(Last Updated 10/11/17)
Joint Pain Relief | Support Healthy Joints
Someday we’re all likely to encounter painful, achy, degraded joints, which will definitely make you feel your age or worse. This is obviously not something to look forward to. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to help give you Joint Pain Relief now and also mitigate future joint problems from ever occurring.
Whether you currently suffer from Joint Pain or you just want to avoid the inevitable, be Pro-Active! There are several tips and products I’ll mention below to help you achieve this. Many of these have gone a long way in helping me get some much-needed joint pain relief, and I believe they can do the same for you.
The key is to consistently incorporate a few of them into your routine. Decide which ones make the most sense for you. For example, products such as Fish Oil and Epsom salts have multiple health benefits; therefore, it may make a lot of sense to include these in your routine.
Find Top Deals on Supplements to give you Joint Pain Relief in one convenient place!
Collagen is Key for Healthy Joints
What exactly is Collagen?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies. It’s found throughout our muscles, skin, blood vessels, digestive system and tendons. When it comes to our Joints and tendons, it’s essentially the “glue” that holds us together. To say it’s “important” is clearly an understatement! Unfortunately, starting at age 21, our Collagen diminishes 1% per year. By age 30 the signs become visible.
Sounds pretty important, how can I increase my Collagen?
I’m glad you asked, since lower levels of collagen caused by aging can lead to a loss of cartilage and Joint Function, it only makes sense that increasing your collagen will aid in joint pain relief. There are various ways you can increase your body’s levels of collagen. Various collagen supplements are available as well as products that can help boost your body’s own ability to produce this wondrous substance. Healthy foods such as Bone Broth can also help.
Is there any Proof that boosting my Collagen will help my Joints?
Yes, there actually is! The Department of Nutrition and Sports Nutrition for Athletics at Penn State University researched the effects of Collagen supplementation on athletes over the course of a 24 week period. The results were pretty damn impressive! They found that the majority of participants showed significant improvements in their Joint Pain as well as a decrease in factors that negatively impacted their athletic performance. Bear in mind, these are athletes who put a great deal of stress on their Joints, and they showed Significant improvement, not minor; color me impressed!
What can I take to increase my Collagen?
Scientists have searched for years for a method that would give the body the ability to regenerate its own Collagen. Ch-OSA, the active ingredient in BioSil finally makes this a reality. Ch-OSA, the active ingredient in BioSil finally makes this a reality. Ch-OSA is choline-stabilized orthosilicic Acid, a combination of choline and silicon.
Studies have shown taking ch-OSA with calcium and vitamin D resulted in significant beneficial effects on bone collagen after 12 months in 136 women who suffered from osteopenia (low bone mineral density).
There have also been studies showing its ability to help improve skin texture, nails and hair; which would all lead one to believe that it does in fact boost your Collagen levels.
I prefer the Liquid BioSil and usually place 5 drops in my beverage twice a day as part of my overall anti-aging routine. It smells a little “fishy” but it doesn’t taste that bad.
BioSil Capsules are also available and likely more convenient for most people.
How’s it made?
Parts of a cow or chicken, such as the bones, marrow, skin, feet, tendons and ligaments are simmered down. This causes the release of Collagen, praline, glycine and glutamine. Bone Broth also contains many minerals in the forms that are easily absorbed by your body, such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, silicon, Sulphur and more.
Bone Broth also contains Chondroitin Sulfate and Glucosamine, two popular supplements used to help cure Joint Pain. Besides being delicious and nutritious, it’s no surprise Bone Broth has been known to promote Healthy Joints, among other things.
What to look for?
Many of the store-bought “Stock” and “Broth” aren’t actually real. For example, companies often use lab-produced meat flavors in bouillon cubes. This means that the “Broth” may taste good, but you’re not actually getting any of the health benefits.
Making your own fresh Bone Broth is ideal; however, it is time consuming and kind of a pain in the butt. If you don’t have the time or motivation to make it yourself, one of the top broths you can currently buy is from Kettle & Fire. Great care is taken in its preparation, and they use only the finest ingredients.
