Arthritis is a condition that affects the joints of millions of people of all ages, including children.
Commonly affected joints are the hands, spine, knees and hips, and symptoms range from joint pain, tenderness and stiffness to restricted movement of the joints.
The pain can be debilitating and painkillers are often prescribed for patients to treat and slow down the condition.
But for those looking for a more natural cure, supplements may be the answer.
Clinical nutritionist and Healthspan’s head of Nutrition Rob Hobson, Clinical researcher for Phynoca Andrew Gallagher, and medical nutritionist Dr Sarah Brewer have recommended there go-to supplements to soothe joint pain – one of which includes turmeric.
Turmeric is currently being added to a range of foods, drinks and supplement, and for good reason, said Dr Brewer.
She explained: “The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin, a powerful anti-inflammatory antioxidant which helps damp down pain and swelling in inflamed joints.”
Rob added: “Most of the studies on turmeric have been carried out using very strong extracts and you’d have to eat an awful lot of curries to get that much curcumin. The other problem is curcumin isn’t naturally water-soluble, so the body struggles to absorb it. To truly gain the benefits you need to take a supplement.”
Healthspan offers Opti-Turmeric, a liquid capsule containing high potency cur curcumin. Alternatively, Rob and Dr Brewer recommend Organic Turmeric Gold Latte.
One of the big health stories of 2018, CBD oil is increasingly being studied for its therapeutic and pain-relieving abilities.
A 2012 review in the Journal of Experimental Medicine concluded Cannabidiol oil (a non-psychoactive part of the cannabis plant) is an effective treatment for adults suffering with chronic pain and, significantly, there are no reported side effects. A 2016 study published in the European Journal of Pain showed giving arthritic rats CBD oil significantly reduced the inflammation and pain associated with arthritis.
More trials are needed but one theory is CBD contains a neurotransmitter called anandamide associated with regulating and suppressing pain. It may also reduce inflammation in the brain and nervous system which may help people process pain.
Dr Brewer said: “CBD hemp extracts are antioxidant and have anti-inflammatory effects on joints, to help improve pain and stiffness. They also have pain-relieving effects due to their interaction with certain parts of the brain.”
St Paul’s Wort
The plant Sigesbeckia orientalis (also known as common St Paul’s Wort) has been used for thousands of years to treat different types of arthritis and other aches and pains like backache, rheumatic or muscular pains or general aches and pains in the muscles and joints.
Arthritis pain: CBD oil is increasingly being studied for its therapeutic abilities
Arthritis pain: Dehydration is a common cause of joint pain
You can now find this traditional herbal medicinal product in Phynova Joint and Muscle Relief Tablets which have been shown to have a significant anti-inflammatory effect on joint pain and can be safely taken with standard non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen.
Andrew said: “Clinical research has shown Sigesbeckia orientalis has analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and cartilage protective effects and is shown to be effective in reducing joint swelling, inflammation and pain in arthritis patients.”
Drink more water
Dehydration is a common cause of joint pain and hot weather can put you more at risk of it. The need for fluid becomes greater as we sweat more in the heat, says Rob.
He added: “How much a person needs is dependent on the individual and their lifestyle or environment – someone in hot climate and/or who exercises a lot needs more.”
The standard advice is to drink around six to eight glasses of water a day but as Rob points out, this can come from many different types of fluids and not just water, including juices, tea, coffees, other soft drinks and food.
Foods with high water content include watermelon, cucumber, yoghurt and steamed fish.
Adding this food to your diet could also help reduce joint inflammation.