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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

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

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Natural Ways To Treat Lower Back Pain

by IVL Products

Almost everybody suffers from a bout with back pain at some point in their lives, but for some people it is daily fact of life. Millions of Americans spend their lives coping with back pain and the quest for relief often sends them to traditional medical practitioners who may view prescription drugs or even surgery as the first choices for treatment.

Fortunately there are alternatives to prescription drugs and surgery. Here are some simple tips to treat back pain naturally and safely:

WALK IT AWAY: A daily walk strengthens stretched out ligaments in the lower back and reduces them to their normal position. Ligaments are stretchy bands of tissue that hold one bone to another to help keep the joints stable and strong. Invest in a pair of good walking shoes and get moving.

DON’T HEAD TO BED: Although some holistic health practitioners might recommend bed rest for a few hours after an acute injury, too much time in bed can worsen back pain. It’s been shown that lying in bed for prolonged periods of time can cause lower back ligaments to slacken, which impedes their ability to keep joints in place.

Related: The Incredible Benefits of Nordic Walking

MONITOR YOUR MOVEMENTS: When you are suffering from lower back pain you should avoid movements that displace the sacroiliac joint. Don’t bend over from the waist or do sit-ups with your knees straight. Be mindful of motions that stress lower back muscles.

HOLD BACK ON THE HEAT: You should never use heat immediately after suffering from back strain or other injuries. Heat expands ligaments which can create instability. Ice reduces inflammation and swelling which gets to the root of back pain. Ice also numbs sore tissues which is very soothing.

Back pain, like many other chronic conditions, is often the result of bad habits that are developed over the years. Poor posture, lack of exercise, poor nutrition and unresolved stress can cause or aggravate back pain. Make lifestyle choices that support your overall health and your back will thank you for it.  

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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.

Ginger

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

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.

Pineapple

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. 

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Three Natural Arthritis Treatments

by IVL Products

While medical science continues to search for an effective cure for arthritis, many sufferers are finding the relief they need in natural arthritis treatments. Three different substances are known to provide pain relief naturally for those suffering with joint pain and arthritis. Best of all, these all-natural substances reduce pain and inflammation without the nasty side effects caused by pharmaceutical drugs such as NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).

Three natural arthritis treatments hold the key to joint pain relief

White Willow Bark

White Willow Bark is an ancient natural remedy used for safe and effective pain relief. The active ingredient salicin in converted by the body into salicylic acid. It lowers inflammation and counters pain in a similar way to aspirin, but without the adverse side effects of stomach bleeding. White willow and bark hyaluronic acid are the main ingredients in natural arthritis treatments that offer safe relief from inflammation. 

Boswellia Serrate

Boswellia has been shown to have powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Researchers have found that formulas containing Boswellia Serrate can provide natural pain relief for arthritis. Extracted as a resin from Boswellia Serrata trees, it works by improving circulation and blocking the formation of leukotrienes which cause pain and inflammation in arthritic joints. It works particularly well in conjunction with white willow bark and cherry fruit extract, making it an excellent natural treatment for arthritis by trickling pain relief constantly.

Related: Boswellia Extract Is An Effective Therapy For Osteoarthritis

Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid preparations are known to decrease arthritis pain and improve joint mobility, particularly in those suffering with osteoarthritis in the knee joint. It is thought to work as a natural arthritis treatment by changing the synovial fluid viscoelasticity and by lowering inflammation in the joint.

These three natural substances work together synergistically in scientifically balanced joint formulas. Natural treatments may combine these natural anti-inflammatory pain relievers with ginger root powder to create highly effective natural arthritis treatments.

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Get the True Strains and Sprains Facts

by IVL Products

The terms strains and sprains are often used interchangeably, but in medical jargon they actually refer to different injuries. In simple terms, a sprain is damage to ligaments while a strain refers to muscles. Both sprains and strains injuries are likely to occur during sports activities.

Sprains and strains relate to different parts of the body

What are Strains?

A strain is often referred to as a “pulled muscle.” It is caused by lifting heavy objects, overstretching during exercise or tearing as the muscle suddenly contracts. It is a very painful condition with sudden onset. As well as straining muscles in the hamstring (back of the thigh), other common strains occur in the neck or back muscles.

