Caring For Your Joints

Joint pain can limit your activity and cause distress. Fortunately correct training and a healthy, nutrient-rich diet  can help. Aside from stretching and strengthening the surrounding muscles (while not overloading them too soon), you can also take supplements to alleviate existing pain, and to help prevent further damage.

GLUCOSAMINE

The first ingredient that you should definitely be getting is glucosamine. Glucosamine has the major role of maintaining the structural framework of the connective tissues in the body, which includes all your ligaments and tendons that often become swollen and inflamed after a hard weight lifting or cardio workout.

The body is able to absorb glucosamine quickly upon consumption, and a good typical dose that you want to start at is about 500 mg taken three times a day.

Individuals who also suffer from arthritis are often advised by their doctors to start using a glucosamine supplement. If this disease runs in your family,then it’s something you may seriously wish to consider.

CHONDROITIN

Next on the list is chondroitin. This is another supplement that is very often paired together with glucosamine in order to help treat arthritis or those suffering from bone conditions. In the body it has the role of interacting with proteins in the extracellular matrix and helping to regulate a variety of cellular functions. It also  plays a rolein helping to maintain the structure and integrity of the body tissues as well.

Studies have  found that when subjects were given a combination of both chondroitin and glucosamine, there was an improvement in knee joint swelling, as well as some improvement in pain in those who were experiencing moderate to severe knee problems.

Most often with joint formula products, when glucosamine is present, chondroitin will be as well, so you’ll be getting the combined benefits of the two supplements.

MSM

MSM, which stands for methylsulfonylmethane is present in all tissues of your body and helps to provide the materials the body needs to properly assemble its tissues.

Typically health professionals recommend that those who do not take in a great deal of the mineral sulfur supplement their diets with MSM, however, for those concerned with knee and joint pain, it’s a good idea to add it to your usual supplement regime as well.Individuals who supplement with 1500 mg per day of MSM tend to show reduced symptoms when suffering from osteoarthritis, as well as it helps to bring the inflammation down, speeding recovery from the daily wear and tear on the joints and ligaments.You can purchase MSM entirely on its own if that’s what you would prefer, or buy it in combination with the other two ingredients listed above. Either way, it will be one of the more important supplements to look at when trying to protect your joints.

CALCIUM
Probably the most commonly known joint supplement that people take is calcium, which also deserves mentioning. When the diet is low in calcium, then the body will begin reaching into the stored calcium deposits in the bones to get this needed calcium, causing a weakening in the bone tissue itself. If this is left to go on long enough, you are then at a higher risk of stress fractures, osteoporosis, and other bone problems.

By supplementing with calcium you’ll help to provide the assurance that if you aren’t getting enough in your diet, your body has extra to spare the calcium that’s already stored in the bones. It’s recommended that you aim to get in 1300 mg of calcium a day if you’re between the ages of 14-18, 1000 if you’re between 19 and 50, and 1200 if you’re 51 or over.

VITAMIN D
The reason vitamin D is important is because vitamin D is the vitamin that’s going to help the mineral calcium be absorbed properly.So, even if you are taking steps to ensure you’re getting enough calcium in your diet, if you aren’t getting enough vitamin D, you could still be at risk for the problems discussed in the last point. The typical recommendation for vitamin D intake is set at 5 mcg (200 IU’s) per day for men and women between the ages of 14 and 50 and 10 mcg (400 IU’s) per day for those 51+.

Most people will get sufficient intake of vitamin D from going out in sunlight, since sunlight causes vitamin D to be manufactured by the body. Otherwise, the main food sources you should look for include:

FISH OIL

Omega 3 fatty acids can potentially enhance joint motility through several biochemical processes including altering eicosanoid biosynthesis and signal transduction and influencing gene expression. In addition, fish oil in particular can decrease some cardiovascular disease risk factors at the same time.

As always, tell your physician about all supplements you are taking (including over the counter drugs such as ibuprophen or allergy medicine).

Fish oil contains the omega 3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and decoxahexaenoic acid (DHA). There are several omega 3 fatty acids and each has a different effect in the body and different actions.

There are several factors that contribute to healthy joints. And, omega 3s enhance joint motility through a few different mechanisms.

EPA And DHA Decreased Inflammation: Studies show that EPA and DHA are more effective than ALA for decreasing several inflammatory markers. EPA and DHA also increase some anti-inflammatory markers such as IL-10, TGFbeta.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids Decrease the Progression Of Osteoarthritis: EPA and DHA inhibit the expression of various proteins that contribute to osteoarthritis. In addition, petri dish studies indicate that the omega 3 fatty acids, ALA and EPA decrease both the destruction and inflammatory aspects of cartilage cell metabolism.
Omega 3 fatty acids are incorporated into cartilage cell (chondrocyte) membranes and in a dose dependent manner they decrease enzymes that degrade cartilage and inflammatory cytokines thereby affecting cartilage cell gene transcription..
Omega 3s Help Other Aspects Of Joint Health: Omega 3 fatty acids decrease symptoms of morning stiffness, tender or swollen joints and joint pain. They can also help increase blood flood during exercise.

 

ADDITIONAL JOINT CARE TIPS

Eat an anti-inflammatory diet loaded in colorful fruits and vegetables. Go to a physical therapist for help with your range of motion and to determine what muscles you need to strengthen as well as those you should stretchTry non-impact activity (elliptical, stationary cycling, Swimming) until your joints feel better.

 

ADDITIONAL READING:

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/johnjoint.htm

http://www.webmd.com/arthritis/caring-your-joints

http://answers.webmd.com/answers/1190833/what-causes-anterior-cruciate-ligament-acl

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/magazine/issues/spring09/articles/spring09pg14.html

 

 

REFERENCES:

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/how-fish-oil-helps-your-joints.htmhttp://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/joint_protection_formulas.htm