Joint pain can be a mild ache to a severe impediment. When a joint is compromised with minimal range of motion (ROM) and debilitating pain, injury or disease could be the cause and should be examined accordingly. However, minor joint pain is an occasional or everyday issue for many that just may be able to be remedied without conventional drugs.

Cartilage, ligaments, tendons and synovial fluid are only a few of the many facets associated with joint health. Some believe that we have not fully evolved as bi-peds and therefore are more susceptible to joint challenges. Others are convinced that it is our diet and/or our environment that is to blame. Either way, below is one traditional approach to healing (acupuncture) along with several other progressive remedies you may not have heard of until now.

Acupuncture: Opening Joint Gates
According to the Neijing Suwen, The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Medicine 762 A.D., joints are described as guän which means barrier or gate. When the joint gate is open, blood and qi can pass through unimpeded but when it closes due to certain pathological causes, acupuncture can be used to re-open it. An acupuncturist trained in Classical Chinese Medicine (CCM) must determine how and where the joint gate is being blocked. The practitioner will attempt to locate whether yin and yang qi is entering or exiting the joint and therefore be able to prescribe the specific meridian point protocol. For example, if there is knee pain an acupuncturist may use the following formula:

Yang Exiting – Gallbladder GB33 (just below posterior knee [popliteal] crease)

Yang Entering – GB36 (lateral thigh just above knee)

Yin Exiting or Entering – Kidney KI5 (medial foot just below the ankle)

After an acupuncture regiment, the joint gate should swing open and minor pain should dissipate. Add in one or more naturopathic remedies (through the guidance of a naturopathic doctor) and it could develop a preventative maintenance that just may reduce future joint challenges.

Formulate Instead of Isolate
Each human is his or her own walking chemistry lab. Like fingerprints, your chemical makeup can be drastically or slightly different from another, making reactions to positive and negative energy individually unique.

Minor joint pain is a perfect example, as the natural remedies are vast. Therefore, by formulating what works best as a combined approach rather than one remedy at a time, your healing or maintenance thereof, could be much more successful.

Below are some progressive minor joint pain remedies along with detailed descriptions of how they work. Though some have been used throughout history, recent studies of their chemical mechanism add them to the progressive list. Understanding each unique effect will enable you to utilize them on a higher level rather than simply ingesting a pill and hoping for the best.

Aggrecan and ASU’s
Aggrecan is a tiny bio-chemical molecule called large aggregating chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan also known as cartilage-specific proteoglycan core protein (CSPCP) or chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan 1. Aggrecan is essential for joint health making up 10% of dry cartilage. This is substantial because joint cartilage at the end of long bones is 75% water.

ASU are avocado soy unsaponifiables (oil components) and have been found to considerably enhance aggrecan levels thus alleviating minor to severe joint pain, especially when taken as a concentrated extract.

Results from a study of the effects of ASU out of the University Hospital in Liege, Belgium were published in the August 2003 issue of The Journal of Rheumatology stating that:

“…a phytosterol/sterolin extract concentrated from the oils found tightly bound to avocado and soybean fibers could significantly boost production of aggrecan, thereby helping slow down and even repair some of the damage caused by osteoarthritis — in as little as nine days.”

Ginger: A Natural COX-2
Cyclo-oxgenase (COX) enzymes are present in the human body in two forms COX-1 and COX-2.

COX-1 is responsible for visceral functions such as protecting the stomach lining. COX-2 is a primary factor in healing inflammation. When inflammation becomes too abundant our systemic COX-2 may not be enough to battle it. Therefore, conventional medicine has come up with synthetic COX-2 inhibitors such as Vioxx (no longer available due to coronary side effects) and Celebrex which also includes specific side effects.

Fortunately, ginger is a botanical form of COX-2 that is capable of assisting as an anti-inflammatory without any side effects. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage Journal published a report from a study of 29 people over 12 months who ingested ginger supplements and found,

“…the participants who took the ginger compound had significantly less pain during movement than those who took the placebo…and also found that swelling in the knees was also reduced.” NOTE: Ginger is a natural blood thinner so do not take it if you are also taking a prescription anti-coagulant.

Immunomodulator: UCII® – Undenatured Chicken Collagen
An immunomodulator is something that re-programs the immune system so it does not confusingly attack healthy tissue. This is often the case with minor joint pain inasmuch that when the pain begins, eventually the immune system re-programs itself to treat joint tissue as an interloper and begins to gradually consume it. This can result in an autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis.

UCII is chicken collagen that, unlike a denatured form, has been exposed to limited processing resulting in an undenatured product. This process enables the collagen to maintain and use its immunomodulating capabilities (denatured does not) thus effectively suppressing an autoimmune response and saving the affected joint(s).

CMO – Omega 9’s Cousin
Cetyl myristoleate (CMO) is a medium chain fatty acid found in certain animals (i.e. cows, beavers, whales and mice) but not humans. It was discovered in 1972 by a National Institutes of Health Ph.D. researcher named Dr. Harry W. Diehl who was studying anti-inflammatory drugs. After injecting lab animals with an arthritis serum to study inflammatory response, certain ones did not develop arthritis. Eventually, CMO was found. After several human studies CMO has showed to act as a joint lubricant, cartilage re-builder, immunomodulator and a fatty acid anti-inflammatory.

Boswellia Extract: LOX Inhibitor
Boswellia a/k/a frankincense has been used for Centuries to combat joint inflammation. Unlike the COX-2 inhibitor found in ginger, boswellia works as a LOX (lipoxygenase) inhibitor. LOX are enzymes that also contribute to joint inflammation. In addition, boswellia reduces the breakdown of connective tissue as well as acts as yet another immunomodulator. Although standard boswellia extract is effective a lot must be taken. Recently, a highly potent boswellic acid formula labeled 5-LOXIN has been developed which reduces the amount needed but still performs optimal results.

These progressive remedies, along with an acupuncture regiment, are an exciting natural protocol. It targets specific joint challenges on many levels while allowing the body to embrace and heal without side effects.

At Integrative Med Solutions, we will design an acupuncture and naturopathic treatment program that works for you.  In many cases, insurance covers portions of the acupuncture treatment. Allow us to support you to achieve optimal health.  To make an appointment or find out more about how acupuncture and naturopathic medicine can benefit you, please call our office at 914.337.2980 or click here to schedule an online appointment.

*Please CLICK HERE to see a current list of In-Network Insurance Companies for Acupuncture that we participate with as well as insurance companies that commonly have Out-of-Network benefits. Please call 914.337.2980 or securely email to verify your specific benefits. If you are emailing, please include your full name, date of birth and insurance identification card number.

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