Archive for joint pain

Three Natural Supplements to Reduce Inflammation and Pain

As a Garland chiropractor, I am always looking for new ways for our patients to control chronic pain. The first and most important method is by keeping your spine and joints aligned through gentle chiropractic adjustments. Our centrally located clinic makes this easy by offering most commercial insurance plans as well as affordable self payment rates. We also recommend a regular routine of stretching and exercise. But when that just isn’t enough, you might need a little help.

Although reaching for an over the counter drug might be temping, certain medications can cause stomach upset and long term use can create liver inflammation. Therefore it makes sense to consider a few natural options. First let’s explore what causes pain and then we’ll discuss those natural supplements.

Pain and Inflammation

An underlying cause of pain, whether in soft tissues or joints, is inflammation. Generally, inflammation occurs when the body reacts to protect itself from injury. It releases chemicals from white blood cells to fight off foreign substances in the affected area. The chemical release increases blood flow that induces warmth and redness in the injured tissue. Swelling comes from chemicals leaking fluids. All of this activity is to help the injured area, but when nerves are stimulated or pressured by that activity, you get pain.

Joints face a double whammy when an injury occurs. Along with the release of inflammatory substances, the presence of those additional cells crowded into the joint results in irritation, swelling in the lining, and, over time, cartilage can wear-down causing a loss in the bone’s natural end cushion. That causes more pain.

Obviously, is is important to reduce. But as always, we recommend this be done in a manner that’s as natural and healthy as possible. Here are three natural supplements considered to be top-of-the-line when it comes to inflammation reduction.

Turmeric

The turmeric plant, a perennial herb related to the ginger family, grows in Indonesia and India. When the dried turmeric root is ground up, it becomes the yellow spice so popular in Indian curry. It’s also used as a food coloring. Think about mustard’s nice golden color. That yellow color comes from curcuminoids, and curcumin is an important turmeric chemical. Curcumin is an anti-inflammatory, modifying immune system responses by blocking the cytokines and enzymes responsible for inflammation. This is why turmeric has been an herbal medicine in India and Asia for ages.

image of turmeric tea with ginger
Because of that anti-inflammatory property, turmeric powder is often added to smoothies, teas, or sauces when people are seeking to alleviate inflammation. However, curcumin only comprises between 2% to 5% of the turmeric, and although the dried spice is great for general health, it’s not really effective when it comes to treating specific inflammatory disorders. Medical experts recommend supplements, and they usually suggest that people take 400-600 milligrams (mg) three times a day or 1,000 mg once a day for it to be effective.

Clinical trails have proven that curcumin in supplement form works to reduce inflammation. It provides long-term easing of pain and joint function in people suffering from osteoarthritis of the knee. Other studies have shown reduced joint pain and swelling for people with rheumatoid arthritis. One of our favorite turmeric supplements is Standard Process Turmeric Forte. This powerful herbal combination is stocking at our clinic and is a patient favorite.

If you’re taking blood thinners, are pregnant or about to undergo surgery, talk to your doctor before taking turmeric.

Ginger

Ginger is a lovely, exotic-looking flowering plant that’s been a popular digestive and nausea folk remedy for centuries. The root is often used for cooking and some people enjoy its fragrant taste. Since anti-inflammatory turmeric is related to the ginger family, it makes sense that ginger, too, displays anti-inflammatory properties. Current studies show it to be beneficial in treating pain and function in both rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, affecting some inflammatory activities at a basic cellular level. It actually decreased pain from osteoarthritis by 30% and reduced disability up to 22%. Its natural anti-inflammatory compounds function much as inhibitor drugs specifically developed to combat pain and inflammation function.

Ginger is also an antioxidant and has anticancer properties. With all these excellent properties, it’s believed to offer a good boost to a person’s overall immune system. The recommended dosage for daily supplements of ginger is 100 to 224 mg. However, just as with turmeric, its best to have a doctor’s approval before taking any supplement. Ginger shouldn’t be taken in conjunction with certain medications, such as blood-thinning warfarin (Coumadin).

