Everybody in some stage of their life is afflicted by muscle and joint pains to some extent out of a number of reasons. Different types of muscle and joint pains arise due to aging as our bones, joints and cartilages wear out and they turn out be chronic disorders. Joint pains, commonly termed as arthritis, is the worst form of degenerative disease that has affected almost 40 million Americans out of which 20 million are afflicted with osteoarthritis. This has been the most reported chronic illness next to cardiovascular ailments past few years. Muscle and joint pains arising from muscle pull, strains and sprains or from injuries at a younger age can be controlled easily through different medications, but this turn out be serious with the age. This debilitating disease, if not checked, can lead to immobility and crippling with aging.
Reasons for Using Natural Supplements
Conventional treatment of muscle and joint pains involves the administration of NSAIDs (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), corticosteroid injections, joint replacements through surgery and regular physical exercises. Various side effects, risk factors and expenses involved are vital for the sufferers opting for the above mentioned treatments. Natural supplements treat the root of the disorder instead of treating the symptoms, and hence are risk free and produce fewer side effects. Remedies from natural supplements are more effective and long lasting than the conventional treatments. However, both FDA and NIH advises to be cautious while using natural supplements of muscle and joint pains as these are not regulated by any government organization. It is wise to seek professional consultation and check the accountability of the selling company before going for the product.
Natural Supplements for Muscle and Joint Pains
Natural supplements are commonly referred to as “herbal” or “dietary” supplements taken in substitution for some beneficial herbs and food. A natural supplement contains herbal extracts, vitamins, minerals, enzymes and amino acids beneficial for the body to treat a specific disorder. American College of Rheumatology classifies natural supplements that contain botanical extracts and chemicals whose functions are supposed to cure a specific disorder.
1. Glucosamine and Chondroitin
Extensive researches have been carried out to prove the effectuality of glucosamine and chondroitin in treating joint pains. Both these chemicals are present in our body and are extensively used in treating joint disorders of cats, dogs and horses. Scientists have conceived that these chemicals play a vital role in building and preserving bone cartilage, tendons and other connective tissues of our body. Glucosamine blocks the functions of enzymes and other chemicals that cause degeneration of bones and cartilages and maintain the lubrication of joints. Chondroitin uniformly distributes the lubricants aiding in proper movement of the joints. This also helps in alleviating inflammation of the joints. Both these chemicals can be taken singly or in a combination available in various supplements. Glucosamine appears in the supplements mainly as glucosamine sulfate or glucosamine hydrochloride. Skeletons of shellfish are the prime sources of glucosamine. Although the combination of these two produces better result, but one should also be careful about the side effects like heart burn, nausea, diarrhea and constipation.
2. MSM (Methysulfonylmethane)
This organic sulfur compound also occurs naturally in the human body and has a significant contribution in cell formation. It aids in muscle building, growth of nails and hair and maintains skin texture. Sulfur enhances the production of collagen which facilitates the growth of cartilage and other connective tissues. With aging the MSM levels gradually wane off giving rise to muscle and joint stiffness. MSM is present in a number of vegetables, grains and fruits. Supplements of MSM are available in combination with glucosamine and chondroitin. Athletes are largely benefited from MSM supplements due to its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. Researches are still on to prove the efficacy of MSM in treating joint pains.
3. SAMe (S-adenosinemethionine)
This chemical is present widely in human beings, animals and plants, and is a prescribed drug in Europe to treat osteoarthritis and depression. SAMe initiates a number of biochemical reactions and is a harbinger in synthesizing amino acids, beneficial for bones and cartilage. Scientific observations have revealed its efficacy in reducing swelling, pain and stiffness of the joints. Its effectiveness in treating immobility arising from fibromylagia has been widely accepted. The main drawback of this supplement lies in its higher price compared to other supplements and other significant side effects. Therefore, persons undergoing treatment for Parkinson’s disease and depression should be cautious enough before using this supplement. Cases of gastrointestinal disorders out of this supplement have also been reported.
Vital Points for Using Natural Supplements of Muscle and Joint Pains
Use of natural supplements of muscle and joint pains has rocketed past few years as more and more people are opting for risk free treatments with minimum side effects. Astronomical sale of these supplements has compelled the government to think of permitting FDA to impose certain regulations to maintain the safety standards. Those, intending to use these supplements should purchase from reputed drug manufacturers. Follow the recommended doses mentioned along with the pack. Check your health parameters and prevailing disorders, if any before taking these supplements. Seek immediate consultation from health care providers in case of any adverse drug reactions.