Strains also refer to damaged tendons and fasciae. Tendons, fasciae and ligaments are all made of collagen and are strong and stretchy. Their different names refer to which parts of the body they connect. Tendons (also called sinews) connect muscle to bone and withstand tension. Fasciae are fibrous tissues wrapped around a muscle or organ.

Strains fall into three categories in terms of severity:

  • Grade-1 strain causes some inflammation, swelling and mild discomfort
  • Grade-2 strain is characterized by swelling, severe inflammation and possibly discoloration or bruising due to hemorrhaging
  • Grade-3 strain is the most severe and may disguise a fracture or more serious injury, which may need surgery. A doctor should be consulted if you feel you have a Grade-3 strain

How do Strains and Sprains Differ?

Each year over 600,000 people reported ankle sprains in the U.S. alone. A sprain refers to damaged ligaments, which are fibrous bands of tissue connecting bones. Ligaments stabilize joints and help prevent excessive movement within the ankle, wrist, thumb and knee joints.

Related: Natural Relief for Chronic Joint Pain

A sprain occurs when a joint is stretched beyond its normal capacity and you may hear a “pop” as the joint is sprained. This usually occurs during exercise or sports activity. Ligaments in the joint are torn or over-stretched when you suddenly change direction, land awkwardly, receive a sudden blow or collide with a solid object. Ouch!

A Grade-1 sprain is when a ligament is painfully overstretched or torn but does not cause any instability within the joint itself. There may be bruising, pain and swelling but the joint will still bear weight

A Grade-2 sprain is more serious tearing of the ligament accompanied by moderate pain, swelling and bruising. It may be difficult to support a person’s weight. An x-ray is recommended to check whether a fracture also occurred.

A Grade-3 sprain is when there is a complete rupture of the ligament in the joint. It causes immediate loss of function and severe pain and swelling. The patient will not be able to apply any pressure or weight to the affected limb may require surgery.

How to Treat Strains and Sprains

If you suffer from strains and sprains, follow our advice for RICE therapy. This includes resting the injury, applying ice, using a compression bandage and elevating the injured limb.

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Natural Treatment for Arthritis

by Cindy Gray

A History of an Ayurvedic Natural Arthritis Treatment

Joint pain is a common complaint in this country affecting approximately one-third of the adult population. The most likely cause of painful joints is arthritis, and either rheumatoid (RA) or osteoarthritis (OA).  Clearly, finding a natural arthritis treatment is an attractive option for many sufferers.  

Natural treatments for arthritis can include Ayurveda.

A Natural Alternative Treatment

Ayurvedic medicine offers natural arthritis treatments that have shown to be highly effective in modern medical studies. This is good news for those who wish to manage their joint pain, but are wary of the side effects of prescription drugs, such as the possible increased risk of heart attacks, stroke, or drowsiness and constipation.

In addition to NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like aspirin and ibuprofen, real relief can be found using Indian frankincense. Also known as Boswellia serrata, it has a centuries-long history of use for aromatherapy and in religious ceremonies.

Indian frankincense has also been used in Ayurvedic medicine for relief from joint pain. Clinical trials by western medicine researchers have confirmed its effectiveness in relieving discomfort and helping to restore mobility to stiff joints by alleviating inflammation.

How Does Indian Frankincense Work?

It is believed that Indian frankincense helps to relieve arthritis pain by inhibiting the formation of leukotrienes, which cause inflammation in the body. This inflammation destroys joint tissue leading to pain and stiffness that becomes progressively worse over time to the point of being debilitating.

Four acids found in Boswellia resin (scientific name for Indian frankincense) are most likely responsible for the herb’s anti-inflammatory properties by suppressing 5-lipoxygenase or 5-LO, the enzyme that produces leukotriene.

Related: A New Strategy To Successfully Prevent Rheumatoid Arthritis

In a study published by Phytomedicine all 30 participants suffering OA-related knee pain reported a decrease in their pain and improved knee flexion; and the ability to walk farther with less discomfort after taking doses of Indian frankincense extract.

While results published in the Journal of Rheumatology about a research project involving the use of Boswellia extract for those with rheumatoid arthritis were not as dramatic, researchers concluded that it still may be an effective therapy because of the drug’s ability to interfere with the autoimmune disorder that causes RA.

ApresFLEX as a Natural Arthritis Treatment

Promising results were shown in a clinical study that tested the effectiveness of a trademark blend of Boswellia serrata known as ApresFLEX when compared to another form of the drug 5-Loxin.  The study involved 60 participants with OA knee pain.

