Joints compose some of the most complex parts of the human body. Muscles, bones, cartilage, ligaments, fascia, and tendons all work together at a joint to make it possible to enjoy a full range of motion for a task as simple as walking.
However, it is only after experiencing serious elbow or shoulder pain, for example, that the importance of healthy joints is recognized. Once there is a level of pain that inhibits regular physical activity, other issues may arise as well.
Understanding the source of pain and the connection between inflammation and joint pain is crucial in healing the body.
A large number of conditions include joint pain as a primary symptom. Arthritis is one of the most common, and there are several different subsets of arthritis, including juvenile idiopathic arthritis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, septic arthritis, and psoriatic arthritis.
Overuse can lead to localized joint pain, like lateral epicondylitis, commonly known as tennis elbow.
A significant challenge for individuals who suffer from joint pain is the effects it can have in performing their job. This occupational risk is underscored for those whose jobs require physical exertion throughout the day. When a person's livelihood depends on the use of joints that are in pain, further injury is sure to follow, along with the stress and anxiety that arises when an employee is unable to work effectively.
Joint pain can affect a wide range of professionals, whether they sit primarily at a computer and suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome, or they are outside landscaping and experience shoulder or knee pain.
For those suffering from joint pain, inflammation is a key catalyst. And getting to this root cause is crucial for relief. In order to stay healthy in the long run, it is vital to understand that inflammation is a symptom of something much deeper.
Inflammation arises in the body when it is under stress and must remove excess toxins by releasing inflammatory chemicals. This is a function of the immune system and how the body keeps itself healthy. Inflammation leads to pain in different areas of the body and is particularly pervasive to the osteo-skeletal system.
In order to eradicate joint pain for good, it is important to understand why the body's immune system is producing this inflammation in the first place.
Very often high levels of inflammation start in the gut. But what does the gut have to do with the joint pain? Quite a lot, actually.
Most individuals don't realize that over 80% of their immune system cells are present in their gut, according to the British Society for Immunology, working to eliminate toxins from the digestive system.
A comprehensive test of the digestive system, can help identify if there are any imbalances in yeast or bacteria, take a look at energy and mood metabolites and also see if there are any nutrient deficiencies that need to be addressed in order to rebalance the body.
Given the close connection between inflammation and toxicity in the body, detoxifying is an essential part of relieving joint pain.
A basic way to start a detoxification process is to begin by removing toxin-rich food from meals. This could mean eliminating dairy, refined sugars, gluten and processed meats. It's important to ease into the process and make sure that toxin-rich food is being replaced by a healthy alternative. A journal or spreadsheet is a great way to keep track of food intake and record any symptoms.
Supplements can also help. Bioavailable curcumin has been shown to have excellent anti-inflammatory effects, according to the peer-reviewed journal Foods, by supporting the body's cytokine and oxidative stress responses.
Take, for instance, Sam, a 55-year-old plumber who was suffering from serious knee pain that had been precipitated by his work. He had been taking anti-inflammatory medication for some time, but the medication was no longer working. He knew that in order to move forward pain-free and continue to work, he would have to take a different approach to his joint pain.
Sam started a Functional Medicine Detox. He also tried an at-home approach of hot and cold treatment, which turned out to be effective, allowing for stimulation of his lymphatic system, which increased the production of white blood cells. Ultimately, through focused treatment to reduce inflammation through detoxification, Sam was able to recover from his knee pain.
Relief from joint pain starts with understanding the root cause: inflammation. Recovery is possible by taking that first step.