Supplements THAT CAN HELP Joint PAIN
Glucosamine sulfate works by supplying your body with the building blocks it needs to repair joints. It is not medicinal in that it doesn’t block pain, so if your pain decreases, it is because your joints are healing!
If you want to see if glucosamine sulfate will help your joint pain, take over 2,000 mg of it, preferably in three doses of 700 mg tablets (one dose with each meal). Follow this dosage for at least a month. If you feel better, try weaning down to one 700 mg dose a day. If your pain returns, you will know you need a full dose to benefit from the supplement. Most people can maintain with 500 mg to 1,000 mg a day, but need at least 2,000 mg a day at the beginning.
Before you buy a bottle of glucosamine sulfate, read the label. Some bottles say on the front label that they contain glucosamine sulfate for joint health, but when you look at the ingredient label, you find out that the tablets have glucosamine chondroitin with MSM (which has sulfur in it). It’s like saying to someone, “Here is some water,” and then giving them a container of hydrogen and another of oxygen. You can make water from it, but it is not water. So remember that glucosamine sulfate is not the same as glucosamine chondroitin and MSM.
Personally, I take a formula that has all three, glucosamine sulfate, glucosamine chondroitin and MSM for my joint pain.
If your pain is from the delayed onset of muscle soreness after a workout, try taking extra vitamin C for a couple of days to help speed up the breakdown of metabolic waste from the overused muscles. Vitamin C also speeds healing by keeping blood vessels healthy. I will often take 1,000 mg or more of vitamin C daily for three days before doing something physically taxing (like going for a hike up a mountain over a weekend). Vitamin C is water soluble, so it is difficult (but not impossible) to overdose on, as long as you are drinking plenty of water and have healthy organs.
Vitamin B Complex
Your body needs vitamin Bs to make hormones (which help combat stress), to produce red blood cells (which bring oxygen to your muscles), and to maintain nerve function (which keep pain down and healing up). Vitamin B is also water soluble, so stay hydrated for more effectiveness. More on drinking water below.
Herbs THAT CAN HELP PAIN
WHITE WILLOW BARK FOR PAIN
White willow bark is the natural version of aspirin. Pharmacological companies discovered the active ingredient in white willow bark that decreased pain, and now they chemically produce it in a concentrated form. If aspirin were developed today, it would be labeled as a prescription drug because its lethal dose is so minuscule.
White willow bark contains aspirin in its natural state and is less likely to irritate the stomach lining or cause death. It is more expensive than a bottle of aspirin, but if you adhere to the lifestyle changes this book suggests, you should not need much of this herbal remedy.
VALERIAN ROOT FOR BETTER SLEEP
If pain is negatively impacting your sleep, Valerian root may help. Valerian root is a natural sleep aid. If you have difficulty sleeping, which can negatively affect your pain, valerian root may help. You can find it in pill form.
KAVA KAVA ROOT FOR MUSCLE TENSION
Kava kava root is a natural muscle relaxer. It may help take the edge off pain caused by tense muscles.
PASSION FLOWER FOR RELAXATION
If you pain is due to stress and anxiety causing your muscles to tense (or worse, stay in a constant state of contraction), passion flower may help. Passion flower can help you relax when you are feeling stressed or anxious, which can contribute to muscle tension and pain. You can take it in the form of a tea, or for a stronger dose, you can take it as a tincture.
As with any muscle relaxer or sleep aid, you should first try these remedies when you don’t have to drive, work, or do anything that you would not do while impaired. It is best to take these herbs at night to help you relax and sleep.
OTHER HERBS THAT MAY HELP YOU IF YOU ARE IN PAIN
Other herbs that may help with your pain are, curcumin (a natural anti-inflammatory from turmeric that is best absorbed with black pepper) and bromelain (a pineapple enzyme, another natural anti-inflammatory). I would not advise using any of these herbs without guidance from a practitioner who is well versed in herbal remedies.
Therapeutic Oils That May Help
Before using any topical therapeutic oil, check with your health care provider to verify it is appropriate for you to try, and do a spot test to make sure your skin will not negatively react to the essential oil.
Essential Oil of Peppermint for Muscle Aches
Essential oil of peppermint is good for tense muscles. It has a nice cooling effect, which also helps diminish muscle aches. Massage three to four drops of peppermint oil into the area of pain.
Essential Oil of Clove for Muscle Tension
Essential oil of clove is also good for muscle tension. Clove has a nice warming effect, which helps relax tense muscles. Massage three to four drops of clove oil into the region of pain.
Essential Oil of Lavender for Relaxation
Essential oil of lavender is a calming oil. Massage three to four drops of lavender oil into the region of pain. Combine this with some deep-breathing techniques, and feel your stress melt away.
Essential Oil of Marjoram for Increased Blood Flow
Essential oil of marjoram opens up blood flow, which helps facilitate healing. Massage three drops into the area of the body where you are experiencing the most tension.
Essential Oil of Cypress for Edema
Essential oil of cypress reduces swelling, which can cause pain and limit healing. Massage a drop or two of cypress oil onto the regions that are swollen.
MY ADVICE ON USING NATURAL REMEDIES
You can seek advice from a naturopath or another health practitioner who is well versed in herbs to find out if other herbal remedies would be better for your specific needs. However, like prescription medication, I am not a fan of relying on a surplus of pills, tinctures, etc. Natural or not, such treatments should be used sparingly so they work when you need them.
This is why it is important to have good practitioners on your healing team. It takes a village to help you obtain your optimal wellness!
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR ESSENTIAL OILS, YOU CAN ASK US!
DRINK PLENTY OF WATER
All tissues in our body need water. Dehydration affects blood pressure, muscle tension, and joint and fascia lubrication, all of which can lead to low back pain. (Fascia is the lining that covers muscles and organs in your body, separating the different tissues while holding everything together.)
You can calculate how much water you need to drink by multiplying your body weight by 2/3 (0.66). The result is the number of ounces of water you should drink in a day. For example, I weigh about 125 pounds, so I should drink approximately 83 ounces a day (125 x 2/3 = 82.5). Now, for every half hour you exercise, you should add at least 11 ounces. This is why I try to drink at least 96 ounces (three 32-ounce containers) of water a day.
If you drink black tea, coffee, and/or alcohol, you need to drink even more water. These beverages dehydrate you because they tamper with your anti-diuretic hormone (ADH).
The hypothalamus (a part of your brain) detects how much water is in the blood. If the water content is low, the blood has a higher salt content. The pituitary gland (your body’s master gland, also in the brain) senses this and releases ADH into the bloodstream. When the ADH reaches the kidneys, it opens the kidneys’ tubules so more water is reabsorbed into your blood instead of being urinated out (Figure to the left).
After the water pressure goes back up, the hypothalamus detects this and tells the pituitary gland to stop producing ADH. The ADH in the blood drops, and the tubules in the kidneys close so more of the fluid will flow out into the urine. This negative feedback loop ensures that our blood holds the perfect amount of water.
If you drink too much water, the body has a means to urinate out the excess but keep a healthy amount in. As long as you have healthy kidneys and urinate when needed, it is almost impossible to overdose on water, but it’s easy to be deficient in water. So drink up!
When you drink tea, coffee, soda pop, or alcohol, ADH production goes down. This interferes with the regulation of water in the body, causing you to urinate out too much water. This leads to dehydration, which affects your health (especially over the long term). So for every ounce of alcohol and for every cup of tea or coffee you consume, you should drink at least 8 additional ounces of water.
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Drummond Chiropractic, LLC
More Than Neck and Back Pain Doctors
565 N Walnut St
Bloomington, IN 47404
(812) 336- 2423