To uncover and truly treat joint pain, we have to know the cause of the pain. Some causes for joint pain are infection, leaky gut, autoimmune conditions, musculoskeletal injury, structural misalignment, or joint degeneration.
Recently, I performed an air squat (squatting without additional weights) in front of my fellow doctors to have them listen to the crepitus reminiscent of a creaking old door in a haunted house on Halloween. Crepitus is the sound a joint makes with movement. It could be caused by “air bubbles” trapped in the joint, and not cause pain, by tendons “snapping” over the underlying bone, that may or may not cause pain, and by cartilage degeneration, which will cause pain.
While I do not experience any pain, I am with you, in that I do not want to develop joint pain. Whether or not you experience joint pain, read on for some ways to help manage and even reverse joint pain.
The Underlying Cause of Joint Pain
The main underlying cause of all of these conditions?? Inflammation. Inflammation is a normal process in which our immune systems white blood cells are produced in response to an “insult”. In response to this “insult”, the white blood cells detect that something is not right and release substances or signals to address the situation. The cell’s call to action promote blood flow, which brings nutrients and other cells to the area to promote healing.
The unfortunate side to this immune response is that it sensitizes pain receptors. Furthermore, as the pain receptors are sensitized and receiving signals, this perpetuates inflammation, the pain-inflammation cycle continues, and inflammation get out of control.
Ways to Treat Joint Pain
So, the trick is, how do we interrupt this pain-inflammation cycle? The following list are a few techniques. Of course, these depend on the actual underlying cause of the joint pain.
1) Treat the infection – Can do this with anti-microbial herbs, ozone (more on this, or antibiotics
2) Modify the Diet – Food can, and often does trigger inflammation. For example, saturated fats increase inflammation through the same signaling pathway as an infection. Decrease sugar. Eliminate gluten and dairy.
3) Trigger Point Release or Structural adjustments – One of the most common reasons for knee pain is IT band syndrome (or tightness). The easiest remedy for this – Get your roll on! AKA Foam Rolling every day. Seriously.
4) Supplements – Fish Oil, Boswellia, bromelain (pineapple core is a great source), and curcumin are some of the most powerful anti-inflammatories.
5) Ozone and or PRP Joint Injections – Ozone is a gas that quells inflammation, disinfects, and activates tissue regeneration. PRP or Platelet Rich Plasma is harvested from your own blood which contains stem cells and growth factors that prompt tissue regeneration.
Despite the cause for your joint pain, there are options to help keep you moving pain-free. Whether is a creaky door in your knee or a full-blown degeneration, contact your provider for further evaluation. At North Coast, any of our providers can guide you to the right treatment for you.
To learn more about Dr. Nathaniel Shober: https://naturopathic-doctors.com/nathaniel-shober-naturopathic-doctor/