In the 90-day, double blind, randomized, and placebo-controlled study (meaning neither participants nor researchers knew who received the drugs or the placebo) those who received the placebo reported no significant relief in their joint pain. However, those who received the 5-Loxin and ApresFLEX reported significant improvements in joint pain and increased mobility.

What was especially significant was that those who received the 100 mg dose of ApresFLEX reported improvements to their OA symptoms in as little as five days, two days earlier than those who received the other Boswellia serrata extract!

With so many undesirable side effects associated with many prescription drugs, a more natural arthritis treatment like ApresFLEX offers a promising new way to address the pain and limited joint mobility of the disease more swiftly with fewer health risks.

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Four Secrets to Lower Back Pain Relief

by IVL Products

Affecting sedentary people as well as accomplished athletes, lower back pain does not discriminate.  Nearly all people experience it at some point in their lives.  Sitting for long periods or participating in activities that involve running, jumping, or vigorous movement all put strain on muscles in the lower back.  Fortunately, four easy steps help provide lower back pain relief if practiced regularly.

Four easy steps help provide lower back pain relief if practiced regularly

1.  Sit properly.  To keep undue stress from lower back muscles, do not sit on the edge of a chair.  Instead, sit all the way in for complete back support.  Limit time spent crossing the legs, and try to sit with at least one knee above the hips.  A soft footstool helps. 

2.  Take advantage of cushions.  Place a cushion behind the lower back, and look for one that promises anatomical support.  Use the cushion for any chair or car seat.  Try placing a thin cushion under the thighs while sitting to take further pressure off the lower back.

3.  Use proper sleeping position.  Approximately 2/3 of people with chronic back pain have trouble sleeping.  The best position to prevent and relieve lower back pain is sleeping in the fetal position on the right side.  While placing the left leg over the top of the right helps some people even more, others place a soft pillow between the knees for enhanced relief.  In addition to helping curb back pain, laying on the right side also improves digestion and promotes healthy bowel movements.

4.  Stretch your body.  Stretching is a key activity for healthy joints and muscles, particularly muscles in the lower back.  Exercises that stretch and lengthen the hamstrings help most when it comes to lower back pain relief.  To garner the benefits of stretching, people might sign up for a local yoga class or confer with a certified trainer or Pilates expert for stretching exercise ideas.  Individuals new to stretching should remember to start slowly and proceed at your own pace. 

Related: Stretching is Good for Seniors

More Activities for Lower Back Pain Relief

In addition to the four secrets mentioned above, people with lower back pain might try these activities to bring relief:

  • Massage
  • Aerobic Exercise
  • Meditation
  • Acupuncture
  • Deep Breathing
  • Core Exercises
  • Hydrotherapy
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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.  
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Alternative Arthritis Treatments for Joint Tenderness

by Health News

Approximately 350 million people worldwide have some form of arthritis, a group of conditions that typically cause pain and swelling in joints.  While many claims have been made about the effectiveness of alternative arthritis treatments for relieving joint tenderness, two in particular appear to show promise.

Acupuncture and massage make promising arthritis treatments for joint tenderness.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture has been used in some parts of the world to relieve joint pain for more than 5,000 years.  It is a treatment in which ultra-thin needles are inserted into specific points of the body, triggering energy flow (or qi) to promote healing.  While many people worry about the treatment's potential for discomfort, insertion by skilled practitioners usually proves painless.

Moxibustion

Sometimes, practitioners use a technique called moxibustion, in which the tip of the inserted needle is wrapped in an herbal mixture called moxa.  Made from mugwort, a small spongy herb, the moxa is ignited to generate heat to the acupuncture point and speed healing in the body.

Acupuncture Research

Research on acupuncture for pain and joint tenderness has shown good results, making it one of the most promising alternative arthritis treatments.

  • Research published in the American Journal of Chinese Medicine looked at 204 patients with chronic pain.  Following treatment with acupuncture, 74 percent of the patients experienced significant relief for more than three months.
  • A study from China showed that 20 sessions of traditional acupuncture or electro-acupuncture (sending pulsating electrical currents through the needles) reduced joint tenderness in people with rheumatoid arthritis.
  • A German study examining 304,674 people with osteoarthritis of the knee showed that those who received 15 sessions of acupuncture in combination with standard care experienced less pain and stiffness than people receiving standard care alone.  Results lasted for three months after the acupuncture treatment.