The formula is simple. Their Bone Broth is made only from hormone-free and antibiotic-free animals, organic vegetables, organic herbs, sea salt and peppercorn. The ingredients are slowly simmered down for 24 hours. It’s simply Delicious, Natural and Healthy!
Consuming nutrients is one thing, having your body actually absorb them is whole other thing. That’s where Collagen Peptides come in. These small bioactive peptides are created by breaking down the molecular bonds between individual strands of Collagen. This makes a huge difference in its bioavailability, which is your body’s ability to absorb this form of Collagen. But don’t take my word for it; studies have actually shown that “Collagen peptides are absorbed, as evidenced by their presence in human blood 1-2 hours after digestion”.
One of my favorite times to take Collagen Peptides is after my workout. I simply add them to my Whey Protein shake for an extra recovery boost.
Find a great deal on high quality Collagen Peptides.
Comprised of the same amino acids as Collagen Peptides; however, it contains a higher molecular weight. This roughly means the bioavailability isn’t as high and that it won’t mix quite as easily in cold water. It’s usually used in soups, stews and desserts. As far as supplements go, make sure to go with the Collagen Peptides.
Okay, aside from Collagen Boosters, what else can help?
Glucosamine, Chondroitin & MSM
Three proven ingredients that help build the cushy cartilage that acts as a shock absorber for your Joints. They simply help you kiss Joint Pain away.
Glucosamine Sulfate helps stimulate Healthy Joints through its ability to act as a component of and stimulate the formation of cartilage glycosaminoglycans as well as the Hyaluronic Acid backbone that is essential for the formation of proteoglycans. Scientific mumbo-jumbo aside, there are several studies that prove the effectiveness of Glucosamine.
Keep in mind that Glucosamine is sourced from Shellfish, so if you’re allergic to Shellfish you should definitely avoid it.
Chondroitin Sulfate has been shown to inhibit MMP-3 synthesis, which play an important role in the homeostasis of cartilage proteoglycans. It can also downplay MMP-13 in chondrocytes, which helps maintain the integrity of the articular cartilage matrix. In simple terms, Chondroitin may slow the breakdown of cartilage.
MSM is one of nature’s primary sources of Organic Dietary Sulfur, and has been shown to work synergistically with Glucosamine and Chondroitin.
There are several studies that prove the effectiveness of Glucosamine, Chondroitin & MSM towards alleviating Joint Pain.
Buy a high-quality product featuring Glucosamine, Chondroitin & MSM.
Celadrin for Joint Lubrication
A proven aid for joint flexibility and relief, Celadrin is comprised of esterified fatty acid carbons and other active synergists. It has also been shown to work synergistically with Glucosamine and Fish Oil to provide even better results when dealing with Joint Pain.
I’ve noticed some much-needed comfort from taking Celadrin and highly recommend it to anyone I run across in the gym.
Find a great deal on Celadrin.
Celadrin Cream is also available, which I prefer over other products such as Ben-Gay. It’s perfect for massaging into achy joints and muscles.
“Cissus” is a grape plant prominent in Asian folk medicine. The theory is that it may help support Joint Health due to its ability to support bone formation and reduce inflammation. In fact, there are already several studies available that show great promise.
One such study examined the effects of a 1500 mg dose (administered in three separate 500mg doses) on bone healing. The researchers concluded that Cissus Quadrangularis “helps in reducing pain, swelling, and fracture mobility and accelerate the healing of fracture jaw bones.”
Another study utilized a dose of 3200 mg a day on Joint Pain in exercise-trained men. This study lead the researchers to conclude that “an 8-week course of supplementation with CQ reduced joint pain in a sample of 29 young, otherwise healthy, exercise-trained men.”
Find a great deal on Cissus.
Hyaluronic Acid for Healthy Joints
Hyaluronic Acid is a naturally occurring compound found in your bones, connective tissue, joints and tendons. It has gained popularity as an anti-aging serum due to its ability to help increase moisture in the skin and reduce wrinkles when applied topically. It can also be taken orally and even injected directly into painful, achy joints, which is what we’ll focus on.
