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Helpful Tips to Soothe the Effects of Joint Inflammation

Helpful Tips to Soothe the Effects of Joint Inflammation

Understanding Joint Discomfort

Are you familiar with the aches and pains that come from the body’s natural aging process? Does that really mean we should accept joint pain as a fact of life? Not necessarily.

Understanding how joints actually work and why joint discomfort occurs is a major first step in managing pain. There’s a lot to keep track of; your body is made up of 203 joints which span between two or more bones. That’s a lot of moving parts that are aging and changing at different rates.

To keep things simple here’s a quick primer on the different parts of the joint that will help you map where the pain might be coming from:

Three Main Types of Joints

  • IMMOVABLE - Bones that are tightly fused in adulthood often don’t start out that way. Your skull is a great example.
  • MOVABLE - These are most of your freely moving joints with synovial fluid that allows a wider range of motion. They are the most prevalent joints in your body and some of the most vulnerable to joint pain such as the knee and shoulder.
  • SLIGHTLY MOVABLE - Joints that you rely on for structural stability need some movement but we would struggle if they had too much. Think of the vertebrae in your spine.

Let’s dive deeper into the movable joints that are the most likely to cause you joint pain and understand more about the problem areas:

Six Types of Movable (Synovial) Joints

  • BALL AND SOCKET - This is where the rounded head of one bone fits into the open socket of another to allow circular movement as in your shoulder and hip joints.
  • CONDYLOID JOINT - Allowing a simple up and down movement but no rotation as in your jaw or finger joints.
  • GLIDING JOINT - Two bones gliding over one another on a plane such as your wrist.
  • HINGE JOINT - A door opening and closing in one direction such as your elbow joint and knee.
  • PIVOT JOINT - One bone swiveling in the ring made by a second bone. The bones that rotate your forearm and the first vertebra of your neck.
  • SADDLE JOINT - Joints like the base of the thumb don’t rotate but do enable side to side movement.  

All of These Joints Have Two Major Features in Common:


While you were developing in your mother’s womb you had cartilage first which then developed into bone. Cartilage is your body’s original connective tissue. Cartilage are unique cells in your body because they don’t have blood vessels or nerves but instead act as a kind of gel. The bad news is that although cartilage is hard wearing it doesn’t repair quickly which has a number of consequences for joint pain.


A membrane over the cartilage that makes a thick fluid to keep the cartilage healthy. Normal everyday activity can, over time, cause the fluid made by the synovium to become inflamed or thickened as it tries to protect the cartilage. Also, extra fluid within the joint is bad news as it can lead to swelling.

Joints are a hard working and hard wearing part of the body. The problem is for those with joint pain some of the body’s own self-preserving actions can actually make things worse. One of the main conditions that develops when cartilage is worn down is degenerative arthritis.

How Does Arthritis Affect The Body?

Degenerative arthritis is the most common form of arthritis affecting over fifty million people in the U.S. It occurs when cartilage deteriorates or direct bone on bone contact occurs at a rate faster than the body is able to repair. It typically occurs in the weight bearing joints such as the hips, spine and knees. Here are some of the main red flags to look out for:

Five Main Symptoms of Degenerative Arthritis

  • ‘Crepitus’ is the scientific name for a common feeling you may have had yourself; the pop or crunch sound you hear when moving a joint which sounds a little bit like cracking your knuckles.  
  • Decreased range of motion or balance shows that the joint has deteriorated and is struggling to bear weight which is a red flag.  
  • Joint pain and stiffness typically worsened by activity and relieved by rest. Long periods of inactivity can also lead to stiffness and even a locked joints (particularly in older people).
  • Mobility is impaired, muscle loss is widespread and at the most advanced stage you may see visible malformation of the joint. This might look like a bend or a ‘bow’ in the joint.  
  • Poor posture is a sign that the disease is far advanced and that affected joints are painful to stretch.
Joint pain inflammation manifests in several different form

The misalignment of bones and joint injury can increase the likelihood of degenerative arthritis. Genetics and family histories of arthritis also play a role but the main variable at play is your body’s ability to heal.