Massage

Many people take advantage of massage to relieve anxiety and soothe sore muscles, but according to research, it also makes for one of the better alternative arthritis treatments for relieving pain.

Related: Managing Chronic Joint Pain on a Day-to-Day Basis

Massage Research

A study in 2006 examined 68 adults with osteoarthritis of the knee.  Researchers found that people who received two sessions of Swedish massage for eight weeks reported less pain and stiffness and better range of motion than people who did not partake in massage.  Another study in 2006 examined 22 adults with arthritis of the hand or wrist.  Participants received four weekly therapeutic massages and were educated how to self-massage tender joints at home.  All experienced reduced pain and anxiety and better grip strength as evidenced by pre-therapy and post-therapy testing.

With a pill for nearly every medical condition, often accompanied by unwanted side effects, many people are turning to alternative methods of treatment.  Offering promising results in scientific studies, acupuncture and massage give people with arthritis an alternative to NSAID pain relievers or stronger oral medicine for the relief of joint tenderness.

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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?

 

Source:

Daily Ginger Consumption Eases Muscle and Joint Pain After Exercise

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The History of Nature's Aspirin for Lower Back Pain

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Did you know that the therapeutic use of white willow bark dates back thousands of years - to the time of Hippocrates (400 BC) when patients were advised to chew on the bark to reduce their fever and inflammation?

White willow bark continues to be used today for the treatment of pain, especially headaches, lower back pain and osteoarthritis as well as inflammatory conditions such as bursitis and tendinitis.

That’s because the bark of white willow contains salicin, which is a chemical similar to aspirin (chemical name acetylsalicylic acid). In fact, in the 1800s, salicin was used to make aspirin.

Studies show that white willow is as effective as aspirin for reducing pain and inflammation - although not fever - and at a much lower dose. White willow causes pain relief more slowly than aspirin, but its effects also appear to last longer.  

Along with salicin, polyphenols and flavonoids - white willow’s powerful anti-inflammatory antioxidant compounds are believed to be responsible for white willow’s therapeutic benefits.

Studies suggest that white willow may be useful for treating the following conditions:

  • Headache - white willow has been shown to relieve headaches. Evidence suggests that it is less likely to cause gastrointestinal side effects than other pain relievers - however, if you are prone to getting stomach upsets easily, you may want to avoid white willow.
  • Lower back pain - in a study of nearly 200 people with lower back pain, those who were given white willow experienced a significant improvement in pain compared to those who received control therapy. Higher doses worked better.
  • Osteoarthritis - in a study of people with osteoarthritis of the neck or lower back, those who received white willow had better improvement in symptoms compared to those who received control therapy. Another study of 78 patients hospitalized with osteoarthritis of the knee or hip joint found that those who received white willow had better pain relief compared to those who received control therapy.

Source: White Willow Bark for Safe and Effective Pain Relief.   

 

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The Simple Spice that Eases Back Pain and Arthritis

by Institute for Vibrant Living

According to new research, ginger can reduce pain and inflammation in muscles and joints.Ginger For Muscle And Joint Pain Relief | Institute for Vibrant Living

Ginger has been used medicinally for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine in India, as a natural anti-inflammatory therapy to soothe upset stomachs and diminish nausea - and recent studies show it may help relieve pain and inflammation as well.

In one study, arthritic patients were given small amounts of ginger daily for three months. The majority showed significant improvements in pain, swelling and morning stiffness.

Another study concluded that ginger extract could be an equally effective, safer substitute for nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). The effects of a highly concentrated ginger extract were compared to placebo in 247 patients with knee osteoarthritis.

Ginger was seen to reduce pain and stiffness in knee joints by 40 percent over the placebo. This may be because ginger affects certain inflammatory processes at a cellular level thanks to its anti-inflammatory, anti-ulcer, antioxidant and analgesic properties.

Ginger blocks the formation of the inflammatory compounds prostaglandins and leukotrienes, while also breaking down inflammation and acidity in the fluid within joints.

While many forms of ginger provide health benefits, capsules appear to provide the best therapeutic benefits. Ginger capsules should be taken with food - because although small amounts of ginger can help settle a sour stomach, concentrated doses can actually cause stomach upset.