Injections for Knee Osteoarthritis (OA)
Hyaluronic Acid Injections, also called Viscosupplements, have shown promise. This procedure mimics adding back the naturally occurring gel-like lubricant found in the synovial fluid surrounding the joints. People with Osteoarthritis have a lower than normal concentration of Hyaluronic Acid in their joints. It’s theorized that replacing it may help.
The Theory makes sense, but has it helped?
The consensus from one of the more recent studies indicates the best respondents have been those under the age of 65 who have not had corticosteroid shots in the past; do not yet have severe arthritis, and who are not overweight or obese. In fact, 100 percent of the patients who had none of the above-mentioned factors all experienced improvements in pain and function compared to 69 percent of patients who had any two of the factors and 28.6 percent of the patients who had all of the factors.
Hyaluronic Acid Pills
Taking a pill is definitely less invasive than getting an injection. The good news is that studies on oral supplementation have also proven to be beneficial. In one such study, participants with Osteoarthritis in the knee took 200 mg of Hyaluronic Acid daily for a year while also performing muscle strengthening exercises.
What was the Result?
After a year, the group taking Hyaluronic Acid reported significant improvements in pain and stiffness compared to a placebo group, who also performed the same exercises during the study.
Get a great deal on Hyaluronic Acid.
Fish Oil to Aid Joint Pain
The Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Fish Oil, DHA and EPA in particular, have a whole host of health benefits. Since this article is about Joint Pain, we’ll focus on that. EPA and DHA can reduce inflammation; thereby reducing the swelling and pain in your Joints. EPA and DHA also inhibit the expression of various proteins that contribute to Osteoarthritis. It should be no surprise then that Omega-3s have been shown to decrease morning stiffness and Joint Pain.
I personally use Carlson Norwegian Fish Oil and highly recommend it. It doesn’t taste like fish (I get the lemon flavor) or leave you with fishy smelling burps, which is often a sign that you’re ingesting cheap, low-quality oil. It’s regularly tested (using Aoac International Protocols) for Freshness, Potency, and Purity by an independent (meaning unbiased, which is very important here) FDA-registered Laboratory. These lab results have found it to be free of detrimental levels of Mercury, Cadmium, Lead, PCBs, and other contaminants. It’s also processed and bottled in Norway, where oceans aren’t ruined like they are in many other parts of the world.
Find out more about Carlson’s Finest Fish Oil here.
Get the convenience of Carlson Fish Oil Capsules.
Krill Oil to Reduce Inflammation
Krill Oil is another great source of Omega-3 Fatty Acids. While everyone sings the praises of Fish Oil, Krill Oil may actually be more beneficial. Although I recommend you try to get the majority of your nutrition from a healthy diet, the problem with getting your Omega 3 Fatty Acids from the fish you consume is that the fish has likely lived a long time.
Why’s this a problem?
While you should be happy the fish enjoyed spreading its fins and spending years of its life swimming around the ocean prior to arriving on your dinner plate, you should also be aware that its long life likely lead to the accumulation of various toxins, such as Mercury. In fact, it’s no surprise Tuna is well-known to contain high levels of Mercury.
If you’re set on eating tuna, there is one brand I’d highly recommend, as each fish is individually tested for mercury as well as radiation. It’s called Safe Catch.
Other Krill benefits
An extra benefit of Krill Oil is that it usually also contain Astaxanthin. In fact, the ingestion of Astaxanthin from marine algae is what gives Krill its pinkish color. One of the health benefits this super food is known for is its anti-inflammatory properties, which is beneficial for decreasing Joint Pain. The potential health benefits associated with Astaxanthin is actually so long, there’s really not much it can’t do!
Like Fish Oil, you get what you pay for. You don’t necessarily have to pay top dollar, but I’d recommend avoiding the cheaper ones. Not only will the dosage on the label be suspect, but the quality of the oil could even be toxic.
Here’s a high-quality Antarctic Krill Oil with Astaxanthin.
Tips for Healthy Joints:
Avoid Corticosteroid Injections
They’re just not good for your joints. In fact, studies have proven that quarterly Corticosteroid (Steroid) Injections for Knee Osteoarthritis have lead to an increase in cartilage loss over the course of 2 years. If that weren’t bad enough, this study also concluded that the injection shots did not provide any clinical benefit; talk about a “lose-lose” situation. Speaking of Steroids, stay away from other types as well.
