|How are your joints? (Part 2)
Before starting a new Joint Health Programme you should think about the level of both pain/comfort and how this affects mobility and score that out of 10. Each month you can then review and rate your progress. This is particularly helpful when more than one joint is affected by arthritis.
What causes joint pain?
Joint pain and subsequent loss of mobility can come from several sources. Firstlythere is the damage caused by some trauma or injury. This is pretty obvious. Trauma to joints can damage cartilage and other joint structures causing pain and loss of mobility.
Secondly are the arthritic changes to joints resulting in cartilage loss. We used to think of cartilage loss as mostly a process of erosion – much like the way sandpaper can erode a surface. We now know that the main way cartilage is lost is more from corrosion than erosion.
Corrosion of metal is caused by oxidation of the metal surface. In the case of cartilage it is that oxidation damages specialised joint cells called chondrocytes and can either damage or ultimately destroy them. Once lost the cartilage they maintained disintegrates.
The third source of pain is inflammation. Our incredible immune system is constantly at work to protect and heal. The way it does this is by initiating inflammation. This process starts with blood vessels dilating allowing fluid mixed with healing chemicals to go into damaged tissue.
This is normally helpful but for cartilage damage the process is not only cannot repair cartilage loss the extra fluid creates a new problem of swelling which causes pain and decreased mobility.
Function of cartilage
The main function of cartilage is to allow for smooth movement of the bones in the joint. Cartilage acts like a shock absorber especially in weight bearing joints and also helps to protects bones. As cartilage is lost this exposes the ends of bones.
While cartilage has no nerves, bone certainly does and can contribute to the pain we feel. In my experience the benefits people feel in the first 3-6 months are more likely to be from reducing inflammation than any structural changes in the joint.
A case study
By way of example I have been helping someone with osteoarthritis in a knee and a thumb. I created a personalised joint health programme that included diet and lifestyle changes with high doses of Omega 3 fish oil and a double dose of my joint formula.
These higher doses delivered 1600mg of both high grade chondroitin sulphate and glucosamine sulphate and 400mg of a 95% pure curcumin extract from turmeric. After just 3 months her knee had improved to becoming largely pain free and her thumb which caused 7/10 discomfort now 4/10 and continuing to improve.
What to do next?
Think about your joints. If any joint causes pain give it a rating out of 10; if it is 2/10 or more you should contact me for a personalised joint plan.
John Arts (B.Soc.Sci, Dip Tch, Adv.Dip.Nut.Med.) is a nutritional medicine practitioner and founder of Abundant Health. If you have questions or need help you can contact John 0800 423559. You can email John at email@example.com.
Please note that the health advice given through this column is for general educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any health problem. © John Arts 2019