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Find relief for joint pain with help from multiple treatment options

Kathy Gruver, PhD Host of The Alternative Medicine Cabinet and author of three books on health Alternative Medicine Cabinet

Joint pain can be caused by numerous factors and relieved by everything from stretching and herbs to heat packs and prescription medications. Here are some options to help manage your joint pain.


Do use glucosamine and chondroitin

These substances are popular supplements for joint pain, especially in the knees. They are commonly found in health food stores, usually combined with each other and sometimes adding MSM or other herbal components. Though many studies show limited benefit, anecdotal evidence certainly indicates that many people get relief from taking this common supplement. Try it and see if it works for you. If you don’t see much change, try a different brand or formulation.

Do get a massage

Muscles attach to joints and often if the muscle is tight or full of trigger points, it can pull on the joint. It’s as if you kept knotting up a clothesline, eventually it will pull its attachments out of the wall. Depending on the cause, getting a therapeutic massage or using a foam roller can improve joint pain dramatically.

Do exercise

Use it or lose it. Oftentimes inactivity is worse for our body than using it. Long car trips, sitting all day or a stagnant lifestyle can certainly take a toll on our bodies. Get up, move, stretch and exercise to help your joints. Don’t try to exercise through pain however.

Do stay hydrated

Staying hydrated helps the muscles and joints. Dehydration increases joint pain and lessens mobility. Swelling will often increase until optimum hydration is reached. Water also flushes toxins from the body, which can increase pain and discomfort.

Do get a second opinion

It’s tempting to try one thing and say, “Oops, that didn’t work, I guess I’m done.” The body is very complicated and trying multiple modalities and practitioners is going to benefit you and your health. Be patient and look at all your options.


Do not assume its arthritis

In my opinion, arthritis is way over diagnosed. It seems that anyone over 40 with joint pain is simply being told it’s arthritis. It can be numerous other things. Try the above mentioned therapies to see if it helps. You can’t massage away arthritis, but often you will see relief following a massage session, so clearly it’s a muscular issue.

Do not rush into surgery

It’s tempting to look for a quick fix, especially if the pain has been persisting for long periods of time. Check into non-invasive therapies before jumping under the knife. Massage, chiropractic, physical therapy or nutritional supplements might be the answer. Surgery certainly might be warranted, but exhaust your non-invasive options first.

Do not overmedicate

There are numerous prescription drugs available for joint and muscle pain. Just as you should not to rush to surgery, you should also avoid rushing to pharmaceuticals. These can carry nasty side effects and in reality, don’t really solve the problem. Determine the underlying issue and work to fix that before rushing to a chemical fix.

Do not forget heat and ice

Ice should be used for a new injury or where swelling is present. Don’t heat a newly injured joint, and don’t heat bruising or swelling. Alternating heat and ice flushes blood in and out of the joint bringing in needed nutrients and oxygen. It also flushes out any toxins. Some experts say end with ice, other say to end with heat, ask your health professional their opinion.

Do not totally avoid the doctor

Having said all that about not rushing to drugs and surgery, don’t totally ignore Western medicine either. Joint pain can be caused by arthritis (both osteo and rheumatoid), cancer, Lyme’s disease, lupus, gout, bursitis, fibromyalgia, hypothyroidism and so many more. If the natural remedies aren’t working please see your physician for further testing.

Jumping cartoon

I hope you never suffer from joint pain, but if you do these suggestions should help. Remember you have choices in the type of care you get and the method of practitioner you seek out. Review all your options and don’t give up.

More expert advice about Joint Pain

Photo Credits: Untitled by flickr: Vento di Grecale; Check Man, Cross Man and Jump Man © ioannis kounadeas -

Kathy Gruver, PhDHost of The Alternative Medicine Cabinet and author of three books on health

Dr. Kathy Gruver is the host of the national TV show based on her first award winning book, The Alternative Medicine Cabinet and has earned her PhD in Natural Health. Kathy was featured on Lifetime Television’s The Balancing Act in 2011 speaking...

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