Avoid Anabolic Steroids
There are several great reasons to stay “Natural“, which I’m a huge proponent of, and Healthy Joints are only one of these reasons. I’m sure if you’re 18 you probably don’t care, but spend any significant time in the gym or in life for that matter, and you will most definitely begin to care about having Healthy Joints!
As far as Anabolic Steroids go, there are two things at play here. First and foremost, there is some compelling evidence; though not yet irrefutable, that Anabolic Steroids degrade your connective tissue. There may be kind of a chicken or egg thing going on here though, which takes us to the other thing at play. What may actually be causing the Joint Pain is the rapidity of strength gains. It seems kind of ironic to complain about that though, since it sounds like gaining a huge amount of strength in a very short period of time would be pretty awesome!
Awesomeness aside, think of it like throwing a Supercharger on a car’s engine that doesn’t have Forged Pistons. Sure it’ll be fast, but it won’t last long! In other words, it’s a recipe for disaster, which is the perfect segue to our next tip; lighten the load in the gym.
Science says Lighten the Load
It’s a given that lifting progressively heavier weights goes a long way in improving muscle size and strength; however, all that extra weight sure does take its toll on your Joints after a while. In fact, what you do to build size and strength has an opposite effect on your Joints, which will lead to Joint Pain over time. That’s right, lifting heavy weights actually reduces the mass of cartilage; Bummer, I know!
A team of scientists discovered that using weights heavy enough to prevent you from completing 8 or more repetitions per set can cause inflammation in the Joints that not only leads to cartilage deconstruction, but also inhibits reconstruction. It seems that heavy weights cause cell-signaling molecules called cytokines to initiate a chain of events that result in the release of chemicals that appear to attack cartilage; a type of attack that is similar to arthritis. Scary Stuff!
Chemical reactions aside, the heavier the load the greater the toll it places on various other support structures within the body. With that said, don’t give up the heavy weights; at least not entirely. The previously mentioned research team also found something very interesting. They established that training with light weight (15-20 reps per set) not only prevented this cartilage deconstruction, but actually enhanced its reconstruction! It’s easy to assume that going lighter and giving your Joints a break from heavy lifting will start to make them feel better, but apparently that is not entirely the reason why.
How Should I Train Then?
Utilize both high reps and low reps. Switch up the routine from time to time. Heavy weights definitely have their place, but you may just want to occasionally do “Pump Work” for a couple of weeks. You can even incorporate a couple of Light Days in your routine during the week that is offset with Heavy Days. I’m currently doing something similar with my training. Check out my High Rep Workout for an example.
Mild Joint Pain is likely no cause for concern; in fact, movement helps re-lubricate Painful Joints, and you’ll almost immediately begin to feel better after you warm-up. However, if you experience sharp or severe Joint Pain, it’s advised that you stop the exercise causing it. This may be a sign that the Joint Damage is so severe that it may need professional rehabilitation. When in doubt ask your doctor.
Light stretching, speed-walking on the treadmill, body-weight squats, marching in place, Jumping Rope, Foam Rolling, and even light Yoga-type movements will all go a long way in helping you properly warm-up and prevent injuries during your workout.
This one should be pretty obvious. The more weight you’re carrying around, the more stress you’re placing on your Joints. When looking to lose weight, I actually prefer the term “fat loss” over “weight loss”, as it entails a different sort of approach.
It should be your priority to maintain as much lean muscle as you can. The more lean muscle you have, the more calories your body is going to be actively burning throughout the day. Some of the diets out there are strictly concerned with rapid weight loss and usually achieve this if followed correctly. The problem with such quick results is that the majority of the weight loss is water, then muscle and fat. Not only that, these kind of diets aren’t usually sustainable long-term or even healthy for that matter.
With that said, a Healthy Juice Cleanse is a great way to jump-start a healthy routine and get rid of a lot of excess “gunk” in your body that may be weighing you down. Check out a company called Raw Generation for a convenient way to get Raw healthy juice.