Before taking ginger, get professional advice - especially if you’re taking a blood-thinning medication for any other health conditions, as ginger may reverse the effects of these drugs.

If you enjoy the tangy taste of fresh ginger, a few tablespoons of grated ginger has been reported to help ease muscle pain caused by exercise. Fresh or dried ginger can also be added to stir fries, curries, soups, or made into tea.

As you age, your synovial fluid - the natural lubricating fluid that protects your joints from deterioration - breaks down, leading to more friction and wear on the cartilage surfaces of the joints. Try adding Ginger to your diet to help alleviate chronic joint pain.

Source: Is Ginger Better Than Drugs For Muscle and Joint Pain Relief?   

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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.

 

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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.

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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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Joint Pain Relief Supplement: Hyaluronic Acid

by Health News

Natural remedies for arthritis and joint pain relief traditionally include glucosamine and chondroitin, but hyaluronic acid (HA) has now been added to the list of effective natural health solutions to relieve joint pain. Clinical trials continue to show that taking hyaluronic acid improves chronic joint pain naturally and safely.

Researchers report that HA also plays a vital role naturally in joint cavity formation and bone growth. Taking a natural vitamin supplement of hyaluronic acid has been found to support the treatment of osteoarthritis in knee joints by increasing lubrication and cushioning naturally.

Human joints are naturally lubricated and protected by a thick gel substance called synovial fluid and one of the main constituents is hyaluronic acid. Like oil in an engine or joint, over time the body’s synovial fluid loses its viscosity and effectiveness. In fact those over the age of 50 may have as little as 50% of the hyaluronic acid in their joints that they had when they were younger.

It makes sense to prioritize joint pain relief and top up that fluid so that it can once again do its importance job of protecting the joint cartilage and lubricating the joints during use. If the joint cartilage is unable to be cushioned, the cartilage may quickly deplete, creating further stiffness and pain.

How Much Hyaluronic Acid Should I Take?

Many natural joint pain relief supplements include HA in their cocktail of ingredients, but usually only around 150mg. A normal capsule of hyaluronic acid is a 50mg dose and should be taken one to four times a day. Be sure to combine it with a balanced diet and drink plenty of fluids.

Incidentally, those with diabetes should avoid taking glucosamine for their joints, but hyaluronic acid makes an excellent substitute treatment for joint health and no side effects have been found.

Hyaluronic acid is difficult to inject or swallow in large doses, hence the recommendation of one capsule four times a day. Combine it with gentle exercise to get the joints working, and give up smoking, and the improvement in joint health will quickly be apparent.

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Why Yoga Can Ease Arthritis Symptoms

by Health News

Can something as simple as yoga really have an effect upon chronic joint pain?

Those who practice the breathing techniques, the simple but powerful postures, and the mind-calming meditation of this age-old discipline have found that yoga has a powerful effect in the natural relief of joint, knee, and back pain and recent scientific tests are also reaching the same conclusion.

Why Yoga Can Ease Arthritis Symptoms

How Does Yoga Work to Relieve Chronic Joint Pain?

The aspects of yoga – breathing, relaxation, postures and meditation – distract the mind from pain, reduce the body’s tense reaction to pain and allow the sufferer to move through the pain rather than resisting it. This practice of mind over matter means that the pain loses its full impact.

Yoga works to relieve chronic joint pain by helping the pain center within the brain to regulate the controlling mechanism located within the spinal cord. It also assists the brain in secreting natural painkillers through the body, providing natural pain relief.  The postures in yoga also help to send nourishment and oxygen to the spine, the joints, and all the muscles and cells within the body.

Breathing
It is medically proven that muscles relax when we exhale, so lengthening the time of exhalation reduces tension and replaces it with relaxation. Once a yogi (someone practising yoga) becomes aware of their breathing, they can take charge and achieve calmer, slower respiration which in turn reduces chronic pain.

Relaxation
By nature, the body has a tendency to keep tension in the muscle so the body is on stand-by when the lungs are full and pressurized. Conversely, the muscles relax when you exhale; so long exhalation produces relaxation, lessens tension and lowers pain.

Mental relaxation is more effective in chronic joint pain relief when combined with meditation and rhythmic breathing, which is a step-by-step process towards a state of relaxation.

Meditation
It is a conscious effort to empty the mind and concentrate on feeling rather than thinking. It requires daily practice which should start with five minutes per day and build up to 20 minutes, once or twice daily.