Do your knees hurt when you walk? Do household chores leave you with achy shoulders? If so, you’re among the 27 million Americans that live with osteoarthritis, a condition in which cartilage or cushioning is lost between bones that then rub painfully against one another.
Documenting the experience of pain and providing personalized treatment is being discussed as a recommendation to all doctors. This implies that there is neither just one kind of arthritis pain nor a single remedy that fits all sufferers. Learning about the various things that seem to help different people and trying them on for size may be the right approach.Here is a list of dietary supplements that seem to work well for arthritis.
Pain medication, dietary supplements that can help rebuild the lost cartilage between joints, and exercises that help to maintain flexibility and range of joint rotation are all good treatment options. Naturally, for anyone suffering from chronic pain, the top priority is to get relief fast.
Oral painkillers work but anything we swallow has the risk of getting destroyed by stomach acid and not working as effectively as they should.
Long-term use of oral pain medications can also have a damaging effect on vital organs like the kidneys and liver. If one can switch to a product that delivers its pain-killing benefits via the skin, the effects of the drug can be delivered directly to the site of the pain and confined to just that body part. So, the transdermal (through the skin) route has been adopted for arthritis medications, and pain-relieving gels have been used for some time now.
Most topical gels contain salicylates (various forms of salicylic acid) and have been known to work well. If brands Aspercreme or Mobisyl ring a bell, then you already know of products that contain salicylic acid.
Capsaicin, the substance found in chilies that make them spicy hot, is another ingredient used in topical gels to help with arthritis. When applied topically, capsaicin can stop the sensation of pain by interacting with nerve cells in the painful joint. Nerve cells transmit the message of pain to the brain by sending out certain chemicals. In topical gels, capsaicin reduces the production of this chemical messenger in the nerve cells of the painful joint. In other words, less pain for you!
Pain-relieving topical gels may also include ingredients—like menthol—that produce a sensation of intense heat or cold to act as a distraction from chronic pain.
The latest hope for arthritis patients is topical gels that contain chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine salts. Never mind the fancy chemical names—all you need to know is that these substances are building blocks of cartilage. Imagine rebuilding the cushioning that has been worn off between joints, and you get the picture.
Chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine salts have been used as oral supplements to treat arthritis with some success. According to a scientific review, these ingredients might work better if delivered into the body through other methods, such as topical creams. Glucosamine is well absorbed through the skin and has been tried out in a few small clinical studies.
A clinical survey of 44 patients treated with topical gels containing glucosamine showed that more than 50% of patients experienced a reduction in knee pain, and all patients reported a reduction in shoulder pain. Patients from both studies reported a reduction of pain in shoulder, elbow, and knee joints when treated with creams containing glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate.
So, if you are one of the many people suffering with painful osteoarthritis, you may want to discuss topical gels with your doctor, especially those with the lesser-known transdermal glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate in them. It may well turn out to be the magical component your current treatment protocol could use.