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If you are like most Americans that are suffering from ongoing ( chronic ) joint pain, you’re likely concerned about the potentially harmful side effects of the prescription drugs that many doctors are using to treat the problem. These include drugs like as Humira or Celebrex for the treatment of joint pain.
Drugs like Celebrex are part of the same drug family as Vioxx which was withdrawn from the market over 10 years ago after research showed these types of drugs significantly increased the chance of fatal heart attacks as well as major strokes.
For many suffering chronic joint pain, the fear of dying from the treatment of their condition due to a drug prescribed by their doctor is of a serious concern and with good reason. More than a quarter of all adult Americans (1) report having experienced ongoing joint pain. Chronic joint pain is typically described as joint pain lasting more than a day at least once per month in consecutive months each year.
Things, like walking, golfing, working in the garden or playing with your grandchildren, start to become difficult or impossible.
As mobility is reduced, the natural result is unhealthy weight gain which leads to stress on all of your body including your heart, blood pressure levels, increased risk of diabetes and a general reduction in overall energy.
It’s these reasons that people in all walks of life turn to potentially harmful solutions like Celebrex which has a side effect warning list a mile long ranging from rashes to massive internal bleeding leading to sudden death.
Drugs like Celebrex work by reducing the hormones that cause inflammation and pain in the body but unfortunately does very little to cure or at least reduce the reason the joint pain is happening in the first place.
This is an excellent example of how Western Medicine focuses on treating the symptoms and not the causes of a health problem. In the case of chronic joint pain, rebuilding the cartilage between bone joints is the real solution to long lasting relief.
From my perspective, chronic joint pain sufferers should focus on treating the cause of the pain and not simply try to mask the conditions that cause it. In the majority of joint pain cases, the issue is caused by the breaking down of the cartilage in the patient’s bone joints which results in painful, inflamed nerves, or in extreme cases – the actual bones rubbing on each other and causing severe pain.
A Treatment Plan for Chronic Joint Pain that Doesn’t Rely on Drugs
I firmly believe that patients should focus on a long term joint pain reduction treatment plan based on common sense.
This of course includes things like keeping excess weight off and staying as active as possible – but once the human body begins to experience joint pain, these will only help keep the pain in check and do nothing to deal with what is causing the pain which as I mentioned is the breakdown of cartilage.
My focus of this article is to provide you with an effective game plan for treating your own joint pain that doesn’t have to involve potentially dangerous prescription drugs. Like many medical conditions, the right form of treatment is not always the pharmaceutical based choice.
I would add though that I am not one of those people that are anti-pharmaceutical as many prescription drugs can be life savers. In the same sense – neither am I someone who believes natural treatments are phony and don’t work as there is massive evidence to show otherwise. Balance is the key to any discussion regarding your health.
As a patient experiencing any medical or health problem – if your medical condition is not life-threatening and does not require the risk of a potentially dangerous prescription drug – then beginning your treatment plan using safe low-risk natural method makes the most logical sense and is far easier on your organs and body in general.
As a society, we have become addicted to quick fixes and miracle cures of which there is rarely any. In the case of natural treatment plans – the results are often slower to appear than with prescription drug based treatments and is why those looking for an immediate fix give up on the natural method before it really has a chance to take affect.
For example, we know that the use of glucosamine is an excellent way to provide assistance to your body to help treat conditions like arthritis and in particular joint pain – but takes long term use to see real results. We also know from several studies that when glucosamine is combined with something called Chondroitin Sulphate that is can be as effective as taking the potentially dangerous Celebrex – but has no measurable side effects or risks (2) ( unless you are allergic to shellfish)
The US Government on their website at https://medlineplus.gov lists Chondroitin as being a viable treatment for osteoarthritis as well as urinary infections and cataracts. (3)
The reason researchers believe this combination works because the glucosamine and the chondroitin help the body actually rebuild the cartilage instead of simply masking the pain as the majority of popular joint pain/arthritis drugs do. We put together a more in-depth article on this dietary supplement here.
The Miracle of Water
Another very important aspect of joint pain treatment is water both consumed in what you drink – but also what through therapeutic soaking of your body on a daily basis. A personal spa or hot tub will provide you with a significant amount of relief from aching joints and because the water is always ready and kept hot, it is far easier to enjoy than having to run yourself a bath each time you want to soak your sore body ( not to mention uses a lot less water ). With the growing popularity of inflatable hot tubs, it is well within even the tightest budget to have a home hot tub for therapeutic use. Amazon features inflatable units that plug into a standard outlet for under $400 ( Amazon Hot Tubs Page )
I also highly recommend on a regular basis soaking in a warm bath of Epson salts. Epsom salt contains magnesium sulfate which sounds kind of scary, but it’s really quite a wonderful substance. A naturally occurring mineral, magnesium sulfate has been used to get relief from pain for years, namely because of its high levels of magnesium.
Magnesium is something our bodies need, but we can’t produce ourselves. It is used in over 300 different biomechanical responses in our body. It relaxes all our muscles and nerve endings, relieving stiffness and pain. It is even part of what makes our heart beat. Not only does it relax muscles and ease the pain (this goes for arthritis pain too) it helps bones to mineralize. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition conducted one of many studies on magnesium that showed people who had a diet high in magnesium/took supplements had higher bone density and overall stronger bones. There are several ways to get more magnesium and utilize it for arthritis in particular.
Reducing Internal Inflammation
Many people have a limited view of what body inflammation is and simply assume it’s the visible inflammation such as swollen ankles or when you’re cheek is swollen after a tooth extraction or infection. In reducing your own pain from arthritis or joint inflammation, you can make significant inroads by taking steps to reduce your pain by reducing the amount of internal swelling that is taking place in your body ( without you likely even realizing it ).
Suggested Related Reading…
The 10 Causes of Joint Inflammation – the 10 main causes of joint pain and internal inflammation and what do to about it [ video ]
Reducing your internal inflammation is critical to also reducing joint pain on a permanent basis and the good news is that can be achieved through healthy eating and working to keep your organs running efficiently through a smart management plan for their health.
Adding a Herb and Spice Element to Your Diet
Thanks to the many ancient cultures from around the world, we know that spices such as ginger, green tea, garlic, black pepper, and cinnamon can help reduce the symptoms associated with joint pain. These are all common, readily available and should be added to your diet as they all have exceptional health benefits that reach far beyond just joint pain issues.
We put together an article on the Top 7 Spices and Herbs for Joint Pain Relief here.
(1)Bolen J, Helmick CG, et al. Prevalence of self-reported arthritis or chronic joint symptoms among adults – United States, 2001. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC) 2002:51(42), pp. 948-950.