14 Natural Remedies For Joint Pain

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Joint pain can leave you stopped in your tracks. It seems that it is becoming more and more common, especially amongst adults. Typical intermittent aches and pains can plague all of us, but when joint pain begins to become chronic, it can feel like it is becoming a way of life. And, simultaneously taking away from the ease of your life. 

Joint pain is most often felt in areas such as knees, hips, low back, shoulders, ankles, and wrists. Inflammation is the main culprit but the root cause could come from overuse, injury, muscle strain, muscle weakness, autoimmune disease, and general systemic inflammation. Anti-inflammatory medications can help to ease the discomfort in the short term, but rarely addresses the root cause of that inflammation. Not to mention, in some cases, these medications can make you feel great in the short-term but actually worsen the root cause. 

There are many options to naturally decrease joint pain. If the joint pain onset is related to a deeper foundational root cause (i.e., weakened gut health, leaky gut, systemic stress, etc), then implementing some of these natural remedies could greatly decrease your joint pain and also heal your body on a deeper level. You don’t need to do all of these tips, but picking the ones that seem to work for you could greatly decrease your pain and discomfort (and bring more ease back into your life!). 

  1. Drink plenty of water (and stay hydrated). This tip is one of the most important and most foundational, yet one that gets overlooked all the time. Water lubricates and cushions the joints. Make sure that you are drinking half of your bodyweight (in lbs) in ounces of water daily, more if you consume dehydrating beverages (i.e., coffee, teas, and juices) and/or sweating often.
  2. Remove gluten, dairy, and sugar from your diet. Your body becomes more inflamed the more you eat foods that can increase inflammation. These are the main foods that cause inflammation and body flare ups. This includes not only joint pain, but also acne, rashes, and other inflammatory-related symptoms.
  3. Eat the right kind of fats. Fats are essential for overall body and hormone functioning, but the right kinds of fats are important. Remove inflammatory Omega-6 fats, such as vegetable oil, canola oil, and other seed oils. Add in more Omega-3 fats and monounsaturated fats, such as wild-caught salmon and extra virgin olive oil. These are excellent for managing and decreasing inflammation. If you don’t do fatty fish, you could try consuming a fish oil supplement to help get these healthy benefits. 
  4. Get plenty of sun (with skin exposure) or take a Vitamin D/K2 supplement. Vitamin D is important for supporting healthy bones. It helps with calcium absorption and those with low levels of vitamin D are linked with higher levels of osteoarthritis. 
  5. Consume plenty of high-quality animal protein. Your body needs the full set of amino acids to keep your bones strong, support muscle recovery, and decrease inflammation/joint pain. Animal protein will give you the complete range of amino acids, B-vitamins, choline, magnesium, and iron that you need to support healthy tissue. The key word, however, is high- quality — grass-fed beef, pasteurize- raised poultry and eggs, and wild game such as venison. The muscle meat is not the only part that is nutritious for your joints…
  6. Consume a form of collagen. Along with the animal protein, consuming forms of collagen are super helpful in calming joint pain. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the your body and it helps to build joints and keep connective tissue strong. Consuming collagen, gelatin, or bone broth are ways of getting in natural glucosamine, which have been shown helpful in reducing joint pain. 
  7. Use high doses of curcumin. Turmeric has become popular specifically because of it’s active ingredient curcumin. It has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
  8. Up your magnesium intake. Most people are deficient in magnesium, even if they are eating a nutrient-dense diet. Low levels of magnesium can cause muscle aches, joint pain, leg spasms, weakened bones, and unhealthy nerve function. If you are low in magnesium or suspect that you are, try taking a high-quality magnesium supplement. 
  9. Get active. Regular exercise is critical for healthy muscle and joint function. It helps to strengthen the muscles and joints and decrease your potential for injury. Exercise is also important for balancing hormones such as human growth hormone, cortisol, and other hormones that play a role in appetite and aging. Make sure that you lift heavy weights (appropriate for your body) and stretch regularly to loosen the pressure placed on your joints. 
  10. Eliminate nightshades foods. Nightshades include foods like peppers, potatoes, eggplant, tomatoes, goji berries, paprika, and ashwagandha. These foods can play a role in joint pain and muscle aches — inflammation — possibly due to the alkaloid content, or toxic compounds, that those plants can give off as a self-defense. 
  11. Try a glucosamine/chondroitin/MSM supplement. This combination has been shown to be helpful in nourishing the joints for some people. It can support the health of the cartilage. There are some people who notice worsening effects, so if you try it and your symptoms get worse or you don’t notice anything, stop taking it. 
  12. Try a high-quality CBD or hemp oil daily. CBD and hemp oil have very powerful anti-inflammatory effects and can be the “thing” that helps lessen the effect of chronic pain and inflammation. Make sure that when choosing one of these oils, that you find a company that is high-quality, tested for metals or toxins, and is sustainably resourced. 
  13. Use essential oils. Lavender, Frankincense, Eucalyptus, Peppermint, and Rosemary are just a few of the essential oils that have been linked to decreasing joint pain. Dilute 1-2 drops in a carrier oil (coconut oil, almond oil, olive oil, etc) and rub over the affected area to help decrease pain and discomfort. 
  14. Try the AIP (Autoimmune Protocol), if you are still have joint pain. If you are still having problems after doing the foundational steps, you may need to take a deeper dive. Eliminating foods such as coffee, eggs, grains, and nuts can help to calm your body’s inflammation and chronic pain. Doing this for a few months has given some people great relief and has helped them to discover exactly what foods are triggering their joint pain. 

