Inflammation and joint pain

close up of knee support brace on leg at public park
Share on pinterest
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email
Share on print

In this article, you will learn:

  • how inflammation affects joint pain,
  • different treatment and lifestyle options for arthritis and joint pain,
  • and which supplements and ingredients may support joint comfort.

Inflammation is defined as an immune response to injury. It signals your immune system to send specialized immune cells to defend against invaders like bacteria or unstable molecules, as well as to repair damaged tissues. Inflammation may present as redness, swelling, or pain. (1)

Although short-term inflammation is actually a healthy response to injury or sickness, chronic inflammation can cause numerous problems — one of these being joint pain.

“Joint pain can be debilitating, limiting your ability to be active and enjoy life to your full capacity.”

Left unchecked, chronic inflammation may develop into Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), a condition in which your immune system mounts an attack against your own joint tissues. After all, inflammation is itself an immune response.

On the other hand, Osteoarthritis (OA) is not caused by inflammation, but instead by wear and tear on a joint that breaks it down over time. Regardless, chronic inflammation can hasten this process of joint tissue breakdown. Additionally, the chronic pain and pressure from OA can actually cause inflammation.

“For joint pain to be managed effectively, you have to address the underlying inflammation.”

This is why it is so important to manage inflammation in order to keep joint pain in check. Chronic inflammation is a key player in joint pain, and for joint pain to be managed effectively, you have to address the underlying inflammation.

Treatment and lifestyle options

If you are suffering from arthritis or joint pain, it’s important to seek treatment. Your doctor may recommend certain medications or physical therapy to help you manage your joint pain.

There are also a number of lifestyle changes you can make that may help you to better manage your pain, such as:

  • Exercise. Weight-bearing exercise, especially low-impact exercises like swimming or using an elliptical, can help strengthen your bones and joints. Muscle building exercises like resistance training may also help relieve joint pain by strengthening the muscles surrounding the joint. (2)
  • Weight loss. If you’re overweight, losing weight may help relieve pressure on your joints — reducing OA pain. Obesity and chronic inflammation often go hand-in-hand as well, so losing some weight may help relieve inflammation.
  • Anti-inflammatory diet. Eating an anti-inflammatory diet that’s low in sugar and highly refined, processed foods, and rich in protein, healthy fats, fiber, and antioxidants can help reverse chronic inflammation and potentially reduce inflammatory joint pain.
  • Decreasing stress. Stress is pro-inflammatory. By reducing the stressors in your life, you may experience improvements in inflammatory joint pain. Gentle yoga is a low-impact exercise that may help you destress while improving your flexibility and strength. (3)
  • Getting adequate sleep. Poor sleep can worsen pain and promote inflammation. By getting plenty of good sleep, at least 7 hours per night, you may be able to improve your chronic inflammatory joint pain. (4)

Supplements that promote joint comfort

A supplement that promotes joint comfort should target five different factors in order to provide maximum benefit. The supplement should include nutrients, elements, or botanicals that are:

  • Joint-strengthening: to promote the strength and integrity of the joint tissue and surrounding bone
  • Anti-inflammatory: to decrease the inflammation that triggers inflammatory joint pain
  • Antioxidant: to prevent further cellular damage to joint and bone cells caused by unstable free radical compounds (5)
  • Pain-relieving: to provide non-habit forming relief from joint pain, which can often be debilitating
  • Immune-suppressing: to dampen the immune response that causes your body to attack its own joint tissues in RA

A single compound is unlikely to exert all of these effects, so most supplements will include a blend of compounds and botanicals. Below are five research-backed ingredients that may promote joint comfort.

“Choosing a high-quality supplement may provide some relief by promoting joint comfort.”

Boron

Boron is a naturally-occurring element that’s necessary for strong, healthy bones and joints. It also possesses some anti-inflammatory properties. Unfortunately, our modern food supply is sorely boron deficient due to depleted soil. (6, 7)

However, the effects of boron supplementation are positive and immediate. One small study in 8 men found that daily supplementation with just 10 milligrams of boron per day resulted in decreased levels of inflammatory markers. (8)

Another high-quality study of 72 people with RA found that supplementing with 6 milligrams of boron per day resulted in significant improvements in pain and inflammation compared to a control group. (9)

Clearly, boron is an important consideration if you’re looking to increase joint comfort.