Fish Oil (Omega-3 Fatty Acids)

How does fish oil fight inflammation? Researchers identified G protein-coupled receptors, a family of proteins that bind to different fatty acides. One specific receptor was found on immune cells involved in inflammation. This receptor not only binds to omega-3s, but it shuts down most inflammatory pathways!

image of a salmon with omega 3s
Wild fish contain higher levels of fatty acid than farm-grown fish. Those with the highest levels, ranging from 1.1% to 1.8%, are salmon, albacore tuna, sardines, herring, lake trout, and mackerel. A second group with slightly lower levels from 0.4% to 0.6% are catfish, river trout, and halibut. The first group, especially, is outstanding as an anti-inflammatory food because the fish are full of omega-3 fatty acids. How much should you eat? You’ll get the most benefit from the first group if you eat four-ounces two to three times a week. To get the same benefit from the second group requires two or three 8-12 ounce servings weekly.

Including fatty acids in your diet will help lower your potential for a number of inflammation related diseases; however, not everyone likes fish. The good news is that fish oil supplements are available. There’s no official dose recommendation for how much fish oil to take when you’re fighting arthritis inflammation. However, one study indicated 1,200 mg of omega-3s daily is just as effective for reducing pain as taking ibuprofen. Since various fish contain different amounts of omega-3s, it’s important to focus on the amount of omega-3s you consume rather than the number of fish oil capsules you take.

Because more than 3 grams of fish oil in a day could cause risks, a doctor should help determine the quantity you take.

There you have it:

Three anti-inflammation supplements that help ease your unwanted pain. There are more, to be sure, but these three are proven effective and they’re all natural. The staff at Texas Spine & Wellness can assist you in developing a regimen of diet, exercise, and the appropriate supplements to help you like moving again

Call our office at (972) 840-2520 We’re here to make your life healthier!

Are You Suffering with Joint Pain? Ease it with Collagen

Are your joints feeling a little stiff? Not moving with the easy fluidity you had in the past? Is it difficult to squat or run, or to simply toss a ball or pick up a child? You’re not alone. Studies indicate between 50 to 75 million people now suffer from painful swollen joints — and the number is increasing.

joint pain and collagen

It’s not that we don’t expect bouts with pain. Accidents and illness occur every day. It’s an obstacle course called ”Life.” Unfortunately, swollen joints are no longer unusual. And that kind of inflammation is associated with several types of disease: gout, fibromyalgia, lupus, and, of course, arthritis. In particular, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis are two of the most damaging. An autoimmune disorder, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) inflames joints throughout the body. Osteoarthritis (OA) is specifically a physical condition resulting from the wear and tear on the joints. It’s literally a degenerative disease. Because everyone uses every joint every day, this has become the most common reason for swollen joints. It’s an aspect of aging that many can’t escape!

Texas Spine & Wellness understands joint pain treatment and is focused on helping clients achieve, if not a pain-free life, a manageable level that allows a more normal mobility. It can be done with a program of proper diet, exercise, and supplements. We recommend Great Lakes Collagen Hydrolysate because we’ve found it delivers the best results to ease joint pain and discomfort.

Let’s look more closely at joint pain and at collagen supplements when taken to  reduce inflammation.

How does arthritis attack the joints?

Some researchers suggest arthritis may result from a “confusion” that occurs in the immune system after the body has suffered an infection due to a bacteria or virus. The immune system suddenly begins to attack joints, an attack that can expand to other parts of the body. OA can flare up when an affected joint is injured or suffers some trauma. However, because RA is degenerative and associated with the immune system, only immune system changes can result in a flare-up.

As to why joints swell, there are two causes: the joint lining itself swells, or the amount of fluid in the joint increases. Swelling is a very active process. As white blood cells (also called inflammatory cells) and blood enter the joint, proteins are discharged into the soft tissues surrounding the area between the joints and the bones. Proteins are actually inflammatory molecules. Of course, that additional blood flow swells the joint and—doing what blood is intended to do—adds warmth. All those inflammatory materials increase the collection of fluids in and around the joint, and the swelling also increases. Initial swelling encourages more swelling. It’s like a self-fulfilling prophecy! The end result is damaged bone and cartilage.

