Sonia Jones from the haven Spa and Health Clinic
Many millions of Americans suffer from chronic joint pain. What does this mean to their quality of life? What is there to look forward to on waking-up each morning -aches, lack of mobility, pain that can make it difficult to get out of bed, pain that can stay with you all day? Just getting out of bed can be a problem. Do you have to live like this because you are getting older? The really good news is you don’t have to. You can slow down this degeneration of your joints or you can even reverse the damage, it depends on how much you are willing to change your life-style and diet.
One of the reasons joints degenerate is that your body stops producing enough collagen. Collagen is the protein that holds connective tissue together. Collagen is also the main part of the shock-absorbing cartilage. It’s soft, white and smooth, covering the ends of our joints. It’s in each and every one of our joints – wrists, fingers, toes, ankles, knees, hips and between the discs of your spine.
Each joint is enveloped by a synovial fluid sac – its job is to act like a cushion between the joints, keep the joint moist and this fluid takes nutrients to the joints and removes the harmful debris.
The first thing to consider is dehydration. You may have noticed I mention dehydration/hydration in my articles quite a lot. For the very reason that research and clinic experience have proven most people are dehydrated to some degree. When our body is chronically dehydrated it has to make choices, certain systems need to be maintained like – blood pressure, or the function of the kidneys. So other systems have to make do with less, such as the muscles or joints and reduction of fluid in these areas can mean stiffness and pain but is not life threatening.
Joints need lubricating, not just with water – like any moving machinery the joints need oiling. I know this sound funny but it’s true. Again research has shown we do not get enough of the therapeutic fats and oils in our diet, the essential fatty acids. We either eat foods that contain the destructive fats or we avoid all fats and oils like the plague, due to a ‘fat phobia’.
Enough of the right oils and fats are really important from a lubricating, anti-inflammatory, regenerating, and pain point of view.
Then you need to start giving you body the nutrients it needs to rebuild and regenerate.
Improving circulation is extremely important, the better the circulation – more oxygen and nutrients are taken to the joints and the more debris is removed.
This treatment would also work for sore muscles, bursitis, tendonitis and conditions such as tennis elbow and repetitive strain injury.
Ginger root has shown to be a potent inhibitor of prostaglandins, and hence inflammation. One study from the Department of Environmental Medicine in Denmark showed that of 56 patients taking 1 to 4 grams of ginger root daily, 75 percent had relief from pain and swelling. If you do this along with the other advice, you will have a powerful healing process.
Cayenne is a wonderful herb for quelling pain and very importantly for improving circulation and reducing inflammation. If this spice is too much for you try cinnamon, it has a milder action.
Vitamin C is very important to the rebuilding of cartilage. It is also an anti-inflammatory as well as a good anti-oxidant, and a natural anti-histamine.
The herb horsetail is an excellent herb for the supply of the mineral silica, helps to rebuild connective tissue and with anti-inflammatory properties, that helps to speed up conditions like arthritis. Horsetail capsules are easy to find in health stores.
GLA (gamma linolenic acid) – in the form of Evening Primrose Oil or Borage Oil capsules 300mg and Flaxseed Oil capsules 500mg.
EPA/DHA fish oil capsules 1000mg.
Oats help to feed the nervous system and help to reduce cholesterol, improving circulation to every joint or system in the body.
Foods that encourage the wrong type of prostaglandin production – too much pork, beef, especially if you are an A blood type.
Foods that encourage the good prostaglandins are oily fish and raw nuts and seeds.