Man Should Take

One of the most important things men can do to stay healthy and energetic is to take an Omega 3 supplement. Now, fish oil is nothing new to you.  It’s so well-researched and documented that even the American Heart Association suggests you take fish oil supplements too—and for good reason.
Fish oil owes its health-boosting power to two compounds your cells crave.  They’re called Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), also known as Omega-3 fatty acids. And they are the fundamental building blocks of virtually every organ, tissue and cell in the body.
Dozens of studies over the years reveal that Omega 3's are capable of almost mind-boggling health benefits.  They help boost levels of healthy HDL cholesterol, and lower blood pressure.  Omega 3’s can improve mood and cognition, reduce joint and muscle aches and keep your heart beating long and strong. They can boost blood flow and support healthy digestion, too!
Promotes Healthy Triglyceride Levels
According Mid-America Heart Institute, Omega 3’s can lower triglyceride levels anywhere from 25% to 30%.  Another study reported in the American Journal of Cardiology found that high levels of Omega 3’s reduced triglycerides as much as 38% and increased levels of HDL (good) cholesterol by 24%.
[retrieved from: http://www.oilofpisces.com/cholesterol.html.  Harris, William S. n-3 fatty acids and serum lipoproteins: human studies. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 65 (suppl), 1997, pp. 1645S-54S.
Cullen, Paul. Evidence that triglycerides are an independent coronary heart disease risk factor. American Journal of Cardiology, Vol. 86, November 1, 2000, pp. 943-49]
Eases joint pain
Fish oil is great for your joints, too. Several studies show that patients taking Omega-3 fish oil experienced less stiffness and fewer joint aches than they had without taking the capsules. In a study of patients with joint problems, 53% of the patients in the Omega-3 group showed significant relief of their symptoms compared to only 10% in the placebo group.
[Geusens, Piet, et. Al. Long-term effect of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation on active rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis & Rheumatism, Vol. 37, June 1994]
Protects your brain from “aging”
Plus, research suggests that Omega 3's can actually help keep your brain and memory young! A study reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition states that Omega 3 fatty acids slow the aging of the brain by supporting healthy inflammation response. Dr. Lawrence Whalley of Aberdeen University in Scotland stated, "The results suggest that … aging of their brain is being slowed down by a year or two."
Other research suggests they can protect against age-related vision loss, support healthy blood sugar levels, and even reduce inflammation in the lungs that causes shortness of breath.
So How Much Omega 3’s Do You Need?
When it comes to Omega 3's, the rule is: the more, the better. The recommended daily amount of Omega 3 is 1,000 mg per day of EPA and DHA combined.  If you’re concerned about your heart or brain health, you should probably take about 2,000 mg of Omega 3 fish oil per day. Unless you eat several meals of fish every week, your dietary intake probably doesn’t come close to that. That’s why it’s best to take supplements.
However, not all fish oil supplements are created equal.  To keep prices low, many fish oil suppliers get their stock from the cheapest possible sources.  Other manufacturers use unstable commodity oils that begin to oxidize – or rot – as soon as they’re exposed to oxygen, light, and heat.  That’s why so many fish oil supplements may give you an upset stomach or that uncomfortable fish burp after taking them.
The richest sources for essential EPA and DHA are small cold water fish such as anchovies, mackerel and wild sardines. These small fish contain the ocean’s highest natural oil content. Plus, they are usually free of the pollutants and toxins found in larger species of fatty fish.
Also, make sure the fish oil you buy includes antioxidants to help maintain stability and protect against a fishy aftertaste.



10 Supplements to Reduce Chronic Joint Pain

by Nancy Maneely

Chronic Joint PainIntegrative health guru Dr. Andrew Weil says, “The root of all degenerative diseases just may be inflammation." 

