If we hyperextend or twist a joint, we know exactly what caused the pain. But there are times when joint pain sneaks up on us and we have no idea what started it, much less how to stop it. Before you pop a pill or two, or regularly fill a prescription for the rest of your life, why not discover the cause, rather than just treat the symptoms? If you heal the body, you end the pain.
Joint pain has many presentations and symptoms. The joint may be weak, stiff, locked, or exhibit a limited range of motion. It may be warm, tender, and swollen. The skin surrounding the joint may be red. Pain may be present at all times or only when the joint is moved. The pain may be restricted to one joint or affect multiple joints; it may migrate from one to another. Pain and other symptoms may be acute or chronic. Joint pain may be the only symptom of disease or it may be one of many.
An injury or other ailment may affect one or multiple structures inside or outside of the joint: the tendons, ligaments, cartilage, bursae (fluid filled sacks or cavities that help cushion the joint), the synovial membrane (lining of the joint that secretes fluid to help lubricate the joint), or the bone itself.
What is arthritis?
Arthritis is pain and inflammation of a joint. While some sources say there are around 100 causes of joint pain, Arthritis Care states there are around 200 causes, which fit into three classifications:
- Inflammatory Arthritis – such as rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, gout
- Non-inflammatory Arthritis – such as osteoarthritis, scoliosis, torn ligaments
- Connective Tissue Disease – such as lupus, sclerosis, Sjogren’s syndrome
A joint injury is not always caused by a bruise or sprain. Repetitive stress injuries from sports, hobbies, work or an injury caused by a workstation that is not ergonomically correct can cause joint pain. For instance, a desk that may be too high or a chair may be too low causing undue stress and strain on joints. Old, sagging mattresses that do not properly support the body for a third of our daily life can also contribute to joint injury and pain.
Viruses, Bacteria, and Candida Can Cause Joint Pain
Viral illnesses that can cause joint pain include (but are not limited to) hand, foot and mouth disease; hepatitis B and C; HIV, human parvovirus; mumps; rubella; influenza; polio; pericarditis; and encephalitis.
Bacterial infections that can cause joint pain include (but are not limited to) staph, strep, gonorrhea, chlamydia, tuberculosis, and Lyme’s disease.
Candida overgrowth (or any other kind of fungus), can infect the body in ways that are similar to a virus or bacteria and can cause auto-immune symptoms, including joint pain.
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It is classified as non-inflammatory and is characterized by deterioration of cartilage. This type of joint pain is more severe after rest.
Autoimmune Diseases That Cause Joint Pain
Autoimmune diseases that cause joint pain include (but are not limited to) polymyalgia rheumatica, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, systemic lupus erythematosus, type I diabetes, celiac sprue disease, pernicious anemia, vitiligo, scleroderma, psoriasis, inflammatory bowel disease, Hashimoto’s disease, Addison’s disease, Graves’ disease, reactive arthritis, and Sjögren’s syndrome. Candida overgrowth is typically at the root of autoimmune disease.
Natural Treatment for Chronic Arthritic Conditions
Naturopathic medicine and natural treatments focus on healing through nutrition, detoxification, exercise, and appropriate herbal remedies when indicated. Natural treatment begins with diet.
First and foremost, our bodies require nutrition that is abundant in fresh, whole, organic foods. The most nutrient dense foods are produce. The healthiest diet consists of 80% (or more) fresh, whole, organic produce – more vegetables than fruits. We also must include healthy fats in our diet.
While filling the body with the most nutrient dense foods, we must avoid adding toxins to the body and we must be vigilant about removing toxins from the body that we cannot help but accumulate from our polluted environment.
To avoid adding toxins and other damaging substances to our bodies, we must eliminate artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives; MSG; trans fats; GMOs, high fructose corn syrup, and all other processed sugars. We also must minimize caffeine intake.
In other words, we need to eat real food – not processed foods.
If we are eating right, we are detoxing our bodies through the food we eat. Green leafy vegetables, along with other produce high in fiber, help to balance the microbiome in the gut, reducing bad bacteria and increasing good bacteria. Garlic, cilantro, cruciferous vegetables, spirulina, and chlorella all help chelate heavy metals and other toxins and remove them from the body.
