Vitamin For Joints And Muscles
If you’re experiencing joint pain and muscle weakness, you may be suffering from vitamin deficiency. The best way to treat this is by taking supplements that can help restore your body’s natural levels of vitamins. You can find these at your local grocery store or online. Here are some of the most common vitamins that are used to treat joint pain and muscle weakness:
Vitamin D – This vitamin is known for its role in helping the body absorb calcium and phosphorus; however, it also has anti-inflammatory properties that can help soothe joints that ache and reduce inflammation in muscles. Vitamin D is most commonly found in foods like fish, eggs, and milk products; however, these sources may not be enough to meet daily requirements because they are also high in calories as well as fat content which may affect metabolism negatively by slowing down absorption rates which could lead to even more weight gain over time!
Vitamin B12 – This vitamin was once considered an essential nutrient because it helps build myelin sheaths around nerves which protects them from damage caused by injury or disease such as multiple sclerosis (MS). It’s also used by the body to produce red blood cells which carry oxygen throughout our bodies while also helping
Vitamin For Joints And Muscles
Pain in your back, joints, and muscles – musculoskeletal pain – is caused by a range of lifestyle and genetic factors. Treatments for that pain must be personalized for every patient, based on your level of inflammation, how you experience pain, other health conditions, and current medications.
Creating personalized treatment plans can be simultaneously the most rewarding and challenging aspect of my physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R) practice. Several natural, medicinal, and procedural pain treatments are available, and patients respond differently to all of them.
In the U.S., musculoskeletal pain management is beginning to incorporate more Eastern and Ayurvedic medicine, which focus on natural mind and body treatments using exercise, foods, or herbs, as a complement to Western medicine, which treats physical symptoms with medication or surgery.
While anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or naproxen can be effective for acute pain, long-term use can cause harmful side effects, including kidney and gastrointestinal damage. Some natural supplements can be highly effective for certain conditions, and some have fewer side effects. However, not all supplements are effective or safe for everyone.
Natural medicinal approaches, commonly referred to as complementary medicine, continue to grow in popularity. Americans spend more than $30 billion each year on complementary health products and practices. Unfortunately, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate all supplements, so it can be difficult to know exactly what you’re buying and whether the product might benefit you.
In PM&R, we recognize that you know your body, and we want to help you find a treatment plan that relieves your pain without increasing other health risks. Following are seven natural supplements that our patients have said help them manage inflammatory musculoskeletal pain.
Safety (and efficacy) first
Before trying a complementary treatment, talk with your doctor to ensure it won’t interfere with your other medications or health conditions.
The next step is to look for evidence of efficacy and safety. Less research exists for natural substances than for chemicals or pharmaceuticals, but it’s growing. This is largely because of studies and trials funded and conducted by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH).
Check the NCCIH website to learn more about the success of certain complementary approaches. It also offers a mobile app that provides unbiased, research-based information about the effectiveness of more than 50 herbal products. As a general rule, purchase a name-brand capsule tablet, which will lessen the chances of it containing lead or mercury.
Keep in mind that what works for one person might not work for you. While some supplements can complement treatments such as surgery or acupuncture, they should not be combined with each other or anti-inflammatory drugs. Otherwise, we can’t tell which treatment, if any, is reducing your pain.
Natural supplements to consider
A plant from the ginger family, turmeric is often used in South Asian cuisine, such as curry. It contains curcumin, the key ingredient that can help decrease inflammation. To be effective as either a supplement or food – and not simply metabolized and excreted – turmeric should be absorbed with fatty oils, such as avocado or olive oil, and black pepper, which most supplements contain.
I recommend making turmeric a part of your daily diet for three to six months to gauge any benefits. Turmeric supplements can be expensive, and inflammation can be treated in other ways. So, if your pain hasn’t decreased after this amount of time, we can try something else
2. Cherry juice extract
Anthocyanin supplies both the red coloring and anti-inflammatory benefits in cherries and other red fruits and vegetables. Most of my patients who say cherry juice helps relieve their pain drink about one glass a day, but you can eat a handful of cherries daily or take supplements that contain the pure juice extract – cherries are high in anthocyanin. However, because of its high sugar content, I do not recommend cherry juice for diabetic patients.
3. Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil)
Many studies have evaluated the effectiveness and safety of omega-3 supplements for several inflammatory conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis. For example, a small study showed that taking omega-3 fatty acids, which occur mostly in fish oils, can significantly decrease joint swelling and tenderness in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
Most patients I see have taken these supplements before without good results. For better absorption I recommend incorporating omega-3s into your diet through foods such as tuna, salmon, sardines, tofu, walnuts, and flaxseeds.
The skin elasticity benefits of collagen, a protein made up of amino acids, have long been touted. Less research exists for its anti-inflammatory benefits: Some studies suggest it can improve joint pain, while others suggest it can decrease muscle soreness but not inflammation.
Collagen is widely available as a capsule as well as a powder or liquid you can mix into food or drinks. Or you can increase your body’s natural collagen level by eating more foods containing protein and vitamin C, such as chicken, fish, eggs, and citrus fruits.
After discussing collagen with several patients and reviewing existing research, I decided to take it myself, in powder form, for about six months and noticed improvement in a hamstring injury. This doesn’t prove anything, and more conclusive research is needed. However, collagen is worth looking into if you’re interested.
5. Chondroitin and glucosamine
Chondroitin and glucosamine are two natural substances within your cartilage, which tends to decrease around your joints as you age. Supplements containing these components have been found to reduce pain caused by cartilage loss, with chondroitin improving function and glucosamine improving stiffness. Talk to your doctor to determine which of these two supplements is best for you.
6. Boswellia (Indian frankincense)
Several studies have shown that the extract from the bark of the Boswellia tree, which is native to India, can improve pain and physical dysfunction caused by chronic diseases such as osteoarthritis or inflammatory bowel disease. Boswellic acid might prevent musculoskeletal pain by interfering with cell-level functions that cause both pain and inflammation.
7. Cannabidiol (CBD) oil
More patients are asking about the benefits of CBD oil, and the research is just beginning. Studies show that CBD can help activate the endocannabinoid system within your central nervous system, which helps your body regulate critical functions such as pain, mood, temperature, memory, and appetite.
However, the FDA has not approved any over-the-counter CBD products for pain, though some have been marketed as such. I strongly recommend paying close attention to ongoing research and safety reports.
Don’t count out creams
I tell all my patients to approach their pain with a toolbox of options, depending on the type and location. Sometimes, alternating ice and heat is effective. For other ailments, medication is best. Topical pain-relief creams can be another great option.
For example, capsaicin cream, made from hot chili peppers, can significantly reduce joint pain. It decreases levels of substance P in your body, a natural chemical secreted by nerves and inflammatory cells that sends pain signals to your brain. The benefits of capsaicin cream have been studied extensively, showing a 50% reduction in pain after regular use.
Because creams are not systemically absorbed like oral supplements, only a small amount of the substance enters your body. This is especially beneficial to patients who experience side effects from certain supplements. Consistent use is key to reducing pain with creams over the long term; they’re not an immediate fix.Chair yoga is a good option for people who sit in an office chair for long periods of the day.
‘Motion is lotion’
Physical activity is one of the best “tools” in your toolbox. If you’re not moving regularly, your muscle tissues stiffen and harden, so exercise is always recommended for inflammation. I often say that “motion is lotion” because moving keeps your musculoskeletal system lubricated by bringing blood to the areas of the body that haven’t been getting enough.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic physical activity per week – in addition to at least two strengthening activities. This can be difficult for many people, but if yoga on a mat is too challenging, for example, you can do chair yoga.
One of my favorite exercises to recommend is Tai Chi, which incorporates slow, steady movements and meditation. Qigong is a similar practice that focuses on the mind and body to help improve breathing, posture, stress, and strength. If you have limited motion, discuss any new exercise program with your primary care doctor before starting to prevent injury.
Learning and healing together
I love continually learning about natural ways to heal the body and mind. Patients from many different cultures and nationalities teach me their perspectives on herbs or remedies they grew up with, which I research further to determine whether the treatments are safe for other patients or even myself.