Inflammation is the body’s natural response to something wrong. When damage threatens – whether from viruses, bacteria, pollutants, chemicals, allergens, injuries – white blood cells are sent to attack the offenders. After the injury or offender is taken care of, the normal body response is to back down. But an abnormal inflammation response continues attacking, and the result is chronic tissue destruction, damage from “free radicals,” and loss of healthy circulation.

There are many ways to reduce inflammation. One is medication prescribed by your doctor. Another is following a healthy diet. Exercise is important, and so is stress reduction.

You can also try the following natural supplements which have been shown to be effective as complementary and alternative therapies to help eliminate or reduce inflammation and chronic joint pain:  

  1. Avocado Soy Unsaponifiables (ASU) helps rebuild damaged cartilage. ASU is a specially processed form of avocado and soy oils. Eating avocado and soy will not give the same results.
  2. Omega-3 oils. Fish oil supplements reduce inflammation.
  3. Vitamin D3 improves muscle strength and physical function in patients with knee osteoarthritis who are low in Vitamin D. Low levels of Vitamin D increase pain.
  4. Curcumin. Turmeric has strong anti-inflammatory effects and may benefit both osteo and rheumatoid arthritis.
  5. Ginger reduces pain as well as ibuprofen and helps reduce inflammation.
  6. Green lipped mussel. In one study this supplement reduced pain in 80 percent of patients with knee and hip osteoarthritis.
  7. Boswellia is a natural anti-inflammatory and has action similar to NSAIDs without damaging the stomach and intestinal tract.
  8. Tart cherry. Eating 10-20 tart cherries a day reduces inflammation from gout and arthritis.
  9. MSM helps reduce pain and improve joint function.
  10. Vitamins A, B1, B5, B6 and E have been shown to bring natural pain relief, reduce inflammation and slow the progress of arthritis.

What is your favorite joint health supplement? 

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Natural Pain Relief With White Willow Bark

by Health News

Natural Pain ReliefWhether you’re a seasoned athlete, a weekend warrior or just have joint pain, you’ve probably tried many different medicines in your quest for relief. Did you know that the white willow bark extract has natural anti-inflammatory properties?

White willow, more commonly known as willow bark or Salix alba, contains a compound known as salicin, the precursor of the pain-killing and anti-inflammatory drug, aspirin. Because of this, it is often used to treat ailments like muscle pain, headaches, inflammation and fever. The University of Maryland Medical Center notes* that it may also help to alleviate joint pain and inflammation. White willow works slowly, but according to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center**, its therapeutic effects last longer than aspirin as the body converts the salicin to salicylic acid.

Another advantage? While aspirin and other standard NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatories) are contraindicated in people taking anticoagulant drugs (blood thinners), there is in-vitro evidence that white willow might be a safer alternative to usual NSAIDs because it contains tannins. According to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center**, “The tannins have astringent properties, and in vitro tests show that salicin and salicortin inhibit cyclooxygenase, and an irreversible inhibition of thrombocytes is unlikely. Therefore, no increased interaction with anticoagulants should occur.”

Are you ready for natural joint pain relief? Talk to your healthcare professional about incorporating white willow bark into your nutritional supplement regimen.

* http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/osteoarthritis-000118.htm
** http://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/herb/willow-bark


Manage Common Joint Tenderness on a Day-to-Day Basis

by Health News

Living with chronic joint pain can be a substantial challenge, and those who have never experienced this type of ongoing pain don't really have any way to relate to what you may be experiencing on a daily basis. Some chronic pain can be managed very effectively by following a variety of daily steps. One good point regarding your chronic pain is that the medical breakthroughs regarding pain in general are impressive and are truly progressing faster than ever before. 

Natural Relief for Joint Pain

Studies have shown that there are ways that you can deal with chronic pain. Some of these ways may work better than others, and how you respond personally may differ greatly from others. However, it is important to note that there are benefits to be had from exploring the different pain relief options for that are available for chronic joint pain. In this article, we will look at a few of the different ways you can tackle your chronic pain and find a degree of relief!

