Three Natural ways to Reduce Joint Pain

Posted by Sanna Atherton Registered Nutritional Therapist, MBA, mBANT, CNHC on

Think about the amazing job our joints do for us throughout our lives. They enable movement to happen between bones that allows us to act and move. Our joints withstand years of use. It’s no wonder that most of us, at some stage suffer with a joint problem, be it an injury, or in future years’ arthritis as a result of the “wear and tear” of life’s activities. Others may deal with autoimmune diseases such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, which can be very chronic and debilitating.

Osteoarthritis is the most common culprit in joint pain. It occurs when the lining of the joints, called cartilage, is worn down. Although osteoarthritis can damage any joint, it most commonly affects the knees, hands and hips.

The second most common cause of joint pain is injury to the tendons, which can range from inflammation and swelling to a partial or full tear.  Injured ligaments can cause joint pain, particularly around the knees and ankles.

Many autoimmune diseases—lupus and rheumatoid arthritis in particular—can also cause joint pain. People are born with a tendency to develop these conditions, which may be triggered by a viral infection.  More common in women in their 20s and 30s than in men, these autoimmune disorders usually cause pain in small joints, like fingers, wrists and toes.

Do your joints hurt more in Autumn & Winter?

Some theories suggest changes in atmospheric or barometric pressure, which refers to the weightiness of air, decreases in cold weather and it’s this drop that can exacerbate joint pain. The drop in barometric pressure may cause soft tissues to swell and put pressure on joints, causing nerves to transmit increased pain signals.

Other theories say seasonal affective disorder (SAD) can impact perception of pain, as feelings of depression or sadness can make you more attuned to pain. Yet another theory suggests the synovial fluid inside your joints thickens in cold temperatures, causing joint stiffness and pain in cold weather.

What can you do?

Include Ginger

Ginger has a powerful but gentle, warming action on the body. It is renowned for its soothing, warming effect on the digestive system, and is also used traditionally to help those with cold hands and feet, as it stimulates the peripheral circulation. Due to this property, it is often added to herbal combinations, to “potentiate” the formula, as it helps to “transport” the various ingredients to all parts of the body, especially where it is needed, as it stimulates the circulation.

In the herbal world, ginger is also prized for its anti-inflammatory properties, making it a popular support for joints and connective tissue. Clinical studies are providing mounting evidence of the anti-inflammatory properties that ginger possesses. Gingerols and zingerones are the special bioactive compounds within ginger that may help to bring down inflammation, and this may then provide relief from joint pain and discomfort.

Take Glucosamine, Chondroitin & MSM

Your body produces glucosamine, a joint cartilage building block naturally, but as you get older, you tend to produce less of it. This is why supplementing can often help to maintain joint health and assist with arthritic joint pain.  Glucosamine comes in two forms: look for Glucosamine sulfate, which is the form with the most research behind it. 

Chondroitin is another compound that your body produces naturally and helps to improve the shock absorption in your joint cartilage.  It seems to work best in combination with glucosamine for arthritis symptoms.

MSM is an easily absorbed form of Sulfur and can help reduce the pain and inflammation of arthritis.  Studies have shown that arthritic joint cartilage may contain less than a third of the Sulfur of healthy joint tissue – which may explain MSM’s effectiveness.

Add in Curcumin

Curcumin, the active form of turmeric, is the queen of anti inflammatories. It has demonstrated significant antioxidant activity, which is crucial for joint health. Potentially harmful free radicals are produced as a natural by-product of the many reactions taking place in your body every single day. These free radicals can cause damage and destruction to joint tissues such as cartilage.

 turmeric curcumin

Your body uses antioxidants to ‘mop up’ free radicals as they are produced which helps to prevent damage to bodily tissues. It is crucial therefore that you ensure a constant dietary supply of antioxidants such as curcumin, every single day, to protect the health of your joints.

(Our Turmeric capsules can also be found on Amazon.)

Thoughtfully written by:
Sanna Atherton
Registered Nutritional Therapist, MBA, mBANT, CNHC



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