**Click here for easy access to recommended supplements above.

Joint pain and body inflammation does not need to stop you from enjoy all that life has to offer. There are plenty of natural approaches you can try to help give you relief. Not only will these help to give you relief, but they also help to support the body as a whole!

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5 Diet Tips To Boost Gut Health And Decrease Bloating

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“I feel so full and bloated. It’s embarrassing.”

“I can’t seem to lose this belly no matter what I try.”

“I gain 5 lbs just looking at a cookie.”

“I only go to the bathroom every few days. It gets sooooo painful.”

*This is what you might be saying.*

Bloated, gassy, constipated, body pains, heart burn, low back pain, depressed, anxious, or sore joints. 

*This is what you might be experiencing.*

Frustrated, embarrassed, angry, sad, annoyed, fearful, or isolated.

*This is what you might be feeling.*

It can feel like a never ending cycle of get hungry, eat food, be uncomfortable, get frustrated. Maybe this is only occasional for you.

When it does happen, it feels all consuming. Nothing else matters in that moment except figuring out what to do to take away the pain and discomfort. 

This is preciously why gut health is becoming such a popular topic; It is happening more and more and to more people. And when you look past the frequency of occurrences, you will start to discover that gut imbalances are actually linked to way more than just bloating and gas—IBS, autoimmune disorders, mood imbalances, inflammation, chronic pain, Celiac’s Disease, joint pain, excessive bloating, Candida, SIBO, just to name a few.

One area not often mentioned is the direct relationship that gut health has with how strong your immune system is. About 70% of your immune cells live in your gut. The stronger the gut bacteria that you have built up, the more it can crowd out the unhealthy bacteria and not allow it to hang out on your gut lining and populate. If your gut health is not up to par, your immune system can not operate at it’s best.

It all starts in one place…

The Gut Microbiome

Let’s think of the gut as the setting of a party:

Gut microbiota is a gang of microorganisms that hang out in your gastrointestinal (GI) tract. They are like the fun people at the party and you want them there hanging out and sharing space with you. The gut microbiome refers to this collection of genetic material and functions of the microbiota — the more inviting of a party space (microbiome) means that the fun people (microbiota) are going to want to hang out and invite more fun people to come and join the party. A symbiotic relationship exists between the fun people and its host (you) —they obtain food or other benefits from their host without causing harm. In turn, these fun party people also provide a number of health benefits to the host.

But when the party doesn’t have great food and the ambiance is not inviting, this can cause an imbalance because the fun party people start to leave.