There was a time not long ago that acupuncture was not treated very seriously by the medical community; however, those days are a thing of the past. Medical and research powerhouses, such as John Hopkins, now recognize that acupuncture can help with chronic pain and serious pain.  Research seems to indicate that acupuncture can block pain signals from reaching the brain. Further, acupuncture may even help with healing injuries.

Massage can help your chronic pain. The bottom line is that massage is very good for you, as it releases built up stress hormones from your body, such as cortisol. Massage has been proven as a way to deal with reducing stress and inflammation.

At the root of many forms of chronic pain is inflammation. Any step that you can take to reduce inflammation will help with your chronic pain. This is part of the reason that NSAIDs are often prescribed for dealing with injuries, as they reduce inflammation. 

However, it is important to note that there are natural and effective supplements to help to deal with chronic pain​ that don't have the nasty side effects that NSAIDs have. 

There are many potential avenues to finding relief for your condition. 

Music therapy, which can be as simple as listen to calming music, has shown promising in dealing with chronic pain, as it induces relaxation. 

Those seeking pain relief often cite the power of biofeedback. Biofeedback may take time to "get the hang of," but it can be a very effective pain management tool. No matter which chronic pain relief options you pursue, check with your doctor first and get his or her opinion as to what avenues will work best for your particular pain or condition.

Do you use any natural solutions to help you deal with your chronic pain?


Chronic Joint Pain: A Natural Approach

by Health News

IVL Products Chronic Joint PainAspirin and nonsteroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) can mask joint pain, but natural supplements can help ease the pain without the side effects of anti-inflammatory drugs. 

Here is a list of natural supplements and vitamins that can help relieve chronic joint pain.

Antioxidants:  Vitamins A, C, E and the mineral selenium are antioxidants known for their ability to fight free radicals. These are unstable, tissue-destroying chemicals that develop during metabolism or from exposure to environmental toxins like air, food and water pollution. Consumption of antioxidants can help prevent the inflammation, joint damage and chronic joint pain that can result from an excess of free radicals in the body.

Vitamin D:  Vitamin D serves many functions throughout the body. The majority of people with health problems, specifically those with pain are deficient in vitamin D. Current research suggests that supplementation with vitamin D can help ease or cure chronic pain in many patients who are unresponsive to other treatments. Some doctors suggest a 2400 to 2800 IU daily supplement of vitamin D3 for treatment of chronic bone and joint pain.

Essential fatty acids (EFAs): To help regulate chronic joint pain, an individual needs a healthy ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids in the diet. These are EFAs, meaning they are necessary for good health, but the body cannot produce them. Omega-3 fatty acids can reduce inflammation in the joints, and omega-6 fatty acids tend to cause inflammation. 

Americans typically consume up to 25 times more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3 fatty acids. A healthy ratio is in the range of 2:1 - 4:1, omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in walnuts, some fruits and vegetables and in coldwater fish such as mackerel, herring, sturgeon, black cod and anchovies. Most omega-6 fatty acids in the diet come from seeds and nuts and their oils. Soybean oil is so common in processed and fast foods that roughly 20 percent of the calories in the American diet are estimated to come from this oil.

Hyaluronic Acid:  Hyaluronic Acid (HA) occurs naturally in all living organisms. In humans, it is concentrated in areas that need high amounts of fluid like the eyes and the heart, and it is a chief component of synovial fluid which cushions and protects the joints. HA declines with age and the synovial fluid becomes thin, providing less shock absorption. This causes increased friction and can lead to chronic joint pain. 

There are several types of hyaluronic acid supplements on the market. The best are extracted from rooster combs, one of nature's richest sources of HA. The low molecular weight of HA derived from rooster combs is absorbed easily and more efficiently by the body than other types of HA supplements.

Chronic joint pain can be debilitating and take the enjoyment out of many daily activities. Unlike aspirin and NSAIDS, natural remedies can treat the source of joint pain and provide relief without side effects.

Are you currenlty using any of these remedies to help manage your chronic joint pain?