Topic of Interest

Address Pain and Inflammation Naturally

By: Dr. Mel Eggebrecht, DPT, CWT, CSST
sPorT plus physical therapy, LLC

Many suffering from osteoarthritis (OA) and/or rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have considered natural supplements to ease their aches and pains. Some herbal medications have a proven track record. But the extent of products out there can be overwhelming. The ten most common supplements (in alphabetical order) are listed below and were featured in Arthritis Today magazine.

The following information was compiled to be used as a resource when discussing options with your doctor. Naturally extracted chemicals and supplements should be used with caution as interactions with prescription medications are possible. CHECK WITH YOUR PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIAN BEFORE TAKING A SUPPLEMENT.

Claims: Reduces pain and inflammation related to OA

How it works: Tart cherries are a source of antioxidants shown to inhibit COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes which cause inflammation.

Claims: Slows the progression of OA; reduces pain and inflammation

How it works: May slow cartilage loss by inhibiting certain enzymes; helps cartilage retain water; works better combined with glucosamine. Takes 6 weeks to see benefits.

Claims: Reduces inflammation and stiffness; inhibits RA development

How it works: Is a potent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce inflammation. It can take several months to see benefits.

Claims: Eases joint pain and reduces inflammation for both RA and OA

How it works: Inhibits inflammatory chemicals

Claims: None to having a direct effect on RA or OA. It does increase blood flow and circulation in those with reduced circulation and pain in the legs.

How it works: Has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Claims: Slows cartilage deterioration in OA; relieves OA related pain

How it works: Contains compounds necessary for the building of and maintaining of connective tissue including cartilage. It helps cartilage absorb water; keeps joints lubricated; may prevent breakdown of cartilage.

Claims: Reduces pain and inflammation

How it works: Helps the body form connective tissue; reduces nerve impulses that transmit pain.

Claims: Reduces OA related pain and inflammation

How it works: Has antioxidant properties; are rich in essential fatty acids that inhibit COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes which cause inflammation.

Claims: Treats stiffness, pain and joint swelling; rebuilds cartilage; eases symptoms of OA

How it works: It is an anti-inflammatory and analgesic.

Claims: Reduces pain, inflammation, and stiffness from OA and RA

How it works: Has anti-inflammatory properties and modifies immune system responses.

Reference : Pagan, Camille N. (2009). Nourished by Nature. Arthritis Today, September/October, 2009, pgs. 70-79, 87-88, 90.