Those of us at a certain age know aches and pains come with the territory. But for too many, that means an endless supply of ibuprofen or acetaminophen, which have long-term negative effects. Reducing joint pain can be done naturally in ways that build your health.
I like to think about joint pain in the form of a small triangle made up of three parts: pain relief, nutritional support, and looking to uncover the root cause of the inflammation.
In many cases, joint pain is the result of an injury or other structural issue, but if someone continues to experience sustained pain after the injury should have healed, it is often the result of a low-grade viral infection. This is always something I consider when evaluating a patient that presents with chronic joint pain. Each plays a part in joint pain and without proper care, this can lead to chronic pain that is debilitating and harder to cure.
By taking a holistic approach to pain management we can uncover a great plan for joint pain that doesn’t require endless pill-popping.
Natural remedies for joint pain relief
First things first: Your back aches or your neck is stiff. It may even creep up your spine and cause a stress headache. You naturally think about the jar of Advil that is anything but natural and with long-term use puts a strain on your gut, liver, and kidney function. So let’s change the thinking by using natural remedies combined with healthy mindful movement to immediately begin to reduce pain and stiffness.
Relative fast-acting joint pain relief can be found in the power of essential oils. Scientific studies have found several essential oils to be effective in reducing pain, reducing inflammation that causes pain and calming stress that can be an underlying factor.
For example, lavender’s effects have been compared favorably against placebos and found to be an effective pain reliever according to a review of scientific literature. Other oils like peppermint and rosemary are also effective. Medical News Today found 12 natural remedies for reducing joint pain.
Some of my go-to supplements for joint pain include Magnesium, Ester C, Curcumin, nettle leaf, MSM, passionflower, California poppy, and NAC. I have a detailed section about supplements in my prescription for a healthy immunity guide, which you can download for free here.
The second thing you can do to support these remedies is to move!
Often our pain is associated with our bodies being positioned poorly, for example when sleeping or working, because of the extended hours in a single position.
Another issue to consider with a lack of movement is our lymphatic system. A build-up of toxins can happen when we don’t move our bodies causing an overburdened and sluggish lymphatic system. The contraction of your muscles becomes the pump that helps the fluid get around your body. Exercise helps the lymphatic system flow. All exercise is beneficial to move the lymph throughout the body.
Several studies talk about the benefits of moving around every hour during the day. Online yoga classes like glo.com even have 10-minute practices you can do specifically to release your neck and spine to reduce pain.
Make nutritional changes to combat joint pain
Moving beyond the immediate need of pain relief, we can greatly reduce our joint pain by making nutritional changes to our diet. Yes, there are obvious ones like dramatically curtailing sugar, which heightens inflammation. But there is a lot more you can do positively by making changes to your diet. Studies have found food plays an important part of long-term pain like arthritis.
Cooking spices like turmeric are powerful pain relievers because they reduce the inflammation that causes it. Other healthy foods like leafy greens that add needed Omega 3s into our diet help get to the root causes of our joint pain. Garlic is often referred to as a super-food because of its many health benefits.
A go-to list of foods that are helpful for joint pain
Add these to your next shopping list: Basil, celery and celery juice, leafy greens, cayenne pepper, nutmeg, Chaga mushroom, mullein leaf, onions, cabbage, pomegranates, cruciferous vegetables, kale, wild blueberries, kiwi, melons.
Adding organic berries to your diet adds numerous antioxidants that help reduce swelling and vitamins that build health. Berries taste great and can curb sugar cravings while helping improve the root causes of pain.
By combining natural pain relief with healthy nutrition not only can you curb occasional pain, but you can also diminish the root causes in a way that pain relievers can’t.