3 Lies Your Doctor May Tell You About Joint Pain
By Joshua Corn
Imagine what your life would be like without joint pain. What if throbbing, aching joints never made you think twice about doing the activities you used to enjoy? Imagine being able to play 18 holes of golf effortlessly or sit through a movie without getting stiff. How about being able to get out of bed in the morning without feeling those creaks and pops, ready to take on the day?
Staying Active Is the Fountain of Youth
Here's a simple truth to remember. Nothing does more for your quality of life and longevity than staying active as you age. And what usually keeps people from staying active is some combination of believing that aches and pains are a NORMAL part of the aging process, and quite simply, bad advice from their doctors. Despite what your doctor might tell you, there's an underlying cause for joint pain that may have nothing to do with your age. (More on that later). But first, it's important to understand that the conventional approach to joint pain is basically to band-aid the issue with painkillers.
Don't Let Big Pharma Take Away Your Best Years
The current medical mentality on pain management has spurred a multibillion-dollar industry for Big Pharma. However, studies show that long-term use of seemingly "harmless" over-the-counter pills, such as ibuprofen, can actually weaken your joints over time, and prescription pain pills have a well-established track record of causing serious damage and even death. You may recall the tragedy that unfolded around the FDA-approved painkiller Vioxx, which claimed as many as 55,000 lives (and possibly up to 100,000) before the FDA banned it. It makes me wonder, is the next Vioxx lurking out there?
I'm on a mission to let people know that they have a choice when it comes to managing joint pain. Despite what your doctor might say, you don't have to stop exercising and take painkilling medications just to maintain an acceptable quality of life as you get older. And any way you slice it, taking painkillers long term, even ibuprofen, is NOT safe. LIE # 1: Exercise Makes Joint Pain Worse
If you're suffering from any kind of joint pain, the commonly held belief is that additional "wear and tear" will make it worse. But the problem with this idea is that it doesn't take into account the body's inherent ability to repair damage and that physical activity actually stimulates this repair. The fact is, inactivity is known to weaken muscles and decrease joint flexibility.
Yet, strangely, if you go to your doctor complaining of joint pain, you'll probably be told to "rest up." However, it's scientific fact that low-impact exercise, such as walking or biking, is highly beneficial to your joints because it increases circulation, which in turn enhances your body's natural ability heal joint tissue and protect it from further damage.
But what if the pain is too great to consider being active? Keep reading, as I'll reveal how you can safely begin to heal your joints so that you can start exercising slowly.
LIE # 2: Painkillers Are a Safe, Long-Term Solution
At their doctor's suggestion, many people take over-the-counter pain medications like aspirin, naproxen or ibuprofen day after day, under the assumption that it's perfectly safe to do so. You can blame this at least in part on those fancy pharmaceutical ads that make it seem like these pills are side effect-free. But this is far from the truth. What those ads won't tell you, and what your doctor may not know, is that these pills have serious negative health consequences when taken for long periods of time. For example, shocking new research shows that long-term use of ibuprofen may actually damage your joints over time, since one way it reduces pain is by suppressing the natural healing process. These pills also have other serious side effects including liver and kidney damage, stomach bleeding, ulcers and increased heart attack and stroke risk.
LIE # 3: Natural Products Don't Work
Here's a funny thing about doctors. Recent surveys show that the majority of them take supplements on a daily basis, but many balk at the notion of recommending them to their patients. But when it comes to managing joint pain, the fact is that thousands of scientific studies prove that natural products do work -- often times better than prescription drugs.
Isn't it a doctor's responsibility to recommend the most effective and safest solution? Let me remind you that properly prescribed pharmaceutical drugs are thought to kill approximately 100,000 people each year. Guess how many people died from taking dietary supplements last year? The government's own CDC reports ZERO. For this reason, I contend that any doctor who fails to recommend natural joint health products, at least as an option to more dangerous over-the-counter or prescription pills, is committing a form of malpractice. After all, doctors take an oath in which they vow to heal -- not write prescriptions.
Does Your Joint Supplement Belong in the '80s?
The combination of glucosamine and chondroitin has become the most widely used natural remedy for joint pain -- and for a good reason. Hundreds of studies have shown that it's safe, helps to protect and rebuild cartilage and is effective to some degree for a large portion of joint pain sufferers. That being said, the research on joint health has taken major steps forward since glucosamine-chondroitin was first popularized in the 80s.