How is life affected?

If you have, or have had, inflamed joints, you well know mornings are the worst time for stiffness. You’ve been in bed all night and when you try to bounce up out of bed—wow! You feel like a mannequin. If the stiffness lasts more than an hour, it’s likely inflammatory arthritis. Along with the stiffness is a dull ache you can’t shake, although, thankfully, not all stiffness is accompanied by pain. If you’re stiff after exercising, it’s more likely OA, which indicates the joints are beginning to fail. But you can also feel stiff after resting, such as when you sit after walking or sit just to relax after a long day. It takes some of the pleasure out of simple relaxation. An analogy often used to describe how stiffening joints feel, is to say the sensation is like gelatin setting, a process of gradual firming.

It’s an unpleasant condition for anyone, especially because it can affect any joint in your body: shoulders, elbows, wrists, hands and fingers, hips, knees, ankles, and feet. Even the jaw can be affected. It affects how you move, how you feel, and your mood. After all, how can you be upbeat when your mobility is limited and, in many cases, you ache as well?

Collagen: what is it and how can it help?

Great Lakes Collagen Hydrolysate
Collagen is a protein that makes up about a quarter of our body mass, which means It’s the most abundant protein within our bodies. It’s also the major component of our connective tissues, a part of the structure in our skin and bones, our hair and nails, and our tendons and ligaments. There’s a singular amino acid blend in collagen that contributes to joint health, muscle growth, and the glow that comes when we feel relatively healthy.

Nutritional supplements made from collagen are derived from animal materials such as beef, pork, or fish bones and skin. It’s processed to make digestion easier. All those amino acids of which it’s comprised are instrumental in building joint cartilage, and it’s believed to have  anti-inflammatory properties. By stimulating the production of joint collagen, Collagen Hydrolysate supplements can ease OA symptoms. And collagen is generally well tolerated, with no major side-effects.

Which brings us to Great Lakes Hydrolyzed Collagen protein powder or gelatin supplement and why Texas Spine & Wellness recommends it as your best selection to bring relief to swollen joints. Beef hydrolyzed collagen combines a unique assemblage of 20 amino acids, concentrated in high enough levels to not only promote bone healing, but to provide joint care beyond what other proteins have to offer. It’s designed with a low molecular weight so digestion is easy, and, because of the hydrolization, assimilation is fast, with better hydration in connective tissues. Enrichment of the body’s proteins begins within minutes after taking it.

There are many additional benefits from collagen. Nitrogen balance is one. Nitrogen is believed to be an anti-aging product that supports collagen loss and damage to cartilage that comes with aging. It’s good for all those parts mentioned above: skin, hair, and nails on the outside, and bones, tendons and ligaments on the inside.

We guarantee the quality of this product, which is produced under very strict sanitary conditions, meeting standards established by the U.S. Pharmacopeia. The National Formulary regulates the Pharmacopeia. Having been rigorously tested for pH, strength, moisture and viscosity, Great Lakes Collagen Hydrolysate can be immediately introduced into various recipes to provide that needed collagen boost

Don’t let stiff joints change your life!

Aching joints and stiffness are often unavoidable due to aging, illness, or injury. But it’s not a condition you have to live with. You do have choices!  A selective diet and the right exercise suited to your age and overall condition are the first steps toward healthier joints. The next step is a supplement created purposefully to attack the issue, such as Great Lakes Collagen Hydrolysate. If you would like to purchase a can for yourself you can purchase it here. The big step after that? Set up regular checkups with your primary doctor and chiropractor, and follow their advice for a healthy life style plan. As a chiropractor in Garland, TX , Dr. Mixon specializes in the treatment of joint pain.

Healthy joints are necessary for a comfortable but active life. Visit Texas Spine & Wellness. We want to help you achieve and maintain the healthy joints you were born with!