Osteoarthritis 4-6In the 2007-2008 Australian National Health Survey, arthritis was listed as the most common painful musculoskeletal condition (osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis).2 Additionally, these disorders, along with headaches, are some of the most common reasons for the use of painkillers (analgesics) in Australia.3 Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disorder that affects mainly the hips, knees, hands and spine. It is not an inflammatory condition. Consult your healthcare practitioner if you have the following symptoms:
- morning joint stiffness
- pain occurs during and after activity, but as the disease progresses, the pain is felt without any movement
- soft tissue and bony swelling, local tenderness and/or restricted mobility
Rheumatoid arthritis 5,7-10A systemic, autoimmune, inflammatory joint disease, rheumatoid arthritis mainly affects the hands and feet. However, the hallmark sign of rheumatoid arthritis is persistent pain that involves five or more joints simultaneously. Consult your healthcare practitioner if you have the following symptoms:
- joint tenderness and/or joint swelling
- severe joint pain on motion
- low-grade fever
Back pain 11,12As most soft tissue or joint injuries heal within 6-12 weeks, chronic low back pain (LBP) is defined as pain that lasts for more than three months. It is often due to degenerative or traumatic conditions of the spine. Signs and symptoms of back pain include:
- acute (immediate) or chronic (ongoing) pain
- pain is dull and constant, or sharp and sudden
Nutrients for bones and joint healthKeeping healthy means staying active. But that’s hard to do when your joints don’t agree with you. Whether it’s from an old sporting injury, or general wear and tear, you don’t have to put up with painful, arthritic joints. Many healthcare practitioners are now looking to treat joint conditions through supplementation. There is a variety of natural and complementary medicines that may enhance relief for people with bone and joint conditions, reduce intestinal inflammation and overcome the complications commonly associated with orthodox treatments.
Fish oils for joint healthFish oils have a strong anti-inflammatory action so they’ll help to calm the inflammation and pain of arthritis, and get you moving again.13 Fish oils are the highest sources of omega-3 oils in the diet. The typical Australian diet is too low in omega-3 oils and too high in omega-6, saturated and partially hydrogenated oils (also called trans-fats). A deficiency of omega-3 fatty acids has been associated with an increased risk of many conditions, including arthritis.
Glucosamine sulfate for repairGlucosamine sulfate provides the building blocks that joints need to repair damage to their bone and cartilage. In its sulfated form, glucosamine provides cartilage with its structure, strength and shock-absorbing properties.
Chondroitin sulfateChondroitin is good for joint health; it acts as a liquid magnet, helping joint fluid retention and minimising bone-on-bone friction. Chondroitin has also been found to stimulate the production of collagen.
MSM for joint healthMethulsulfonylmethane (MSM) is a major component of cartilage. It provides the sulfur the body needs to ensure that the connective tissues surrounding the joint is healthy, supportive and stable.
CurcuminThe active component of the yellow spice turmeric, the anti-inflammatory action of curcumin has been shown in over 4000 scientific articles.14 However, curcumin has traditionally been difficult for the body to absorb. In an Australian first, a new patented method has been discovered that ensures curcumin is absorbed at 27 times the normal rate, maximising the anti-inflammatory power and unleashing the true medicinal potential of the traditional Indian spice.15 Ask your healthcare practitioner about Theracurmin, which has been shown to help down-regulate inflammatory mediators, reduce joint inflammation associated with arthritis, provide antioxidant support, help reduce the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, help maintain healthy digestive function and emulsify fats in the digestive tract.
Devil’s clawThe herb called devil’s claw exhibits anti-inflammatory properties and is clinically proven to assist in the relief of pain associated with arthritis and in the relief of lower back pain.
Cat’s clawCats Claw is an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant herb that has been traditionally used in the Amazon for arthritis, rheumatism and other inflammatory conditions.
Vitamin CVitamin C is essential for the production and maintenance of strong collagen. This is necessary to ensure proper strength and functioning of tendons, ligaments and cartilage.
ProbioticsArthritis is common in patients with gastrointestinal disorders,16 such as digestive issues. Probiotic bacteria that inhibit the gut are vital for the normal functioning of both the digestive and immune systems. Ask your healthcare practitioner to recommend a probiotic for its anti-inflammatory effects, which lessen the symptoms of arthritis.
How does bone and joint health affect quality of life?According to new research,1 people with arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions are more likely to report:
- limitations in performing core activities (particularly self-care and mobility) than the overall population at all life stages
- high or very high psychological distress compared with those without these conditions
- experiencing mental disorders than those without these conditions, with the greatest relative risk being for affective disorders (depression) in all life stages, except for people aged 65-79 who had a relatively higher risk of having a substance use disorder.
Mr Vitamins Recommends:
- AIHW. Arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions across the life stages. May 2014. http://www.aihw.gov.au/publication-detail/?id=60129547059&tab=2
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). National Health Survey: Summary of results, Australia, 2007-2008 (reissue), cat. no. 4364.0. Canberra: ABS, Commonealth of Australia, 2009.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). National Health Survey: Use of medications, Australia, 1995, cat. no. 4377.0. Canberra: ABS, Commonealth of Australia, 1999.
- Murray MT, Bongiorno PB. Osteoarthritis. In: Pizzorno JE Jr, Murray MT (Eds), Textbook of natural medicine, 3rd ed (pp.1961-1975). St. Louis: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2006.
- Pizzorno JE Jr, Murray MT, Joiner-Bey H. The clinician’s handbook of natural medicine. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone, 2002.
- Stacy GS, Basu PA. Osteoarthritis, Primary. eMedicine, 2009 Mar 17. Viewed Apr 2010 http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/392096-overview
- Bramwell R, Costa D, Diem-Che W, Giese N, McGarry M, Shaffer M, et al. Bromelain (Ananas comosus, Ananas sativus). Natural Standard Monograph,
- 2010. Viewed 20 Apr 2010 http://www.naturalstandard.com
- Gupta K, Bhagia SM. Rheumatoid arthritis. eMedicine, 2010 Mar 30. Viewed 20 Apr 2010 http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/305417-overview
- Murray MT, Bongiorno PB. Rheumatoid arthritis. In: Pizzorno JE Jr, Murray MT (Eds), Textbook of natural medicine, 3rd ed (pp.2089-2108).
- Wheeler AH. Pathophysiology of chronic back pain. eMedicine, 2009 Jun 30. Viewed Apr 2010 http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1144130-overview
- Back pain. Natural Standard Monograph, 2010. Viewed 20 Apr 2010 http://www.naturalstandard.com
- ClelandLG,JamesMJ,ProudmanSM.Theroleoffishoilsinthetreatmentofrheumatoidarthritis. Drugs 2003;63(9):845-53.
- Gupta SC, Patchva S, Koh W, et al. Discovery of curcumin, a component of the golden spice, and its miraculous biological activities. Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol 2012;39(3):283-299.
- Sasaki H, Sunagawa Y, Takahashi K, et al 2011. Innovative preparation of curcumin for improved oral bioavailability. Biol Pharm Bull;34(5):660-665.
- Tlaskalová-Hogenová H1, et al. The role of gut microbiota (commensal bacteria) and the mucosal barrier in the pathogenesis of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases and cancer: contribution of germ-free and gnotobiotic animal models of human diseases. Cell Mol Immunol. 2011 Mar;8(2):110-20.