As with any disease you should discuss with your physician to form an integrated plan of both medicine and more physical therapy. Here are some great lifestyle adaptations to try:

Seven Lifestyle Hacks to Help Manage Joint Discomfort

  • ASSISTIVE DEVICES - Nobody is suggesting you need a walker or cane just yet! However, braces and splints can make exercise more achievable and maintain compression on key joint areas. This could be a strategy that allows you to complete the low impact exercise that yield long-term results by strengthening the bones and muscles that support them.
  • EXERCISE - Low impact regular exercise helps keep joint flexibility whilst strengthening muscles and bones. Swimming, golf and cycling can all fulfill those goals without putting too much stress on the body. Target two to three times a week with these exercises and don’t be afraid to take breaks if you feel sore.
  • HEAT/COLD THERAPY - Any athlete can tell you that warm compresses and ice packs can often provide a perfect temporary relief from swelling and inflammation.
  • NUTRITION - Carrying extra weight can be a burden on load bearing joints such as hips, knees and spine. Getting leaner can reduce your risk over time, too. If you think this might be an issue for you, consult with a doctor and/or physical therapist to ensure you don’t end up underweight (which is also bad for your bones!)
  • REST - Sleep is the bedrock of bodily repair. Getting the right duration and quality of REM sleep is vital for overall health but is especially important for joints. If you’ve ever pulled an ‘all nighter’ you’ll be familiar with the creaky, stiff feeling that continuous use give to joints. Lying down to sleep allows your joints to relax and restore themselves.
  • SUPPLEMENTS - No matter how well you eat there is always space for a well-formulated supplement regime. Ingredients with powerful anti-inflammatory properties not found in regular food can make supplements essential.  

Even for those setting off on their journey of living with degenerative arthritis there’s plenty of hope to manage pain and ensure you have a fulfilling lifestyle. Let’s now zoom in and consider how degenerative arthritis affects a specific joint. We’re going to take the knee joint as an example, which as a weight bearing joint commonly suffers from degenerative arthritis.

Joint Discomfort from Arthritis  

Many people get their first warning of knee arthritis in the feeling that their knee may ‘give out’ or not bear their weight. The knee joint is a vital load-bearing hinge joint that’s key to our everyday activities. Walking, getting into a bath or shower and sitting can be severely affected by a painful knee.

Few people who haven’t encountered pain or dysfunction in the knee have really thought about what it would mean to lose mobility there. We’re going to focus on the most common form of arthritis which scientists call osteoarthritis. ‘Osteo’ is the latin prefix for ‘bone’ and this type of arthritis is characterized by the wearing away of cartilage leading to swelling of the knee. Now let’s have a look at some of the common factors in people with knee arthritis:

Five Common Factors or Causes of Knee Arthritis

  • AGE: People over 40 are much more likely than those younger to contract knee arthritis owing to the wear and tear on the knee over time.
  • FAMILY HISTORY: If you have a number or family members who have suffered from osteoarthritis then it may be more likely to happen to you.
  • GENDER: Knee arthritis is more common and severe in women than men.
  • INJURY: If you’ve ever had a previous knee injury or surgery that involves cartilage removal you will be at greater risk. Think about torn meniscus, fractures to the bone around the joints or a ligament tear that will increase your risk.
  • OCCUPATION: If you have a super high impact job where you put repetitive strain on your knees you’ll be at greater risk from osteoarthritis. This may also be true if you play sports or have hobbies that include those same movements.

Knee arthritis is a degenerative condition therefore, there is no ‘cure’. No cure doesn’t mean no hope however. It just demands a different approach to healing.

The key aim is to set up the body to have a solid foundation to repair and manage pain and inflammation. Short of surgery, which can be undertaken on the advice and guidance of a physician, there are other routes to pain relief and increased mobility.

When unhealthy inflammation leads to arthritis, UPGRAID is your bioavailable source of nutrients to fight the symptoms.

For those with knee arthritis a range of smaller lifestyle adaptations can be a great place to begin. In the next section we’ll look at proven examples of those lifestyle adaptations. We’re going to hone in on how preparing your body with natural remedies can make an immediate impact on joint pain and knee arthritis.

Natural Remedies for Joint Inflammation

If your body is a fortress think of bones as bricks and cartilage as the mortar that holds them together. You want to set your body up to withstand any “siege.” Remember, degenerative disease is not about chasing a non-existent ‘cure.’ Instead, the goal must be managing any pain and alleviating stress.

Let’s dive into some of the key ingredients and how they help prevent joint pain and act as a natural remedy for arthritis:

Three Helpful Ingredients

ASHWAGANDHA - This root slows and inhibits inflammation. Extract from the whole plant are used to ensure ease of absorption by your body. This is great for joints as the prevention of swelling helps avoid bones rubbing together or cartilage inflammation.

GINGER - Another traditional Ayurvedic herb known for its many curative properties. A superfood in its own right ginger has some attributes of particular interest to those with joint pain. Studies show that ginger helps ease stiffness in joints and decrease joint pain even for those with ongoing arthritis symptoms.  

TURMERIC - Is a traditional treatment for joint inflammation and arthritis that dates back centuries. Just like ashwagandha turmeric is a potent anti-inflammatory but it has specific relevance for those with osteoarthritis. Studies have shown turmeric’s active ingredient curcumin to have a powerful effect in preventing joint stiffening and joint pain.

Let us know your most helpful hacks for joint inflammation in the comments below.

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