Inflammation: The cause of all things achy and what you can do to combat it

Inflammation: The cause of all things achy and what you can do to combat it

Author -  Good Health

Muscle Pain

Muscle pain is the most common type of pain, affecting most of us at some point. If your muscles are tight and tense all the time, whether it be from going to the gym, sitting in the car for long periods of time or sometimes for no apparent reason at all, you may be lacking Magnesium.

Magnesium is the most important mineral needed in the body to help muscles relax. Magnesium deficiency is common these days due to the fast-paced lifestyle many of us lead. Your body uses up high amounts of Magnesium when under stress (even when you sweat, you’re losing Magnesium). Unfortunately, it can be difficult for us to get the amount we need as it is often depleted in the foods we eat, so a natural supplement may help. To help replenish the Magnesium levels in your body – it’s best taken in tablet form, but for muscle aches, Magnesium can also be applied topically as a cream, directly to the affected area to help soothe and relax your muscles, joints and nerves.

Inflammation: The cause of all things achy and what you can do to combat it

Alternatively, Epsom salts are a great source of magnesium sulphate that you can add to your bath. They have been used for centuries to ease muscle pain and stiffness, and as an added benefit, they eliminate toxins from your body. Your skin is your body’s largest organ, so Magnesium is well absorbed through the skin. The warm water, combined with Epsom salts increases circulation and reduces inflammation… and besides, it’s a good excuse to have a relaxing hot bath! 

Joint Pain

Cartilage acts as a shock-absorber allowing for smooth, painless motion. Once your cartilage deteriorates (either from injury, overuse or general wear and tear), movement becomes painful and restricted, reducing mobility and interfering with daily activities. If your cartilage isn’t what it was, don’t panic – it can be repaired and protected.

Glucosamine and Chondroitin are well-researched ingredients that are necessary to rebuild cartilage and help ease discomfort, preventing further degeneration. Glucosamine and Chondroitin help to stimulate the cells that build cartilage, but unfortunately, rebuilding cartilage is not something that can happen overnight. Taking a Glucoasmine and Chondroitin supplement over time can help your body to slowly mend itself. Think of it as a long-term strategy, not a short-term fix.

Green Lipped Mussel is another supplement that can help a range of joint-related symptoms. The active component in mussel extract, Mucopolysaccharides helps boost the body’s defense against anti-inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and osteoarthritis. It also contains an antioxidant called Superoxide Dismutase (SOD), which prevents further damage to joints and bones.

General Pain and Inflammation

Pain and inflammation is associated with just about EVERY health condition you can think of and sore, achy joints are no exception. One of the most well-known and effective natural anti-inflammatories on the market today is Turmeric. Generally, we think of Turmeric as a spice that is added to curries to give it that brilliant golden colour and delicious flavour, but therapeutic grade Turmeric (which you buy in a capsule) contains high amounts of the active ingredient Curcumin. Curcumin has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, making it especially helpful for arthritis sufferers.

Inflammation: The cause of all things achy and what you can do to combat it

Antioxidants reduce inflammation, pain and swelling, essentially strengthening joints and collagen structures. As well as Turmeric and Green Lipped Mussel (mentioned above), Grape Seed Extract is a potent antioxidant, rich in bioflavonoids. It helps protect cartilage, cells and blood vessels from damage.

Inflammation: The cause of all things achy and what you can do to combat it

Essential Fatty Acids also combat inflammation. Evening Primrose Oil contains omega 6 (GLA), which may help to reduce inflammation of the joints (as well as providing necessary essential fatty acids). As joints become inflexible with age, EPO supplies the necessary material to the joints and muscles to help increase flexibility within the joints.

Flax Seed Oil contains omega 3, 6 and 9 in the perfect ratio to help many inflammatory conditions.

Inflammation: The cause of all things achy and what you can do to combat it

Fish Oil and Krill Oil both contain omega 3 fatty acids, proven to be effective anti-inflammatory agents for many conditions, including arthritis. Omega 3 fatty acids can also inhibit the enzymes involved in cartilage destruction.

While inflammation may arise in different forms, for different reasons, there are a plethora of natural tools all designed for varying symptoms to combat it. If you’re unsure which is best for you, talk to your Naturopath. The best thing about inflammation is that it’s not permanent.

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