Corydalis yanhusuo root

Corydalis yanhusuo root is a commonly used botanical in traditional Chinese medicine. C. yanhusuo is a flowering plant that produces tubers beneath the ground, which are often referred to as the root. It has a long history of use as a natural pain reliever and anti-inflammatory agent.

Although research is fairly limited, in animal trials C. yanhusuo root appears to be fairly effective at reducing inflammatory pain without causing dependence, as many prescription drugs can. (10)

The active compound in C. yanhusuo root is L-tetrahydropalmatine, which can act on dopamine receptors to increase the transmission of dopamine, a hormone that can help block pain. (11)

The L-tetrohydropalmatine in C. yanhusuo root also has powerful anti-inflammatory effects, and is able to improve both short-term and chronic inflammation, making it a promising option for promoting joint comfort. (12)

Milk thistle extract

Milk thistle is another commonly used botanical in herbal medicine, and it has some very promising potential in improving joint comfort. Milk thistle extract is a powerful antioxidant, meaning it can neutralize harmful free radical compounds that cause inflammation and cellular damage. (13)

In test-tube studies, it also inhibits the premature breakdown of proteins. The denaturation, or breakdown, of proteins in the joints is thought to contribute to inflammatory arthritis. However, milk thistle can decrease the rate of this breakdown, potentially slowing the progression of the disease. (13)

Silibinin, the active ingredient in milk thistle, may also help treat RA by suppressing the harmful immune response targeting the joints, which may provide relief to people suffering from joint discomfort. (14)

Angelica dahurica root

Angelica dahurica is a flowering plant that’s native to Eastern Asia. It has long been used in traditional Chinese medicine as an alternative and natural therapy, and it has promising potential in reducing pain and inflammation and treating arthritis.

In animal studies, A. dahurica is an effective anti-inflammatory pain reliever. It works by suppressing the production of nitric oxide, a proinflammatory hormone that widens the blood vessels to promote increased blood flow, which can cause pain sensations to become amplified. (15)

Supplementation with A. dahurica can also significantly decrease inflammation and cellular damage caused by free radical compounds, providing it with some protective effects against RA. (16)

In combination with other botanicals in a Chinese herbal medicine called Compound Fengshiding Capsule, A. dahurica exhibited an immune-suppressive effect against RA, which could decrease inflammation and offer some relief. (17)

Boswellia serrata extract

Boswellia serrata, also known as Indian frankincense, is a plant native to India that has some therapeutic benefits — especially for OA, which is caused by wear and tear and aging of the joints. In regards to botanicals for joint support, it has some of the most compelling evidence to support its use.

In one clinical trial of 48 people with knee OA, taking B. serrata extract daily for 120 days resulted in significant improvements in pain, stiffness, and physical function compared to a control group. (18)

In addition, it shows promise in the treatment of RA, which is characterized by inflammation and an immune attack on joint tissue. In an animal study, B. serrata extract was able to reduce inflammation and improve antioxidant status in rats with arthritis. (19)

“Taking Reprieve daily is a healthy, natural way to support joint comfort.”

Putting it all together

Reprieve by Juvenon is a dietary supplement that contains each of these five compounds, making it a well-rounded and efficacious choice for people seeking joint comfort.

This unique formulation addresses not only joint comfort, but also free radicals and misdirected immune responses. It also contains boron, which can naturally strengthen the joints.

In addition to medical treatment and targeted lifestyle changes to address chronic inflammation, taking Reprieve daily is a healthy, natural way to support joint comfort.


