Joint pain relief tomorrow
On this page you can find information about natural products which can help with joint pain relief. These supplements can also help to maintain healthy, flexible joints in a natural way, and not just by reducing symptoms.
I believe that everyone who cares about health should know about joint pain relief. If you are over 40, this would be even more relevant for you, because people over 40 are at higher risk of developing joint diseases.
You can live an active life only if you can freely move without pain.
Usually, from the age of 2 until about 40 years old, we do not experience limitations in our abilities to climb stairs, work, enjoy outdoors and participate in sports.
However, with aging beyond 40 years old, many people begin to have physical limitations. Their joints become less flexible, or may even hurt after some physical activities, causing people to look for joint pain relief medicine or supplements.
To understand why it happens, let's have a look at the structure of a joint.
What allows your joints to be flexible?
A healthy joint is comprised of bone surrounded by smooth cartilage, a dense connective tissue. Cartilage provides support to other tissues without being as hard or rigid as bone. In joints, cartilage provides a cushioning effect, making your movements smooth and painless.
With years, the cushioning cartilage between bones wears away. As you might know, this causes condition called arthritis; its first and major symptom is joint pain. Relief from this pain is what some 20 million (!!) adults in the United States are seeking on an everyday basis.
The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis. It occurs as the protective cartilage covering the bones wears away, resulting in bones rubbing together.
In addition to joint pain, this friction may result in swollen joints, limited motion, and it worsens as the cartilage breaks down further. Osteoarthritis most commonly affects the hands, hips, knee and spine, and worsens with age.
Risk factors for osteoarthritis are age over 40, female gender, obesity and job which entails heavy lifting.
Joint pain relief medicine
Until recently the most popular approach to joint pain relief have been the use of NSAIDs, or Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs, such as Vioxx, Celebrex, Bextra, and also Advil®, Motrin®, Aleve®, and others. While most of these medications are cheap and easily accessible with no prescription, they have two major problems.
First, NSAIDs can only mask the symptoms rather than treat the cause, typically loss of cartilage in the joint.
Second, these prescription medications come with potentially painful side effects when used for a prolonged time. Among side effects are increased risk of stroke and heart attack, stomach bleeding, intestinal damage and liver failure.
One such medication, Vioxx, was recalled due to increased risk of stroke and heart attack in patients who were taking this drug for an extended period of time. (Here is an official statement made by Vioxx producer about a worldwide recall.)
Glucosamine and Chondroitin
Glucosamine and chondroitin are natural substances which can help with maintaining healthy joints and joint pain relief.Both of them are found in and around the cells of cartilage.
Glucosamine has been shown in clinical studies to slow the progression of joint deterioration, and possibly even modify the disease itself with almost no side effects. (Here is a link to one research paper.)
Glucosamine is an amino sugar that the body produces and distributes in cartilage and other connective tissue. In the United States, glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are sold as dietary supplements, which are regulated as foods rather than drugs.
Chondroitin, also known as chondroitin sulfate, occurs naturally in human cartilage, bone, cornea, skin and the arterial wall.
In addition, chondroitin can come from natural sources, such as shark or bovine cartilage, or can be produced in a lab. Chondroitin is part of a large protein molecule (proteoglycan) that gives cartilage elasticity and helps cartilage retain water.
Some theories claim that glucosamine can assist in the creation of new cartilage, while chondroitin may slow cartilage destruction.
With recent discoveries about the health risks associated with NSAIDs, alternative approaches to providing joint pain relief have been receiving attention by scientists, producers and consumers.
Some European studies indicated that 50 to 80 percent of patients receiving glucosamine and chondroitin had noticeable improvement in their joints. Results were ranging from joint pain relief and reduced swelling to improved joint movement with the beneficial effects providing long-term relief. These results appear similar to the results typically seen with using NSAIDs, but in case of glucosamine and chondroitin there were fewer side effects.
