Natural Management Techniques for Muscle & Joint Pain


In my clinical practice clients often seek my opinion on how to relieve joint and muscle pain in a natural drug free way. One of my first recommendations is to look at the diet , replacing foods known to inflame the body with foods that are known to have anti-inflammatory benefits. A plant based diet that includes fish and lean protein is a great start. Omega Rich Fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring, trout, sardines and tuna are an excellent choice of protein as they are ALL high in omega-3 fatty acids.

Did you know what Beets are one of the healthiest foods you can eat or drink, is a super food!
Beet were regarded by many ancient cultures not as food but as medicine, a testimony to their potency.
At first, beets were valued specifically for their leaves, which are loaded with nutritional and therapeutic value., however, it has long been established that beetroots themselves have much to offer as they come from the same family as spinach and chard, beets contain vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and Fibre. They are also high in vitamins C and B6, folate, manganese, betaine and potassium.

Beets are rich in a very unique source of phytonutrients called betalains. Both betanin and vulgaxanthin, two highly researched betalains found inbeets, have powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and detoxification properties amongst other health benefits.

Additional resources: Andrew Weil, M.D., world-renowned leader and pioneer in the field of integrative medicine, a healing oriented approach to health care which encompasses body, mind, and spirit.

2: Supplement Support

Be Smart When it Comes to Supplements.
In general, it’s best to get your anti-inflammatory nutrients from whole foods however, in the case of excessive or chronic inflammation, supplements can often help bring things back into balance. Sometimes the body simply needs a little help to get , and stay, on track

Here’s my top 4 for anti inflam supplements;

Vitamin D. Vitamin D has a stabilizing effect on the immune system, reducing the excessive inflammatory response that is associated with both allergy conditions and auto-immune diseases.
Auto-immune conditions include such things as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes type 1, psoriasis, Hashimoto’s thyroid, Inflammatory Bowel diseases, and Multiple Sclerosis.
All these problems are, ultimately, our immune system attacking tissue in us and causing inflammatory damage. For instance, we have known for years that there is a link between low vitamin D levels and Multiple Sclerosis. A study in Europe demonstrated an increase in MS incidence the further north from the equator one lives. This would be related to lower levels of exposure to sunlight causing D deficiency in the population. D deficiency is related to chronic muscle and bones aches and pains too.

This is a cheap and easy problem to fix, whether you get some sunlight for a few minutes a week on larger area of skin such as stomach/back/legs, or supplement with D. And it is a major deficiency in our population, especially amongst older Australians.

Magnesium deficiency manifests often as; muscle pains, stiffness, and fatigue syndromes.
In addition, there is a very strong association between low magnesium levels and increased incidence of Migraine headaches.
Apparently the odds of migraine increase up to 35-fold with low magnesium levels.

This must be the most medically researched spice ever and has a powerful anti-inflammatory action whilst being healthy for the gut flora. Turmeric has been shown reduce inflammation just as effectively as prescription drugs, but without the myriad of side-effects from gut ulceration to increased cardiovascular risk.

Published research has indicated Turmeric delivers great value in the treatment / management of 6 keys areas;-

Arthritis; as an Osteopath this is probably what got my attention first.
Turmeric is well documented for reducing inflammation throughout the body, and this is really noticeable in its effects on painful joints such as osteoarthritis of the knees.
Immunity i.e. helps strengthen immune function and fight infection.
Cancer; has been shown to have positive effects on some cancer cells.
Skin; in addition to the previously described benefits for skin it also helps resolve inflammatory skin issues.
Detoxing; helps the liver in its vital role of breaking down harmful compounds.

So that is the Big 3; D, Magnesium, Turmeric.

But wait! I have one more personal favourite !

Anything that makes us less acidic (more alkaline) helps reduce inflammation throughout the body. When we reduce inflammation we reduce pain. Examples of alkalizing agents include; bicarb, Eno, lemon water. My personal “ fave “ is a product called Basica; it’s an Alkalizing Mineral Formula that very quickly reduces body acidity…which also makes it an excellent hang-over remedy if one is so blighted!

If you want to try any of these supplements, then it’s important to:
Check with your doctor first if you have a medical condition or take medication.
Buy them from a reputable manufacturer such as Fusion Health, better still a practitioner brand such as Metagenics or Eagle
Follow the dosage instructions.

3: Get Physical
Keep moving! It doesn’t matter what level of activity you can achieve, get moving!
Research suggests that 20 minutes of activity a day is enough to assist in reducing inflammation in the body. “Our study shows a workout session does not actually have to be intense to have anti-inflammatory effects. Twenty minutes to half an hour of moderate exercise, including fast walking, appears to be sufficient. Feeling like a workout needs to be at a peak exertion level for a long duration can intimidate those who suffer from chronic inflammatory diseases and could greatly benefit from physical activity.” Suzi Hong, Ph.D., University of California-San Diego School of Medicine – led by , Department of Psychiatry and the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health

Read Suzi’s finding here

If you have questions on any of this please feel free to contact me.

Best wishes, stay well

Dr. Joshua

About the author