It goes without saying that you’re going to need to reduce your calories to aid your “fat loss”. A good way to ensure that you preserve your lean muscle mass while restricting your caloric intake is to supplement with Branched Chain Amino Acids.
Check out my article on BCAAs.
Proper diet and exercise will go a long way in helping you shed and keep off the pounds. There are several fat loss supplements available that can help to give you an extra boost. One of the products I like a lot is called “Lean Mode” from Evlution Nutrition. It’s definitely one of the healthier options out there and it’s stimulant-free. It contains Green Coffee Bean Extract, CLA, Acetyl-L-Carnitine, Garcinia Cambogia Extract and Green Tea Extract.
Buy Lean Mode now.
Foam Rollers to Increase Blood Flow in Joints
Foam Rolling has become quite popular over the last few years. I remember starting out with weight training over 20 years ago and there wasn’t a Foam Roller in sight; in fact, I’m not sure anyone used or even heard of them yet. Come to think of it, there weren’t really even any around 10 years ago, which is in stark contrast what you’ll find at the gym nowadays; you practically can’t turn a corner without tripping over one.
Speaking of gym’s Foam Roller, they’re most likely pretty disgusting as I bet they rarely; if ever, get cleaned. They’re also likely degraded from heavy overuse and being tossed around everywhere . That’s why I recommend you get your own; in fact, they make Smaller 13×6 inch Foam Rollers that are small enough to fit in your Gym Bag.
In order to really get into those hard to reach areas you can try a Lacrosse Ball. They’re usually recommended after you have grown a tolerance from using one of the Firmer Foam Rollers first. You can use them to really focus on a small area, such as deep tissue work on the glutes, pecs, feet and more.
The Importance of Foam Rolling
While lifting weights will help keep you “looking young”, foam rolling will help keep you “feeling young”; which is equally important. What you’re essentially doing is giving yourself a Myofascial Release. This is pretty much what a trained masseuse will do for you; the only difference is that you won’t go broke getting it done every day.
Fascia is the connective tissue running through your body that surrounds and separates your muscles, joints, and organs. It also helps cushion your joints from impact. Muscle and Joint Pain can result if it’s tight. Think of those knots that give you discomfort in your muscles and Joints. The Myofascial Release helps bring more fluid back into the fascia, which helps keep the joints cushioned. Foam Rolling also helps break up and release toxins, so make sure to drink plenty of water.
How to Perform
Relax into it, try not to tense up, and roll back and forth across the muscle. Utilize different angles and you’ll really start to feel it “breakdown”. It’s actually a skill you’ll develop over time. It can be excruciating depending on the muscle, so you’ll have to build a tolerance over time. It’s recommended you start with one of the Softer Foam Rollers. I suggest you make it a habit to keep those knots at bay once you’ve broken them up; which is why I recommend getting one of the Larger 24×6 inch Foam Rollers for use at home and one of the Smaller 13×6 inch Foam Rollers for use in the gym.
Stretch to reduce Stiffness
Stretching will help lubricate, enhance, and maintain good range-of-motion in your joints. All this goes a long way towards alleviating Joint Pain. I place Stretching in the same category as Foam Rolling; as they both go a long way in making you “feel younger”.
Start “Feeling Younger” now; get a Complete Mobility Kit (foam roller, lacrosse ball and stretching band).
Joint Support Sleeves
Whether it’s your Knee, Ankle, Wrist or Elbow, a Joint Support Sleeve will help increase blood flow and reduce Joint Pain. The compression encourages blood flow through the blood vessels and helps keep the joint warm. This goes a long way towards lessening Joint Pain and swelling during and after your workout, which will lead to better recovery. They can also provide extra support and relief for life’s daily activities.
One of the top companies that make Joint Support Sleeves is Rehband, which has been around since 1955. Their Knee Sleeve is actually patented, and has been built in close collaboration with athletes, making it by far the cream of the crop.
Find out more about the Rehband Knee Sleeve.
Bear in mind, the Rehband products are all sold as single sleeves, so the price will actually be double if you want/need a pair.