Let’s put the wine down and the turn the lights back on…back to belly talk…The problem with a microbiome imbalance is that it can open you up to a slew of health conditions such as:

  • Atherosclerosis
  • Eczema
  • Celiac disease
  • Hypertension
  • Inflammation
  • IBS
  • Insulin resistance
  • Obesity
  • Type 2 diabetes

To get the microbiome stronger and to help you feel better, eating nutrients to support the gut are super important. Here are 5 tips to get you started.

  1. Eat your fiber. Eat a high-fiber diet rich in vegetables, fruit, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. This includes prebiotic-rich foods, such as dandelion leaves, Jersulam artichokes, oats, and sources of inulin (e.g., onion, garlic, leeks, bananas)
  2. Limit sugar and artificial sweeteners. Sugar and artificial sweeteners can directly affect your gut microbiota by decreasing them. This includes natural sugars (i.e., date sugar, beet sugar). To help with the transition, you can start by replacing sweets and desserts high in sugar with fresh fruits, which contain natural sugars but also provide polyphenols, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and water. You do not have to get rid of sugar all together, but too much can directly affect the health of your gut.
  3. Eat a variety of proteins. Moderate consumption of protein has been shown to have a positive impact on your gut health. Eat a variety that stems from vegetable proteins (i.e., pea protein, fermented soy such as tempeh and miso, beans and legumes, quinoa, yogurt) and animal proteins (i.e., fatty fish such as salmon, grass-fed beef, chicken, pasture-raised eggs, venison, bison). On average, it is recommended that adult women and men eat 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. For example, for a 150 lb (68kg) individual, this translates to approximately 54 grams of protein daily.
  4. Don’t forget the polyphenols. Polyphenols are a broad class of plant-based compounds that may inhibit the growth of potentially harmful bacteria to build up in your gut, such as E. coli and H. pylori. Include foods such as black and green tea, citrus fruit, red wine, berries, cocoa, and seeds.
  5. Eat your fermented foods. The gut needs to be replenished with probiotics. One way you can obtain them is through fermented foods. This would include cultured dairy products (i.e, kefir, yogurt), fermented vegetables (i.e, sauerkraut, kimchi), and fermented soy products (i.e, miso, tempeh, natto).

Eating a diet designed to heal your gut is not only a good idea, but it is essential if you want to get rid of the painful and/or embarrassing symptoms of digestive distress. How can you start to slowly include the tips above to bring you more relief and more long-term health?

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Stretches For Less Back Pain And Tightness [Vlog]

These damn knees. 

That was what she said as she stood there looking frustrated and defeated— annoyed at the pain that seemingly wouldn’t go away.

She does all the right things; exercises and tries to eat healthy, stretches and has stopped overtaxing her body, drinks lots of water and works to stay hydrated. Yet the pain persists.

Some days she feels incredible and alive. Some days not so much. She has stopped squatting. *Damn those knees again.*

She has stopped lifting things overhead. *Ouch, my shoulders.*

She has put away her sneakers and stopped walking longer distances. *Did I really just hurt my back?*

Hurt body parts and sore joints can be an ever nagging issue, especially as we get older. And, somedays it may feel like relief is not in your future. Or maybe you are not sure where to even start.

Back pain and tightness is super common, and for good reason. There are so many factors that play into back health — hips, abdominals, low back, upper back, quadriceps, hamstrings, to name a few. When your back is aching, it will let you know. That’s when you pull out the mental first aid kit…

You have iced. You have pilled. You have rested. You have altered your lifestyle. Yet — there it is! *Please just go away*

Even though proper strengthening is super important for a healthy, pain-free back, stretching is a simple start to get you walking on the right path. Today, I am going to share some of my first stop back and hips stretches that are key stretching components of keeping my back pain-free and injuries minimal.

Take care of your back and it will take care of you! Need more advice or got your own unique issue? Email me at tansynr@tansyrodgers.com to see how I can help you!

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Simple, Effective Foam Rolling For Aches And Pains

I am only 35….

Was what my muscles cried after a cocktail of morning workouts and long work days.

What the hell happened to me…

Was what my stiff neck said after sleepless nights on a concrete pillow and feeling like those sheep missed the fence and pounced on me instead.

