9 Ways to Support Healthy Joints Naturally
Joint problems come in many forms and can be uncomfortable at best and very debilitating at worst. Whether it’s after exercise, weekend home improvements, or even after typing emails to loved ones, joint issues are extremely widespread and can affect adults of all ages. So much of it stems from inflammation. Fortunately, you are not destined to a life of simply bearing it or relying on harsh NSAIDs. I always recommend my Liposomal Curcumin as the #1 way to support a healthy inflammatory response.
Knee problems alone affect around 25% of adults, limiting mobility and impairing their quality of life. 1 However, it is likely that you will experience the symptoms of joint issues in multiple locations throughout your body.2 It is also a major symptom of conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Just under 30% of all adults aged between 45 and 64 years and nearly 50% of those over 65 in the United States have been diagnosed with arthritis.3 In fact, it is the leading cause of disability in the U.S.4
First, let’s look at some of the root causes of this far-ranging issue, and then I’ll share with you 9 ways to support your joint health naturally.
Joint Issues Explained
It all comes down to inflammation. When your body is inflamed, joint nerves become more sensitive to movements.5 This can lead to a dull ache, a burning sensation, stiffness, swelling, and other symptoms, and you may feel worse in the morning or when you perform certain activities.6
Joint pain can also be caused by:
- Older age: When you reach age 40, the collagen that builds cartilage in your joints starts to deplete quicker than your body can reproduce it. By age 60, more than half of your body’s collagen has been depleted, making aches and pains more likely.7
- Rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis: These common problems can be triggered by your body attacking itself — in the case of rheumatoid arthritis — or brought on by wear and tear — in the case of osteoarthritis — leading to painful sensations and inflammation.
- Repetitive movements: Are you an athlete, or did you enjoy a particular sport when you were younger? Joint problems are a common issue for dancers, cyclists, runners, rowers, and gymnasts, who may have put a lot of pressure on their hips, pelvis, back, knees or ankles, and repeated certain movements over and over.8
- Injuries, impact, and trauma: Damaging your joints and surrounding tissues can naturally lead to discomfort in the short term. However, sometimes these symptoms come back or don’t go away completely in the long term.
- Hypermobility: Studies show that while some flexibility in the joints is beneficial, joint movements that go beyond your normal range of motion can lead to joint problems, even if you’re young.9
- Cigarette smoking: A link has been made between joint issues and smoking, a practice that promotes inflammation and dehydration in your body.10
- Autoimmune disorders: Being on the autoimmune spectrum, or having a disorder such as Hashimoto’s or fibromyalgia increases inflammation in your body.
The good news is that no matter what is the root cause of your joint problem, there is a wide range of ways you can lower the inflammation levels behind it. Beginning with…
1. Maintaining A Healthy Weight
The connection between being overweight and poor joint health is strong. Studies show that adults over 18 years of age who are overweight or obese are up to 15% more likely to report doctor-diagnosed arthritis.11 This is because carrying around extra weight puts more strain on your joints and bones. The wonderful news is that shedding even just a few pounds can help prevent future inflammation.
2. Gentle Movement & Exercise
Though it might feel counterintuitive at first, including aerobic and resistance exercise training in your routine is one of the best steps you can take to improve your joints.12
Studies show that the following types of exercise are best:13
- Aerobics and water aerobics
- Strengthening exercises, such as lifting light weights
- Conditioning activities that strengthen your heart and lungs, such as bicycling, swimming, dancing, and brisk walking
- Tai chi, the Chinese martial art that uses slow, continuous movements to work and tone your body
- Yoga, which uses breathing and poses to improve flexibility and coordination, and reduce stress
The key point to remember here is that because inactivity can cause mobility issues and worsen conditions such as arthritis, any kind of low-impact movement you enjoy will be beneficial to your joints. Find the activity that you enjoy the most, as that is the one you’ll stick with! Wear a brace or wrap around painful joints to help you get started if needed, particularly if you are dealing with some extra weight.
3. Taking a Bath in Epsom Salts
After exercise, I love taking a detoxifying, relaxing bath with Epsom Salts. Epsom salts are high in magnesium and sulfates, and can help lower inflammation, relax tense muscles, and reduce muscle spasms.14 The minerals they contain are absorbed through your skin, so adding them to your bath, or even making a compress applied directly to the achy area that is bothering you, can lead to quick results. Take two cups of salts and add them to your bath water. For a compress, add two cups to a gallon of water, then soak a towel in it for a few minutes before applying to your skin.
