5 Ways to Combat Joint Pain
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As many of you, I struggle daily with chronic hip and knee joint pain that’s been ongoing for about 10 years. This summer in the South has been one of the worst summers in regards to my joint pain because it rained so much. And yes, it is true, the weather truly affects my joint pain and the rain makes it ten times worse.
Let me be real for a moment: chronic joint pain can be absolutely debilitating. It’s a daily reminder of everything I’ve been through and it can be frustrating and limiting all at once. There are days where I can barely get myself out of bed because I don’t see a reason to try with how much pain I’m in. There are days where my entire life revolves around my joint pain and I’m at its mercy. I try my hardest to not let it dictate my attitude or completely destroy my life, but it’s a daily battle.
Anyway, about halfway through the summer, I realized that I couldn’t just take medicine every 6 hours, daily, to try to mask my joint pain. That isn’t a healthy way to deal with my pain and it isn’t healthy for my body. Dustin and I decided to start researching alternative methods to combat my joint pain and came up with several solutions that have really helped me combat joint pain, even on the rainiest days.
Before I share my strategies, I first want to say that I am NOT a doctor. You should consult with your doctor before you make any drastic changes to how you deal with your joint pain! I am simply sharing my own personal lifestyle changes that have helped me!
Take Turmeric Supplements Daily
When I first started researching what I could do to reduce my joint pain, there was one thing that constantly kept popping up and that was turmeric. As far as I knew, it was a spice, so I was initially confused as to how it was supposed to help me with my joint pain. However, after doing more research, I realized that turmeric had the potential to help me fight my inflammation and improve my overall joint health.
I decided to try out the youtheory® Turmeric Extra Strength 120 Capsules that I found while making my bi-weekly Costco run. (Yes, I go to Costco that frequently because #samples and chicken bakes.) Turns out, the youtheory Turmeric Capsules were just reformulated, put in new packaging and even better than ever. The old formula had 450mg turmeric per 3 tablets and the new formula has 1,000mg turmeric per 2 capsules. Overall, that’s 3X the amount of turmeric per vegan capsule! These new capsules are in the tubs with orange lids and have a count of 120 in them.
So, what’s the big deal about these capsules? Stay with me, because we’re going to get a little scientific here.
Turmeric is a yellow powder that is ground from a Turmeric root. Traditionally, Turmeric was used in Chinese and Indian medicine. Turns out, Turmeric isn’t well absorbed by the body in just straight powder form because it only has 5% of a little thing called curcuminoids. Curcuminoids (which is what makes the powder yellow) are what block the inflammatory enzymes, so the more curcuminoids you ingest, the more it will support healthy inflammation response and boost overall joint health. The youtheory Turmeric capsules have 95% curcuminoids (nearly 20 times more than regular turmeric.) Given this 20x concentration, one pill (500 mg) of the new extra strength formula provides the dosage equivalency of almost 10,000 mg (10 grams) of turmeric!
So, in conclusion, taking the youtheory capsule (which is made without gluten products and hypoallergenic) is way more effective than the Turmeric spices. Since adding Turmeric into my daily supplements about a month ago (like my multi-vitamin) I can honestly say that I have felt a decrease in daily joint pain and haven’t had to take over-the-counter medicine more than a couple times.
Do Targeted Static Stretches
Static stretching involves the body at rest and without movement and stretching an isolated group of muscles for 30 seconds or more. I’ve found that doing static stretches specifically targeted for my left hip has helped release the tension and loosen up the muscles over time. Today, I wanted to share 3 of my favorite static stretches (step-by-step) for my hip joint pain!
Stretch One: Trunk Rotations
- First, sit down on the ground with your knees bent up towards your chin.
- Lay down on your back, but keep your knees bent.
- Swivel your knees over towards your left and touch them to the ground. Hold for 30 seconds. You should feel the stretch in your lower back and hip flexor.
- Switch sides and repeat the stretch on your right for 30 seconds.
Stretch Two: Middle Twist Stretch
- Start by sitting on the floor with one leg bent inward and the other one stretched out
- Twist your middle toward the knee that is bent and then twist beyond that, so you are almost reaching behind your back
- Hold this stretch for 30 seconds, then repeat with the opposite leg
- You should feel this stretch in your outer hip, upper quad and lower back.
Stretch Three: Standing Hamstring
- Find a step or piece of gym equipment about knee level (or a little higher) and place your leg up on it in a 90-degree angle
- Bend over slowly and reach your hands towards your toes of the leg you are standing on. Hold for 30 seconds
- You should feel the stretch in your bent leg’s hip flexor, hamstring and lower back
3. Drink LOTS of water!
You should be drinking lots of water regardless of your joint pain but you should definitely make an effort if you are feeling stiff. Water keeps your cartilage soft and hydrated. In fact, some joint pain actually can be a sign of dehydration, so if you don’t suffer from chronic joint pain but are randomly really sore, drink lots of water!
I’ve made it a goal to drink 72 ounces of water a day (I know, that’s a ton) but since I’ve actively been drinking water (and only water) regularly, my joint pain has definitely improved!
4. Sleep with a pillow in between your knees
I recently bought a pillow specifically molded for between the knees and it has been a game changer at night! It helps relieve the pressure on my hips and knees while I’m sleeping and I very rarely wake up from pain since starting to sleep with it!
5. Take hot baths to relax muscles
Hot baths are a great way to relax muscles and help them soften up after being tight and sore all day. If I’m having a particularly rough pain day, I’ll soak in a bathtub before bed and have my husband rub my knee to improve circulation and get some of the fluid and swelling down, before falling asleep with an ice pack. Alternating between hot and cold helps my muscles relax and the swelling to go down.
If you suffer from chronic joint pain, I want you to know that you are not alone. I know that it can be frustrating, but I also want you to know that it is possible to live a vibrant life with it. Don’t accept that you have to suffer with it daily; keep trying new things to find some relief. I know that these lifestyle changes that I shared today have really helped me find some relief, and I’m having more and more “good days.”
I highly recommend checking out the youtheory Turmeric capsules and would love to know what you do to combat your stiff or painful joints in the comments below!