How to Address Joint Problems

Fitness Expert
Joint problems affect millions of Americans-every day they battle pain, stiffness and general discomfort. Gels and creams can offer temporary pain relief. And while painkillers and anti-inflammatory medicines can be effective, prolonged use of these can cause serious side effects and may even lead to other health issues. Are there any effective and safe measures you can take?

According to the experts, some of the most common causes of joint problems include obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, and a diet lacking essential vitamins and minerals needed for healthy joints. Heredity also plays a major role. But even active people can suffer from joint issues: athletes and fitness buffs often develop joint problems because of the excessive wear and tear..

Joint Problems
Inflammatory Joint Disorders. Rheumatoid arthritis is a common inflammatory type of joint disorder that causes pain and stiffness of the joints even when the body is at rest. Painful aching joints can make even the smallest of tasks seem impossible..

Non inflammatory Joint Disorders are intensified by movement and bearing weight. Osteoarthritis is the most common disease in this category. It is a degenerative disorder that leads to the progressive deterioration of joints. It often affects joints such as knees and ankles-joints that bear the most weight.
Pain is the most common symptom, often caused by inflammation of the joint. A close second is swelling and redness. . . Being in a constant pain keeps those suffering from joint issues sedentary because it literally hurts to move. It's a harsh cycle.

Common Treatments
Joint problems are a degenerative disease and stages usually advance with age. Common treatments may include:

• Gels and creams (topical applications for quick, but temporary pain relief)
• Pain killers or analgesics
• Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) to reduce pain and inflammation, Steroids to reduce pain and inflammation
• Narcotics in severe and unbearable pain.
• Anti-depressants to combat the associated depression.
• Rest

Begin Early Nourishment for Your Joints
Prevention truly is the best alternative. Taking precautionary measures can delay and maybe even help to completely avoid joint problems, especially if joint problems run in your family, or if you are an active person prone to joint injuries. . Such measures include:

• Maintain a balanced weight with proper diet and regular exercise.
• Develop healthy eating habits and support joint health with vitamins, minerals and other essential supplements to nourish the joints and bones.

Studies suggest that joint health can be promoted through proper nutrition. Deterioration of the cartilage in joints is caused by a change in the hyarulonic acid, present in the synovial fluid (the liquid that lubricates the joints). Hyarulonic acid is a glycosaminoclycan (glucosamine1) that works as an anti-inflammatory. Since inflammation of the joints is the most common underlying cause of joint pain, taking supplements that contain glucosamine can help to provide lasting relief.

Methyl Sulfonyl Methane2 (MSM), another nutrient that supports joint health, assists the body to build collagen which is needed to keep connective tissue strong. Supplements for joint health can help to support the body's ability to repair and maintain itself.

Other beneficial herbs include hyal joint3, yucca root extract, white willow bark extract4, green lipped mussel extract and natto kinase, a promising new nutrient that helps to support blood circulation. Joint health supplements, like GoFlex, contain these ingredients and more.

1. Long-term effects of glucosamine sulphate on osteoarthritis progression: a randomised, placebo-controlled clinical trial, Lancet. 2001 Jan 27;357(9252):251-6.
2. Kim LS, Axelrod LJ, Howard P, Buratovich N, Waters RF. Efficacy of methylsulfonyl-methane (MSM) in osteoarthritis pain of the knee: a pilot clinical trial. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage 2006;14:286-94. Southwest College Research Institute, Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine & Health Sciences, Tempe, AZ, USA.
3. Effect of a natural extract of chicken combs with a high content of hyaluronic acid (Hyal-Joint®) on pain relief and quality of life in subjects with knee osteoarthritis: a pilot randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial, Nutr J. 2008; 7: 3.
4. Efficacy and tolerability of a standardized willow bark extract in patients with osteoarthritis: randomized placebo-controlled, double blind clinical trial. Phytother Res. 2001 Jun;15(4):344-50. PMID: 11406860.