Sources:
1. Abudukelimu A, Barberis M, Redegeld FA, Sahin N, Westerhoff HV. Predictable Irreversible Switching Between Acute and Chronic Inflammation. Front Immunol. 2018;9:1596. Published 2018 Aug 7. doi:10.3389/fimmu.2018.01596
2. Metsios GS, Stavropoulos-Kalinoglou A, Kitas GD. The role of exercise in the management of rheumatoid arthritis. Expert Rev Clin Immunol. 2015;11(10):1121‐1130. doi:10.1586/1744666X.2015.1067606
3. Rohleder N. Stress and inflammation – The need to address the gap in the transition between acute and chronic stress effects. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2019;105:164‐171. doi:10.1016/j.psyneuen.2019.02.021
4. Irwin MR, Opp MR. Sleep Health: Reciprocal Regulation of Sleep and Innate Immunity. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2017;42(1):129‐155. doi:10.1038/npp.2016.148
5. Smallwood MJ, Nissim A, Knight AR, Whiteman M, Haigh R, Winyard PG. Oxidative stress in autoimmune rheumatic diseases. Free Radic Biol Med. 2018;125:3‐14. doi:10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2018.05.086
6. Devirian TA, Volpe SL. The physiological effects of dietary boron. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2003;43(2):219‐231. doi:10.1080/10408690390826491
7. Newnham RE. Agricultural practices affect arthritis. Nutr Health. 1991;7(2):89‐100. doi:10.1177/026010609100700204
8. Naghii MR, Mofid M, Asgari AR, Hedayati M, Daneshpour MS. Comparative effects of daily and weekly boron supplementation on plasma steroid hormones and proinflammatory cytokines. J Trace Elem Med Biol. 2011;25(1):54‐58. doi:10.1016/j.jtemb.2010.10.001
9. Hussain SA, Abood SJ, Gorial FI. The adjuvant use of calcium fructoborate and borax with etanercept in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: Pilot study. J Intercult Ethnopharmacol. 2016;6(1):58‐64. Published 2016 Dec 8. doi:10.5455/jice.20161204021549
10. Wang L, Zhang Y, Wang Z, et al. The Antinociceptive Properties of the Corydalis yanhusuo Extract. PLoS One. 2016;11(9):e0162875. Published 2016 Sep 13. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0162875
11. Zhou HH, Wu DL, Gao LY, Fang Y, Ge WH. L-Tetrahydropalmatine alleviates mechanical hyperalgesia in models of chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain in mice. Neuroreport. 2016;27(7):476‐480. doi:10.1097/WNR.0000000000000560
12. Kubo M, Matsuda H, Tokuoka K, Ma S, Shiomoto H. Anti-inflammatory activities of methanolic extract and alkaloidal components from Corydalis tuber. Biol Pharm Bull. 1994;17(2):262‐265. doi:10.1248/bpb.17.262
13. Harrabi S, Ferchichi A, Bacheli A, Fellah H. Policosanol composition, antioxidant and anti-arthritic activities of milk thistle (Silybium marianum L.) oil at different seed maturity stages. Lipids Health Dis. 2018;17(1):82. Published 2018 Apr 16. doi:10.1186/s12944-018-0682-z
14. Dupuis ML, Conti F, Maselli A, et al. The Natural Agonist of Estrogen Receptor β Silibinin Plays an Immunosuppressive Role Representing a Potential Therapeutic Tool in Rheumatoid Arthritis. Front Immunol. 2018;9:1903. Published 2018 Aug 17. doi:10.3389/fimmu.2018.01903
15. Kang OH, Chae HS, Oh YC, et al. Anti-nociceptive and anti-inflammatory effects of Angelicae dahuricae radix through inhibition of the expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase and NO production. Am J Chin Med. 2008;36(5):913‐928. doi:10.1142/S0192415X0800634X
16. Moon YJ, Lee JY, Oh MS, et al. Inhibition of inflammation and oxidative stress by Angelica dahuricae radix extract decreases apoptotic cell death and improves functional recovery after spinal cord injury. J Neurosci Res. 2012;90(1):243‐256. doi:10.1002/jnr.22734
17. Duan H, Zhai KF, Khan GJ, et al. Revealing the Synergistic Mechanism of Multiple Components in Compound Fengshiding Capsule for Rheumatoid Arthritis Therapeutics by Network Pharmacology. Curr Mol Med. 2019;19(4):303‐314. doi:10.2174/1566524019666190405094125
18. Majeed M, Majeed S, Narayanan NK, Nagabhushanam K. A pilot, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to assess the safety and efficacy of a novel Boswellia serrata extract in the management of osteoarthritis of the knee. Phytother Res. 2019;33(5):1457‐1468. doi:10.1002/ptr.6338
19. Umar S, Umar K, Sarwar AH, et al. Boswellia serrata extract attenuates inflammatory mediators and oxidative stress in collagen induced arthritis. Phytomedicine. 2014;21(6):847‐856. doi:10.1016/j.phymed.2014.02.001