Everyone has experienced joint pain at some point in their life. This can be very annoying and decrease the quality of life. There are several things you can do to maintain healthy joints and keep them strong. Just like any other tissue in the body they need a little bit of maintenance, nutrition, and rest.
Your joints do not have a blood supply of their own. Within our joints, there is synovial fluid. This fluid is responsible for bringing waste out of the joints as well as bringing nutrition in. This is an important factor when understanding how to keep your joints healthy. In order for the synovial fluid to do its job, which is bringing nutrition in and get the waste products out. There needs to be movement. The synovial fluid will not move in and out of the joints unless there are muscle contractions and joint movement occurring. When you move your joints, they are compressed and stretched, this allows the joints to absorb the synovial fluid, and this is when a lot of healing and recovery occurs.
This explains why after a long time of being sedentary your joints feel a lot worse compared to when you stay active. This is why it’s crucial to warm up before working out. But also to keep nutrition moving in and out of your joints on a daily basis.
In a study examining people with knee osteoarthritis, the researchers concluded that 7500 steps per day, provided the best protection against osteoarthritis. Those participants that walked less than 7500 steps per day. Had a much higher risk of up developing further symptoms. This shows that the joints need some stress in order to stay healthy and functional. Walking is a great tool for overall recovery and joint health. For those who suffer from knee osteoarthritis, it is also very important to maintain a healthy body weight. Some stress is good for the knees, however, being overweight increases your risk for developing symptoms.
Collagen is a building block of our joints. It’s not a very common nutrient for most people. It is found in animal products such as tendons, ligaments, and skin. These food items are not very commonly consumed which could play a role in the development of joint pain or degeneration. Supplementing with collagen has been shown to improve joint pain. In a recent study, it was compared against glucosamine which is another supplement for joint health. 10 g of collagen per day for 13 weeks improved joint pain significantly. Collagen even outperformed glucosamine which is a very popular joint supplement. Glucosamine also produced positive results but not as strong as the collagen supplementation. These two supplements most likely work in two different ways. Collagen is a pure building block for what your joints are made of. Glucosamine is proposed to have a lubricant effect on the joints. The participants took 1.5 g of glucosamine and these two supplements together could potentially help alleviate joint pain further in a synergistic way.
People that don’t get enough vitamin K in their diets have been shown to have more joint problems. Vitamin K is found in spinach, broccoli, collards, cabbage, and iceberg lettuce. Vitamin K plays a role in tissue maintenance. Lack of vitamin K has been shown to increase the risk of osteoarthritis. This calcification of joints is what we want to avoid and by including these foods in your diet you can potentially help maintain more functional joints.
Ibuprofen is a very common go-to for joint pain. Just like any other drug ibuprofen has side effects. Some are stomach pain, stomach ache, and bloated stomach. Supplementing with turmeric has been shown to be equally as effective as ibuprofen in controlling joint pain, however, turmeric did not cause as many side effects compared to ibuprofen. Supplementing with turmeric which is a natural herb can be just as beneficial if not more compared to taking ibuprofen.
A sudden increase in exercise volume can also cause some joint issues. Your muscles tend to recover much faster and adapt to exercise quicker than your joints. Exercising in the appropriate amounts is the best way to avoid joint pain related to exercise. If you plan on starting to walk, run, bike, lift weights, or etc. make sure that you start slow and gradually increase the amount of exercise. Going from zero to 100 might give you some joint pain. That is when the exercise dose needs to be adjusted to a healthy level. Exercise has been shown to decrease joint pain and keep joints stronger and healthier. The key is to find a balance between doing enough exercise without overdoing it.
Follow these steps on a daily basis and your joints will thank you:
Make a bone broth and season with turmeric
Use bone of your preference (chicken, beef, etc.) onions, carrots, celery, turmeric, pepper, salt.
Let it simmer on low heat for a couple of hours. Enjoy as a soup or have a shot for breakfast.
Eat a daily serving or two of spinach, broccoli, iceberg lettuce, or collards for Vitamin K
Take a minimum of 7500 steps per day
Exercise or move daily to supply your joints with nutrition by pumping the synovial fluid into your joints that’s now loaded with collagen, turmeric, and vitamin K
Collagen and Glucosamine for osteoarthritis – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20401752
Daily walking for better knee health – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24923633
Vitamin K deficiency – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23410565
Turmeric and Ibuprofen – https://www.dovepress.com/efficacy-and-safety-of-curcuma-domestica-extracts-compared-with-ibupro-peer-reviewed-article-CIA
B.S. Exercise Science from Lindenwood University
Started CrossFit in 2010.
Favorite thing about what I do:
To help and see people improve their fitness and confidence
Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist by the National Strength and Conditioning Association
CF L1 Coach
CF L2 Coach
USAW Sports Performance Coach & club coach