Ouch is what I was saying a lot of at the beginning of October. I had run out of my Forever Freedom drinking gel. It’s my daily energy boost but also includes MSM, Glucosamine and Chondroitin and with this keeps my achy hip in check. I’ve had this ever since having Solomon. And if I was in any doubt if the drinking gel was helping, well now I know… Found out the hard way… It took 5 days to get out of my system and then 2 weeks for the pain to cease… Not pleasant. And it prompted me to have a look at joints and supplements available for them in general. We have three different ones just with Forever Living!
So let’s look at joints. It’s been very educational for me! I’ve learned lots! So here is an image of a normal joint.
A joint is where two or more bones are joined together. Joints can be rigid, like the joints between the bones in your skull, or movable, like knees, hips, and shoulders. Many joints have cartilage on the ends of the bones where they come together. Cartilage, the smooth, rubbery connective tissue on the end of bones, cushions joints and helps them move smoothly and easily. A lifetime of walking, exercising, and moving takes a toll on your cartilage. The degeneration of cartilage can cause chronic inflammation in the joint. This inflammation can further break down the cartilage over time. The cartilage may wear away completely if it is left untreated.
As cartilage deteriorates, adjacent bones may no longer have sufficient lubrication from the synovial fluid and cushioning from the cartilage. Once the bone surfaces come in direct contact, this results in additional pain and inflammation to the surrounding tissues. As bones continually scrape one another, they can become thicker and begin growing osteophytes, or bone spurs.
So that’s the technical bit of how joints work and where pain comes from if you have it. Joint pain is soooo common! And it can have so many different causes, but it’s usually a result of injury or arthritis (a common condition that causes pain and inflammation in a joint). In the UK, around 10 million people have arthritis. It affects people of all ages, including children.
I’m not going to talk about the different types of arthritis. The point is that whatever form of joint pain you have – is that it hurts!
So what to do if you have joint pain? You can of course go and see your doctor. You are probably going to be prescribed painkillers and/or anti-inflammatory drugs, as well as physio. You may think exercise will make your symptoms worse. However, regular exercise that keeps you active, builds up muscle and strengthens the joints usually helps to improve symptoms. Losing weight, improving your posture and relieving stress will also ease symptoms. Aim for 30 minutes of gentle exercise most days – try joint-supportive activities such as swimming.
It’s also advised to rest your joints regularly so listen to your body and know when you need to take time out. Stop smoking! Those who smoke are twice as likely to develop cartilage loss. Boost your vitamin D levels – the action of sunlight on your skin promotes the production of vitamin D. Low levels of the ‘sunshine’ vitamin are associated with osteoarthritis, so head outside in the morning or late afternoon when the sun is less intense without sunscreen for 15 minutes.
There are also certain foods that can be beneficial as well as some that should be avoided when you have joint issues.
- All kinds of berries
From all fruits in the world, berries are those with the biggest amount of anthocyanins and antioxidant components that can fight back the inflammation of your joints. By saying berries, we mean all kinds of berries – strawberries, blueberries and etc. You can eat them in a raw breakfast with yoghurt, as well as like a smoothie, but do not mix them with harmful sugar ingredients in a form of a dessert, because thus, you will lose their helpful effect.
- Nuts – again, all kinds of nuts (excluding fried and spiced ones)
Include nuts in your diet, best as a snack, because they are the healthy fats you need to fight the pain and to make your joints stronger. Nuts are extremely helpful for the rejuvenating process of the cartilages, so they will assist your immune system to make the recovery of an injury faster.
As a matter of fact, all kinds of orange veggies are superb for your joints, because they have antioxidant features, as well as strong agents that prevent inflammation process.
- Leafy vegetables
I mean vegetables like lettuce, broccoli and cabbage. They are all parts of the big list of joint health food products that can provide your body with antioxidant agents. But here is what: according to the latest researches they are also pain-killers and you can eat them round the whole day without getting into panic that you will put on weight and make your joints even weaker.
Not only oily fish like salmon, but any type of seafood product is a superb source of omega-3 fat acids. They help you to recover from the pain and they produce more enzymes to make joints extra strong. Fish is what supports the cartilage in a top condition, so it represents the main element from all foods that help with joint pain.
- Apples (mainly red)
It’s not just one apple a day keeps the doctor away because of colds, it also keeps the pain away for your joints. You should have at least 1 – 2 red apples a day though.
Ok, most people don`t like its smell and its taste, but onion is such a strong antioxidant that your sick joints just cannot live without it.
If you are a spicy cuisine and spice addition to your cooking lover, then you need to rely on basil. We do love it in pesto and for baked meat, as well as with mozzarella cheese and on avocado sandwiches. Whatever you add it to, basil will strengthen joint cartilage. It does have a special anti-pain feature, if you get used to drink it as an afternoon tea.
- Olive oil
Olive oil should be the only fat or oil you use in your daily cooking process. It is not just the less harmful, but it also helps you out with joint pain.
Ginger is another spice you need to include in your daily menu. Probably, you have drunk it as a stomach ache relief, but guess what – it is also quite efficient in joint pain relief. The best way to get the biggest benefits of ginger is to prepare tea from it. However, do not underestimate the great advantage it offers for any meal, too – especially with fish, potatoes or sandwiches with seafood products.