Tightness. Stiffness. Painful hips. Achy shoulders. Knee pain. A recipe for not feeling your best in the morning. And — Yowzers! — it can come out of nowhere.

Body movement and getting your butt off the couch is touted for it’s healthy benefits. We all KNOW the benefits. But sometimes it can feel like a double-edged sword. Train like you’re the next Serena Williams on Monday, melt out of your bed onto the floor on Friday.

But it doesn’t have to be that way!

When I started long distance running, my body responded by tightening up faster than a rubber band ready to snap. I was in pain. My joints hurt. My bones ached. My skin cried out. Something had to give and I was hoping it wasn’t my hamstrings. That was when I discovered the power of the foam roller.

At first, I flopped around like a whale out of water. Ugly truth. But the more I did, the more I found relief and the more my aches and pains dissipated. Here is what I discovered and my 5 favorite rolling techniques to loosen me up. Scroll to the bottom for a bonus video!

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Why You Should Foam Roll

Foam rolling is an incredibly beneficial technique that is like a delicious self-massage! It is actually very much like a massage. It directly targets something called myofascial tissue. The fascia is like a thin, opaque protective covering that hangs out under the skin and connects around the muscles. When this becomes tight, it can pull and tug and cause pain. Myofascial release is the technique name and it is a soft tissue therapy for the treatment of skeletal muscle tightness and pain. Here is what you could experience from regular foam rolling:

  • Increased flexibility and decrease tightness
  • Decrease aches and pains almost instantly
  • Destress the mind and the body
  • Detoxify the body
  • Decrease common injuries
  • Increased blood flow and opened up lymphatic system
  • Decreased inflammation
  • Decreased headaches and migraines

How To Get Rolling

  • If you find that some areas are very tight and are painful under the foam roller, allow yourself to place static pressure on that area until some of the discomfort dissipates (about half the discomfort). At that time, allow yourself to lightly roll over the “hot spots” and increase pressure as you can tolerate it.
  • Use the foam roller as a way to warm up before an activity or a way to “stretch” and slowly release the tension out of your muscles following a workout.
  • Do not roll over top of joints as to this may be uncomfortable and place too much pressure on the less stable joint.
  • Use slow and controlled movements and avoid being too “jerky.”
  • If you are very tight and the pressure of the roller is too uncomfortable, start with only a few rolls (about 30-40 seconds) and slowly increase the time as tolerated.
  • When you feel better and looser, DO NOT stop rolling. Continue foam rolling for regular maintenance and to receive all the incredible health benefits!

Illiotibial Band

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Balance on your forearm and place non-worked leg over the front of your working leg. You can use that leg to push you back and forth. Lying on your side, roll right above the knee to right below the boney protuberance on the side of your hip. Roll for about 2-3 minutes with slow and controlled movements.

Hamstrings

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Balance on your hands to work the hamstrings from your glutes to your knees. Cross one foot over the other to emphasize one side. Roll for 2-3 minutes.

Quadriceps

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Begin lying facedown with the roller under your quadriceps. Balance on your elbows. Work you’re way up or down the roller, from top of quad to right above the knee. Place greater emphasis on one leg, if needed, by either crossing over the back of the opposite leg or shifting body weight to one side. Roll for 2-3 minutes.

Calves

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Start by sitting down and begin by balancing on your hands. Roll from right below your knees to the top of your ankles. Emphasize one side by crossing your legs and isolating one calf at a time. Do this with toes pointed out and up. Roll for 2-3 minutes for each leg.

Back

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Lying flat on your back, begin with roller around the mid of the back. Put your hands behind your head. Slowly roll to mid or upper shoulder area, depending on where you need to focus. You can roll to the right or left to emphasize one side. Roll for 2-3 minutes.

Here is a Facebook video I did to help explain even more.

Want to get started? Make out a list of areas to attack and reserve about 5-10 minutes after your workout to give yourself a self-massage that will loosen up your joints and eliminate your aches and pains. Devote 3-4 days per week to start to foam rolling your problem areas.

Did you know that foam rolling is one form of detoxing the body? It helps to decrease stress and inflammation and it helps to increase blood flow and lymph movement. Want more detoxing power? Scroll below…

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