By eating the right diet, we are helping our bodies detox on a daily basis. It is still a good idea to go through a good, healthy detox regimen twice a year if you are exposed to a heavy toxic load (generally anyone living and urban lifestyle).
Yes, exercise is vital. Not only is exercise needed for bone density and muscle strength, our immune system requires movement to do its job. The lymphatic system is a circulatory system that is dependent on body movement to push fluids through the body. Walk, run, dance, jump rope, swim, do yoga – whatever you can do to get moving. Mix it up and have fun.
Next Steps to End Joint Pain
When the body receives the proper nutrition, detoxification, and exercise, it will begin to heal. But we can help the process with supplements and targeted foods.
Anyone familiar with natural healing is aware of leaky gut syndrome. Antibiotics and a poor diet start the deterioration of the gut. Gluten and Candida continue the destruction and imbalance. When a leaky gut allows foreign particles direct access to the bloodstream, allergies and autoimmune disorders result. In order to stop joint pain, you must heal your gut.
“I have noticed a pattern that many women who suffer from joint pain also have digestive issues. Ongoing digestive imbalances in the GI system (such as leaky gut, dysbiosis and inflammatory bowel disease) have long been associated with allergens and chronic inflammation.” Marcelle Pick, OB/GYN NP
While the general belief system is that autoimmune diseases are the result of the immune system running amuck and attacking healthy tissue, the leaky gut connection and systemic Candida suggest a different scenario – that the immune system is attacking foreign particles that have escaped the gut. One thing is for certain; many people who suffer from autoimmune disease report a decrease or a complete resolution in joint pain and other symptoms after healing their gut and following a healthy diet that eliminates gluten, milk, known allergies, and sugar.
An increase in omega 3 fatty acids is also crucial. Flaxseed oil or Udo’s 3.6.9. with DHT oil are both great sources of omega 3 fatty acids. Use either on salads or cooked vegetables. Check out Johanna Budwig’s anti-inflammatory recipe. (See suggested reading).
Hypothyroidism is another common cause of arthritis, frequently associated with pain in the wrist, shoulder, elbow, neck, knee, and hip. Hypothyroidism also causes pain in the arches and triggers headaches, including migraines. Again, it seems that health begins in the gut as hypothyroidism often follows leaky gut syndrome, gluten sensitivity, and Candida overgrowth. Healing the gut and the thyroid can resolve pain in the joints and connective tissues.
Joint pain and disease is not a necessary part of aging. It is a sign that your body is crying out for you to make changes in your life – especially in your diet. Pay attention. Give your body what it needs. It will repay you with years of pain-free living.
- AR-Encap – Thorne Research (joint support, facilitates normal inflammatory response)
- Boswellia – Pure Encapsulations (promotes healthy joint, connective tissue, pain releif)
- Arctic Omega-D – Nordic Naturals (omega 3s and Vitamin D)
- Systemic Enzymes – (Removes waste, unwanted proteins, promotes long-term healing)
- Curcumin 500 – Pure Encapsulations (Supports the body’s natural inflammatory response,musculoskeletal and cell function)
- Shillington’s Deep Tissue Repair Oil (powerful topical relief for stiff muscles and ligaments, inflamed tissue, and conditions like arthritis and lumbago)
- Budwig Cancer Cure (Her recipe stops inflammation)
- Understand Hypothyroidism Prevention and Natural Remedies
- What Causes Chronic Inflammation and How To Stop It For Good
- Gluten Candida Leaky Gut Syndrome and Autoimmune Diseases
- What causes joint pain? 101 possible conditions – Healthline
- Joint Pain – com
- Joint Pain: Many Joints (Polyarticular Joint Pain) – Merck Manual
- Arthritis and Joint Pain – Inflammation Could Be At Work – women to women
- Joint Pain – healthgrades
- The Approach to the Patient Presenting With Multiple Joint Pain – Arthritis Research UK
- Types of Arthritis – Arthritis Care
- Short and long-term risks of taking NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatories)- Natural News