Aches or stiffness in the joints connecting the legs, arms, or other bones in the body is a familiar problem for the aging population. Joint pain, commonly caused by injury, joint inflammation, or medical conditions such as gout or osteoarthritis, is a common yet serious condition. Although it is often treated with analgesics (pain killers) or over-the-counter pain medications, some vitamins can naturally treat joint pain.
Vitamins for Joint Pain
1. Calcium. Found in dairy products such as milk and cheese, calcium helps support strong, healthy bones. A calcium deficiency weakens the bones, making it susceptible to numerous bone problems. This includes joint pain.
According to WebMD.com, calcium is essential because it is used every time the heart or muscle contracts. When there is not enough calcium, the body takes it from the bones, which weakens the joints and bones. The resulting effect is joint pain and stiffness.
To relieve joint pain, eat enough calcium by eating foods rich in calcium, such as dairy products, fortified cereals and juices. Aim to have between 1,000 to 1,200 milligrams of calcium per day. For people who are allergic to dairy products, there are also vitamin supplements that also provide adequate calcium supplementation.
2. Vitamin D3. Vitamin D3 is essential for bone health, helping the body absorb calcium. If there is a deficiency, it cannot absorb it, resulting in bone loss and joint pain.
Getting enough vitamin D3 during the summer months is easy because the body absorbs it from the sunlight. Enjoying activities outdoors, tanning, or simply sitting out in the sun for some relaxation helps everyone absorb plenty of it.
During winter months, vitamin supplementation is necessary to replace the lack of sunlight. An Australian study showed women who took vitamin D3 supplementation during the winter months decreased their bone loss. Some scientists go further than this, claiming decreased bone loss from vitamin D3 can also prevent joint pain and stiffness.
The key here is to combine D3 with calcium to promote bone health.
To prevent it, take vitamin D3 coupled with plenty of calcium. This allows the body to absorb calcium to its best ability, making bones stronger and healthier. Try tanning or getting plenty of sun whenever possible. If that is not possible, try taking a supplement instead.
3. Vitamin E. Although the studies on it are limited, it can help with joint pain. According to the U.S. News and World Report, vitamin E lowers C-reactive proteins in the body, which causes inflammation. It acts as a natural anti-inflammatory drug, reducing pain and stiffness. Another study also says rheumatoid arthritis, a type of joint pain, was reduced with vitamin E supplements.
To reduce it, take vitamin E supplements daily. Although consuming it through natural sources also works, the studies primarily used supplements.
How to Use Vitamins to Reduce Joint Pain
To significantly reduce joint pain with vitamins, try incorporating all of the vitamins into a healthy, well balanced diet. Calcium, vitamin D3, and vitamin E are found in virtually all healthy foods, including fortified cereals, brightly colored vegetables and fruits, and dairy products. Take it a step further by using vitamin supplements daily to further reduce joint pain.