4. Eating an Anti-inflammatory Diet
I want to emphasize the power that simple changes to your diet can make. As you now know, inflammation is the key. This means that beginning an anti-inflammatory diet can very quickly reduce your discomfort.15,16
I talk a lot about how gluten and dairy are the two most inflammatory foods you can eat today. Removing these foods from your diet is the best place to start and can make a huge difference in the way you feel. Other foods to avoid include processed meats, refined sugars and artificial sweeteners, and trans fats or hydrogenated oils found in foods such as fried foods, fast food, and packaged snack products. I go into this in depth in my New York Times bestseller, The Autoimmune Solution, so be sure to check it out.
Along with ditching toxic and inflammatory foods, you can also eat plenty of foods that fight inflammation naturally such as organic berries and most other fruits and vegetables, as well as herbs and spices including garlic, green tea, ginger, rosemary, and holy basil. There are also a number of supplements I would recommend for their ability to help modulate your inflammatory response, which I’ll get into below.
5. Essential Fatty Acids
The Omega-3 fat DHA is found in bone marrow and enhances bone mineral content, and is also helpful in optimizing your body’s inflammatory response. You can find Omega-3 fats in wild-caught salmon, sardines, mackerel, and grass-fed beef. However, I also recommending supplementation to ensure you’re getting enough each day. My Complete Omega 3 Softgels contains a whopping 860mg of EPA/DHA in each tablet, so you only need one per day. They are also filtered for damaging and inflammatory heavy metals, which can be found in most other leading fish oils.
Digestive enzymes are helpful for digesting the protein your body needs to repair damaged tissue.17 What’s more, certain enzymes such as bromelain can also naturally support your body’s inflammatory response, without the side affects of NSAIDs such as diclofenac.18
7. Vitamin D and Vitamin K2
Getting enough vitamin D, along with vitamin K2, will also help you absorb enough calcium, which is essential for bone health and thus, your joints. After all , that’s wher your bones meet! Fish and sunlight are great sources of vitamin D. However, it can be challenging to get optimal levels of vitamin D from food and sunlight alone, especially if you don’t eat fish multiple times a week, or if you spend much of your time indoors or live in a northern climate. For this reason, a high-quality supplement, such as my Vitamin D/K2 liquid can guarantee a continuous source all year round.
8. Gelatin And Collagen
Bodybuilders have been using gelatin and collagen for decades. What’s the difference between gelatin and collagen? Both are packed with amino acids and provide tons of health benefits, such as supporting the health of your gut barrier, liver, cardiovascular system, bones, connective tissue, cartilage, and joints.19,20,21,22,23,24 Gelatin is simply the cooked version of collagen and can be used in recipes to replace eggs and make a wide range of delicious dishes such as my Cinnamon Cacao Coconut Custard.
The Myers Way® Gelatin and Collagen are made from grass-fed, pasture-raised sources and can be used to boost the protein content of your recipes. Plus, both can be taken to promote optimal weight and lean muscle mass, and support healthy bones, joints, hair, skin, and nails.
Curcumin is a powerful substance found in the herb turmeric. It has been shown to optimize the inflammatory response.25 In fact, it has been proven to be so potent that experts are recommending it as a possible alternative to NSAIDs with no negative side effects.26
My micelle Liposomal Curcumin is the world’s most absorbable and bioavailable curcumin because it’s surround by a ‘pocket’ that is both readily absorbed by your intestinal lining, and protected from metabolism by your liver so that it may travel freely throughout your body to the cells and tissues that need it the most. It provides hundreds of times more bioavailable curcumin than many plain turmeric supplements and absorbs at least 5.6x better than the very best standardized curcumin supplements available on the market today.
My Liposomal Curcumin formula supports a healthy inflammatory response by positively impacting your genetic expression in the genes that regulate systemic inflammation. It also supports the production of Treg cells that favorably affect cytokine production, and acts as a free radical quencher by neutralizing inflammation-causing agents throughout your body.
Despite what conventional medicine might tell you, you don’t need to live with joint pain or rely on harsh medications. By optimizing your diet, getting daily exercise in the fresh air, and stocking up on some key supplements, you can find support for your inflammatory response and reclaim a full, active life!