One of the major discoveries in recent years is that supplementing with hyaluronic acid (also known as HA) can revitalize synovial fluid, a thick gel-like substance that surrounds cartilage, acting as a lubricant and shock absorber. Nowadays, a number of popular joint-support formulas contain some combination of glucosamine, chondroitin and HA. However, while important, these three ingredients don't address what many leading experts now believe to be the root cause of 90% of joint-pain problems.
Most Supplements Fail to Address This Critical Issue
Temporary inflammation is a normal part of your body's natural healing process. But when inflammation becomes chronic, the health consequences can be dire. Unfortunately, as a combined result of exposure to toxins, consumption of processed foods and other factors, many people unknowingly suffer from "invisible" chronic low-grade inflammation. It's now thought this is one of the leading causes of joint pain and discomfort throughout your body.
The problem I have with most joint-support supplements is that their ingredients are designed to focus only on the joints themselves and don't have any ingredients that fight the inflammation that is causing the pain. If you don't address the larger systemwide issue, then you're only fixing a small part of a larger problem. That's why the very best joint-support supplements out there are packed with natural inflammation fighters. It's simply the very best way to ensure immediate and long-lasting relief for your entire body, not just specific areas.
5 Inflammation-Fighters Missing from Most Supplements
Fascinating new research shows that there are a number of powerful and perfectly safe herbs that work amazingly well at beating back chronic low-grade inflammation and healing your whole body with amazing effectiveness. These herbs have been used in traditional medicine around the world for thousands of years. But it's not just anecdotes and folklore. Breakthrough scientific studies are proving that these ancient remedies can be safer and more effective than the toxic potions conjured up by modern medicine.
I've read thousands of studies on various inflammation-fighting herbs and have experimented with dozens of them myself over the years. There are many good ones out there, so where do you start?
The five herbal inflammation-fighters that have consistently stood out from all the rest are boswellia, curcumin, ginger, tart cherry and bromelain. Let me explain why.
The Ancient Herbal Solution to Joint Pain
Hundreds of years ago in India, when people complained of aching joints and muscles, Ayurvedic healers prescribed an extract made from the unique bark of the Boswellia tree. Today, we know much more about this ancient herbal remedy and the compound, called Boswellia serrata, has been proven to be a powerful inflammation fighter capable of providing fast, long-lasting relief. In a landmark gold-standard study conducted at UC Davis, boswellia was shown to ease knee pain and stiffness within just seven days. And in a breakthrough study just completed last year, researchers found that boswellia inhibits the production of key inflammatory molecules, which helps to prevent the breakdown of cartilage!
The Amazing Healing Spices of Life
The great land of India has gifted us with a few powerful all-around inflammation fighters. Curcumin, a compound found in the curry spice turmeric, has been proven in studies to inhibit the synthesis of inflammatory substances throughout the body, decreasing pain and stiffness while enhancing immunity and even protecting the brain against cognitive decline. Ginger is another powerful spice that has many of the same benefits as curcumin and demonstrates remarkable anti-inflammatory properties. In my experience, curcumin and ginger synergistically work together as a dynamic duo, fighting back inflammation with ease and providing fast-acting pain relief.
What Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Has To Do with Joint Pain
A pineapple and cherry-studded upside-down cake may be a far cry from a joint health solution, but it sure is delicious. Interestingly though, pineapple has been used for centuries to reduce pain and inflammation. It turns out that an enzyme found in pineapples called bromelain does, in fact, have scientifically proven medicinal benefits. Studies have shown that bromelain reduces swelling, bruising, healing time and pain. Similarly, cherries also contain unique anti-inflammatory antioxidant compounds that specifically target muscle tissue, making cherry extract an important component of any joint-healing strategy. According to researchers at Oregon Health & Science University, cherry extract may be a safer way to treat muscle pain and inflammation than over-the-counter pain relievers.
The Sulfur Solution to Inflammation
In addition to the top five herbal inflammation-fighters, many people (myself included) have had incredible success using a natural form of sulfur called MSM to beat back inflammation and increase joint flexibility. Sulfur is critical to the health of your joints, yet most of us are actually deficient because it's become largely removed in our food supply due to soil depletion. MSM works to soothe joints by making cartilage cells pliable, which ensures that harmful substances flow out and nutrients flow in, which speeds up the regeneration of the cartilage that cushions your joints. In fact, a recent gold-standard clinical trial, showed without a doubt that MSM provided significant reductions in knee pain and back pain.