Another spice that has anti-inflammatory properties.. Well the active part of it that’s called Curcumin. I’ve written a blog about this, so have a log at the details…
If you don’t like fish (like me) soy is a good alternative.
- Dairy products
Some medical articles say that dairy products are bad for your joints, but there are yet no proven evidence that they really are, and they contain the necessary vitamin D and calcium quantity your body needs.
Being a big and important source of protein, beans are good for your muscles and they need to be strong to protect your weak joints.
- Lean protein
Protein is key for building healthy connective tissue and inadequate intakes may lead to loss of muscle mass and diminished strength. Poultry, fish and plant-based proteins such as beans and pulses are great options.
At the end of the day the easiest advise is eating a rainbow of fresh, dried and/or frozen fruit and veg will mean your diet is full of potent antioxidant vitamins, which fight free radicals and reduce the damage caused by inflammation.
There are some commonly cited foods like oranges, tomatoes and peppers as well as dairy foods and wheat. Because there is no scientific evidence yet to support these claims it may be worth keeping a food diary to see what works for you. There are some food types you should avoid.
If you don’t want to give it up, reduce it to minimum. If you are at a party and you cannot deny a glass of alcohol, go for a glass of red wine or a beer. (the emphasis is on ONE glass!)
- Too much salt
If you love salty food, go for soy sauce. We have already mentioned you how beneficial soy is, but never go too far with salt, because it gets stuck in your bones and joints..
Sugar is bad for you anyway, and definitely bad for your joints (as well as you muscles and cholesterol
- Red meat
Red meat is pork, beef and turkey. Keep this to a minimum if you have a flare up.
And of course you can supplement. This is what’s done the trick for both Paul and I. I haven’t been to the doctor about my hip. Until recently it just hasn’t been bad enough for me to warrant to go. There are various joint supplements out there. None of them are actually prescribed on the NHS now because they don’t work on everyone. It’s a bit of a trial and error thing so if you supplement you will need to carry the cost yourself. But to be honest, the amount of pain I was in I’d rather pay for a supplement and not have it the pain! And I really don’t like taking painkillers so that is not a long-term option.
You also don’t need to wait to supplement until you are in pain. If you are an active person help keep your joints healthy with supplements and beneficial food choices.
So let’s have a look at the different supplements that are available. You probably heard of some of them already.
Glucosamine – probably the best know of them all. Glucosamine sulfate is a chemical found in the human body. It is used by the body to produce a variety of other chemicals that are involved in building tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and the thick fluid that surrounds joints. Glucosamine occurs naturally in the fluid around the joints, in animal bones, bone marrow, shellfish, and fungi. It plays a vital role in building cartilage. It’s thought to attract water to the tissue, which helps the cartilage stay elastic, and also to block the action of enzymes that break down cartilage tissue.
Chondroitin – often available in combination with Glucosamine as taking the two of them together has shown better results than taking them separately. They are thought to help slow or prevent the degeneration of joint cartilage. The idea is that taking extra glucosamine and chondroitin in supplement form helps your body replace damaged or worn away cartilage more quickly.
Methylsulfonylmethane – also known as MSM. Commonly used topically on the skin and also taken by mouth, MSM helps form connective tissue and repair joints, tendons and ligaments. MSM is rich in organic sulphur, an important ‘building block’ for healthy bones and joints, and it’s very useful for your immune system. It is a sulphur (a chemical) found in fresh raw foods including fruits, vegetables and meat. The compound used to treat diseases, MSM, is a white crystalline substance that contains 34% sulphur.
It has also been shown that quite often a combination of these three or two out of the three works better than one on its own.
Hyaluronic acid is a substance that is naturally present in the human body. It is found in the highest concentrations in fluids in the eyes and joints, especially a type called hyaline cartilage, which covers the ends of bones and provides cushioning. Hyaluronic acid works by acting as a cushion and lubricant in the joints and other tissues because it helps buffer bones and provides resistance to wear and tear. The types of joint pains most commonly treated with HA include those of the elbows and knees.
Rubefacients are available as gels and creams that produce a warm, reddening effect on your skin when you rub them in. Several rubefacients have been used to treat joint pain.
Omega-3 – dampens inflammation and relieves stiffness.
Ginger and turmeric – Both of these warming spices contain potent anti-inflammatory compounds and have been shown to work well for inflamed joints.
So how do you know which one to try? Well I’m afraid it’s a bit of a trial and error as I said before. I find that the combination of MSM, Glucosamine and Chondroitin in our Forever Freedom aloe vera drinking gel is just what I need to relief my symptoms. Paul however found that it helped but was in no way as effective as our Forever Move which has made is knees feel like new. This supplement contains Turmeric and Eggshell membrane.
The good news is that we have a 60 day money back guarantee. So you can try them all at no risk and find the one that works best for you and your circumstances. Here are the links of the different supplements Forever Living has to offer (in no particular order). So give them a try!
Forever Aloe Heat Lotion topical gel https://www.foreverliving.com/retail/entry/Shop.do?store=GBR&language=en&distribID=440500072227&itemCode=064
Keeping your joints healthy will allow you to run, walk, jump, play sports, and do the other things you like to do. Physical activity, a balanced diet, avoiding injuries, and getting plenty of sleep will help you stay healthy and keep your joints healthy too.
I hope this helped you a little. As always interested to hear your thoughts!