Inflammation is an important part of the natural healing process. However, joints and other areas of the body can sometimes become chronically inflamed, which can lead to degeneration of the tissue. Inflammation is also a critical component of life-threatening illnesses including cancer, obesity, and cardiovascular disease.
What are some ways that you can naturally bring down your inflammation and experience relief from chronic joint pain?
You may have heard that one way to reduce inflammation and joint pain is to regularly consume omega-3 fatty acids, which you can find in cold-water fish – such as salmon, mackerel, or sardines. It is also a good idea to cut down on any items that have large amounts of saturated fat and sugar.
University of Texas rheumatologist Scott Zashin, MD says that avoiding bacon and doughnuts can give you pain relief by preventing immune system overstimulation. When the immune system gets frantic in response to fatty or sugary items, pain, exhaustion, and circulatory problems can result.
Scottish study: yes, some supplements work
We often see supplements recommended, but which ones are really best?
Researchers at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland wanted to figure out which supplements were truly effective at mitigating the joint pain and inflammation of arthritis. In order to cast as wide a net as possible, lead researcher Dr. Gary J. Macfarlane looked at all the recent randomized controlled trials and tallied scores for each supplement.
The assessment was straightforward, explains Susan D. Lilly of the Arthritis Foundation. “Researchers evaluated 31 complementary medicines taken either by mouth or applied to the skin that were found to have quality studies available,” she says. “Each was scored for effectiveness based on users’ improvements in pain, disability or quality of life.”
The researchers used a scale of 1 to 5 to rank the supplements. Only four of the supplements received a “4” or “5” ranking for any type of arthritis.
· 5 out of 5: Capsaicin for osteoarthritis and fish oil for rheumatoid arthritis
· 4 out of 5: Indian frankincense and SAMe for osteoarthritis.
Shockingly, when one extraordinarily popular supplement was assessed in two different forms, it scored a “1” and a “2” – in other words, very poor at relief and functional improvement. That supplement is glucosamine.
Getting help for joint pain
Are you experiencing joint pain? If you are suffering from arthritis or another pain condition, our staff can help get you back on the road to good health. See our New Patient Promises.