The NCCIH recently funded three new research networks that will focus on the science of how emotional well-being correlates to physical health, so we can expect many more years of discovering how complementary and modern medicine can improve the mind-body connection.
If you are curious about a complementary treatment, talk with your doctor. We can help you safely and effectively incorporate new options into your care plan.
vitamins for rheumatoid arthritis
Research suggests curcumin, found in the spice turmeric, has anti-inflammatory properties and has the potential to reduce arthritis pain.
1. Curcumin (from turmeric root)
Evidence suggests the turmeric root has anti-inflammatory properties. The active component of turmeric, called curcumin, makes up only about 3% of turmeric, so you may need to eat a lot of turmeric to get noticeable benefits. An alternative to eating turmeric every day is to take a supplement.
Limited research indicates curcumin may inhibit the body’s ability to absorb iron, so if you have iron deficiency, you may want to raise this concern with your doctor.
See Turmeric and Curcumin for Arthritisadvertisement
2. Vitamin D
If you have arthritis pain or are at high risk for arthritis, your doctor may recommend a vitamin D supplement. (I prefer vitamin D3.) A blood test can determine whether you have a vitamin D deficiency.
Vitamin D deficiency is associated with the development of osteoarthritis as well as autoimmune arthritis, such as psoriatic arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Low vitamin D levels are also associated with more and/or worse rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. Other medical conditions, such as osteoporosis, muscle weakness, hip fractures, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease, are also associated with low vitamin D levels.
It’s not yet clear whether vitamin D supplementation can prevent arthritis from developing or alleviate arthritis symptoms. People who have kidney disease, bone disease, certain cancers, or calcium disorders should talk to their doctors before taking a vitamin D supplement.
3. Omega-3 fatty acids
Research suggests omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties. Unless you eat fatty fish like salmon and mackerel two or more days a week, it can be challenging to get a therapeutic amount of omega 3 through food. Taking a supplement may help.
Most omega 3 supplements come in the form of fish oil. However, I recommend an omega 3 supplement derived from plants, such as flax seeds. A plant-based supplement helps avoid the risk of mercury contamination found in some poorly manufactured fish oil supplements. A plant-based omega-3 supplement may also be preferable if you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet. Keep in mind that omega 3 fatty acids in fish oil can be different than those in plant-based sources. (Fish oil contains eicosapentaenoic acid [EPA] and docosahexaenoic acid [DHA] while flax seeds, for example, contain alpha-linolenic acid [ALA].) This difference may affect the dosage.
See The Difference Between Omega-3 and Omega-6 and Knee Arthritis Pain
A daily intake of omega 3 may increase your risk of bleeding and may not be appropriate if you take a blood thinner, such as warfarin.12 Not all physicians agree this risk is supported by evidence.13
4. Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate
Many supplement products aiming to treat arthritis contain both glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate. These substances are found naturally in human cartilage. Research regarding glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate supplements is mixed,14-16 and doctors’ opinions of them vary. Positive clinical studies suggest they may provide modest pain relief by helping to rebuild worn-out cartilage in your arthritic joints.
See Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate Supplements for Osteoarthritis
Glucosamine should be avoided by anyone allergic to shellfish since it is derived from shrimp, crab, and other crustaceans.
See How Glucosamine and Chondroitin Help with Osteoarthritis
In general, if you take any supplement for 2 to 6 months and don’t notice any relief from arthritis symptoms, check with your doctor for other options.advertisement
Opinions about the recommended doses for supplements can vary. Before starting a new one, talk to your doctor or pharmacist to make sure the supplement’s contents and the dosage is right for your condition and won’t interact with any other medications and supplements you take. Some supplements can cause serious health problems if they are taken at high doses or combined with other supplements and medications.17
Also, keep in mind that supplements are not a quick fix for your arthritis pain. They may take effect gradually—over weeks or months–and provide only a modest decrease in pain. When you combine supplements with other treatments, such as an anti-inflammatory diet and exercise, there may be more significant pain relief.