Joint pain and inflammation is a common symptom that can occur in the hands, wrists, hips and knees. It’s often attributed to underlying conditions like arthritis and can flare-up based on several factors. Thankfully, there are foods and supplements that act as excellent anti-inflammatories and can help improve joint health.
About Joint Pain
Joint pain is a common symptom that adults experience, especially with aging. Joint pain itself is not a condition but rather a sign of an underlying condition or injury. It’s also known as arthritis, which means any type of symptom related to pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints.1,2
Joint pain and arthritis have several possible causes. Athletes or people who have suffered injuries typically experience inflammation in their joint tissues, which causes pain and stiffness in the affected joint. Repetitive use of joints over time can cause erosion to the tissues, cartilage and bone, resulting in soreness.2
Other possible causes of joint pain include:
- Autoimmune conditions like lupus
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Lyme disease
Typically, people experience joint pain in one specific area such as the hands and wrists, knees or hips. Widespread joint pain is less common. Some people experience chronic, low-grade pain, while others may suffer acute joint pain characterized by periods of flare-ups.2
In general, joint pain symptoms include:
- Swelling and inflammation at the joint
- Pain and stiffness with restricted mobility
- Joints that are warm to the touch
- Pain that is aggravated with continued joint use
For many people, their diet and lifestyle can contribute to joint pain. A lack of exercise and diets high in fats, oils or overly processed foods can cause general body stiffness and increase system-wide inflammation. Knowing the types of lifestyle changes to make can help reduce joint pain and inflammation, or even eliminate it depending on what’s causing it.
Top Food Supplements for Joint Pain
Certain foods and supplements are known to have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving health benefits. Adding the right foods to your diet and eliminating the unhealthy ones can help improve your symptoms of joint pain and inflammation.
Here are some of the top food supplements for joints:
Fish Oil - Fish oils are high in omega-3 fatty acids—an essential fat that lowers inflammation. Taking fish oil supplements regularly can help with joint health and ease pain.
Turmeric - Well-known as an anti-inflammatory herb, turmeric can help to reduce joint inflammation, easing pain and stiffness.
Glucosamine - Glucosamine is a substance naturally found in cartilage. Taking glucosamine supplements can help strengthen joints and prevent pain and stiffness.
S-Adenosyl Methionine - S-adenosyl methionine, or SAMe, is a substance that can help improve joint strength. SAMe works by improving cartilage health and acts similarly to ibuprofen as a natural joint pain reliever.
Apple Cider Vinegar - As a natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, apple cider vinegar can help reduce joint inflammation and improve joint health. Apple cider vinegar for joints can be taken orally or applied topically to affected joints.
A combination of regular exercise, eliminating unhealthy foods and adding anti-inflammatory foods to your diet can help relieve pain and improve joint health.