When your joints hurt, life can be miserable.
But getting relief from that pain is usually hit and miss. Prescription and over-the-counter pain relievers have long lists of health-damaging and even deadly side effects. On top of that, they don’t stop the factors creating the pain in the first place. At best they provide temporary relief.
The reason for this has to do with basic facts about how the body works. There are an amazing number of checks and counter checks happening within the body at every moment. Without a conscious thought we make adjustments to changing conditions around and within us.
For example when we do something strenuous our breathing, heart rate, energy usage, pores and thousands of other aspects of metabolism change almost immediately. We never have to think about this, it happens naturally. In fact, all of the hormones, nervous system (neurotransmitter) activities, digestion, etc. all adapt continuously to what’s going on at the moment. And, of course, each of the interrelated 50,000 biochemical reactions happen with no effort on your part.
What does this have to do with joint pain & inflammation?
Simply this… any inflammatory response in the body happens as a natural adaptation to the changing internal and external conditions we experience.
This is important because addressing only the immediate cause of the pain never stops those deeper factors triggering it in the first place. In the case of arthritis the immediate cause is the COX-2 enzyme. That’s what NSAID drugs are designed to inhibit. But if the body continually creates more COX-2 enzymes, someone has to take these dangerous drugs forever. That’s not optimal.
Here’s an illustration of what I mean:
The short summary is that although medications address symptoms, they can’t correct what causes them in the first place.
But what can?
To answer that question requires going deeper into how the body responds to chronic stressors. Although there’s a lot of biochemistry that happens, you can understand it simply by recognizing the sources of these stressors. Once the sources are addressed, there is no longer anything driving the inflammatory response and the pain disappears.
So let’s get right to the list of chronic stressors that contribute to joint pain. These include:
- Wrong Food Choices – the most refined way to correct this is by understanding your Metabolic TypeÃ‚Â®. But until you can determine it you can go a long way towards feeling better by avoiding processed, packaged & canned foods. The worst offenders are sugar, soft drinks & juices, and flour, including products made from flour like bread and pasta. Focus instead on whole, fresh, natural foods.
- Inadequate Hydration – healthy joints need water. Most people don’t drink a sufficient amount to make up for water lost through breathing, elimination and metabolic processes. Always be sure to drink filtered water to avoid contaminants.
- Lack of Exercise – in modern times we sit way too much. Because our bodies are designed to move, it’s important to move them. Even walking every day will help satisfy this need.
- Excess Stress – we don’t always have control over the outward sources of stress, but with awareness we can always improve our response to it. Addressing the above three factors will help, as will learning how to stop your thoughts from making you tense. Meditation, self-hypnosis and specific brain management techniques can all be helpful.
In addition to eliminating these problems, it’s also helpful to support the body by taking natural supplements to address the inflammatory damage already done and to speed the process. We’ll go into these in some depth in the next post. Look for that on the blog on Thursday, July 15th.