One of the largest studies on glucosamine for osteoarthritis in the US was a 6-month study sponsored by the National Institutes of Health. The study was called GAIT: Glucosamine/Chondroitin Arthritis Intervention Trial. It compared the effectiveness of glucosamine hydrochloride (HCL), chondroitin sulfate, a combination of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, the drug celecoxib (Celebrex), or a placebo in people with knee osteoarthritis.
Although glucosamine or chondroitin alone or in combination didn't reduce pain for all participants, GAIT study showed that combination of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate provided statistically significant joint pain relief to people with moderate-to-severe knee pain.
Glucosamine Hydrochloride vs. Glucosamine Sulfate
Glucosamine can come in a form of glucosamine hydrochloride or glucosamine sulfate - and both forms are used as a supplement for maintenance healthy joints and joint pain relief. Historically, glucosamine sulfate, and not hydrochloride, was used in early European clinical studies.
There are numerous studies that show that glucosamine Hydrochloride is as effective as glucosamine Sulfate - and sometimes even more effective (here is one of these studies). Several studies of glucosamine Hydrochloride conducted on humans and animals have shown its efficacy in treatment of joint issues.
Glucosamine side effects
Most studies have found that short-term use of glucosamine is well-tolerated by most people. Glucosamine side effects, if appear, may include drowsiness, headache, insomnia, and mild and temporary digestive complaints.
In the GAIT study, with 1,583 people participated for a period of 6 months, only 3 cases of mild side effects were attributed to study treatments.
- Since glucosamine supplements may be made from shellfish, people with allergies to shellfish should avoid glucosamine unless it has been confirmed that it is from a non-shellfish source.
- There is some evidence suggesting that glucosamine
may worsen blood sugar, insulin, and/or hemoglobin A1c levels in people with diabetes or insulin resistance.
- People taking anti-clotting or anti-platelet medication, such as warfarin, clopidogrel, and Ticlid, or people taking supplements that may increase the risk of bleeding, such as garlic, ginkgo, vitamin E, or red clover, should not take glucosamine unless under the supervision of a healthcare provider.
The question of safety and any glucosamine side effects in pregnant or nursing women is yet to be addressed.
As a rule, always consult you doctor
before taking any dietary supplement.
MSM is a supplement naturally occurring in plants and milk. It is a biologically available form of sulfur shown to be effective at supporting joint health. In addition, there are numerous studies that show effectiveness of MSM use for joint pain relief.
In a short-term study, MSM was shown to provide joint pain relief and improve physical joint function without major adverse events. (Reference is here)
Another study that involved both glucosamine and MSM concluded that glucosamine, MSM and their combination "produced an analgesic and anti-inflammatory effect in osteoarthritis". Also, comparing two supplements applied separately and together, researches conclude that combination of glucosamine and MSM "provides better and more rapid improvement in patients with osteoarthritis".(Here is a link to the study)
Although MSM is found in many of the foods that we eat, processing and cooking can easily destroy it.
Celadrin® is a patented blend of cetylated fatty acids (CFA's).
Celadrin® has been shown to promote joint health and reduce minor or temporary pain due to the normal activities of an active life.
It may be easier to memorize Celadrin® as "cell lubricant", as it appears to enhance cell membrane health and thus alleviate inflammatory processes. Inflammation can occur with age, dietary conditions, free radicals, stress or other insults which can stiffen cell membranes. This could lead to joint inflammation. Celadrin® not only helps to halt the cascade of inflammation but rapidly begins restoring flexibility and providing joint pain relief.
Some studies have shown Celadrin® to improve knee function in patients with osteoarthritis (here is a link to the study).
Gel supplement Agel FLX
A dietary supplement Agel FLX contains ALL four components described on this page, which can be beneficial to your joints' health.
Plus - it has extra benefits due to the fact it comes in a form of gel.
Click here to learn more.
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Disclaimer: Product claims have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Not all Agel products are available in all countries. Nothing on this site should be interpreted as medical or nutritional advice. The testimonials and product claims on this site may not necessarily apply to you and you should undertake your own investigation, including seeking advice from your physician prior to changing your diet or using any nutritional supplements. Agel products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.