While Rehband happens to be cream-of-the-crop, there are other more affordable options that are still very good. For example, Nordic Lifting makes a very high quality pair of Knee Sleeves for an affordable price.
Check out the Nordic Lifting Knee Sleeves.
Whether you’re doing heavy pressing or pulling movements due to bodybuilding, weightlifting, powerlifting or cross fit, it’s imperative you do what you can to reduce the wear and tear on your elbows.
Start enjoying less Joint Pain and get some much-needed relief with Elbow Joint Support Sleeves now if your elbows are already feeling a little tender. A high-quality Elbow Joint Support Sleeve can even be used to help alleviate symptoms of “Tennis Elbow”.
Buy a Rehband Elbow Sleeve.
Find out more about a pair of Nordic Elbow Sleeves.
Joint Pain in the wrist is another common area that tends to give people problems for a variety of reasons. Whether the discomfort stems from heavy lifting, playing golf or just typing in an office all day, a Wrist Sleeve can at least help alleviate the Joint Pain.
I actually prefer the less cumbersome Wrist Sleeves, which don’t wrap around your actual hand. One such pair is made by a company called Pure Compression. They’re not only effective, but also pretty affordable.
Buy a pair of Pure Compression Wrist Sleeves.
Whether you suffer from Plantar Fasciitis or just have a mild ankle strain, Ankle Sleeves go a long way in reducing painful symptoms. They’re also highly recommended for activities such as basketball, baseball, cross fit, soccer, hiking, running and more; basically, any activity that puts extra strain on your ankles.
It’s important to not only find a product that provides adequate support, but one that is also comfortable. That’s where PowerLix comes in. Whether you have meaty ankles or slender ones, their Ankle Sleeves are specially knitted to match different types of joints. Tight and form-fitting, they provide superior support and relief without compromising your mobility. Best of all, the comfortable special fabric is designed to give you a smooth and soft feeling so that you can wear them all day long.
Check out the PowerLix Ankle Support Sleeves.
Epsom Salt to soak Achy Joints
There’s nothing more relaxing than soaking in a warm bath with Epsom Salts after a hard workout. It’s equally soothing and relaxing after a stressful day in general. The magical ingredient in Epsom Salt is Magnesium Sulfate, and it has a whole host of benefits. Not only will it help reduce your muscle aches and Joint Pain, it will help draw toxins out of your body. It’s also a great way to increase your body’s own levels of Magnesium. That’s right; you can actually absorb it through your skin, which is pretty neat.
Don’t think that’s important?
Bear in mind, the majority of the US population is deficient in magnesium. It’s very likely that active individuals who work out and/or play sports are even more deficient. In fact, Magnesium supplements have been shown to “enhance exercise performance via increasing glucose availability in the blood, muscle, and brain during exercise”.
Find a great deal on high-quality Epsom Salt.
Wrapping Up – Ending your Joint Pain
I hope this article on Joint Pain has given you some actionable ideas and been informative. These Tips and Products have certainly gone a long way in helping me. I’m currently 37 years old and have been consistently training with weights and martial arts since I was 14.
While 37 is not necessarily old (of course it depends who you ask), spending 23 years in the gym consistently training will definitely put some wear and tear on your Joints. When I say consistently by the way, I mean it; I do not take days off. If my current Training routine is 5 days a week, you can bet I’m at the gym 5 days a week, training for several hours at a time. I only point this out to emphasize what my Joints have been through.
Okay, so now that you know what I’ve put my body through, I’d like to mention the products I personally use and vouch for.
- Epsom Salt – I usually soak 2-3 days a week (after workouts)
- Celadrin (one of my essential supplements)
- Fish Oil (there are too many benefits Not to)
- Biosil (I’m trying to maintain my youth)
- Collagen Peptides (It’s great for overall recovery after the workout)
- Hyaluronic Acid (research for this article convinced me add it)
I occasionally use the Knee Sleeves on heavy leg days. Once in a while I’ll use Wrist Sleeves if they’re feeling stiff.
Your author Foam Rolling at 37. Currently happily living with less Joint Pain than he was 10 years ago.
Suffering from Lower Back Pain?
See my latest article on Lower Back Pain.