Relieving inflammation is the key to relieving joint pain
To the millions of sufferers of severe joint pain, such as arthritis, the choices of remedy seem to involve making the best of a bad bargain.
On the one hand, you can use synthetic over-the-counter products like acetaminophen or ibuprofen. You get relief from pain, but the relief is only temporary –so you need to use the product daily, which can set up harmful side effects, such as damage to the stomach and liver.
On the other hand, you can opt for natural remedies such as glucosamine, which avoids the harmful side effects but does not offer any relevant relief from pain according to a recent meta-analysis published in the British Medical Journal(1). In spite of the growing popularity of glucosamine remedies over recent years, BMJ reports that the benefits of glucosamine-based products amount to little more than a placebo effect (2).
“Inflammation is the enemy,” explains Dr. Kelly Upcott, Doctor of Naturopathy, who sees numerous arthritis sufferers in her busy practice in Windsor, Ontario. “In fact, there are over 200 specific inflammatory conditions under the name of ‘arthritis’ alone.”
Joint inflammation, Dr. Upcott explains, is how the body reacts to tissue damage from diseases, like arthritis, or other causes like sports injuries. The body increases the blood flow to the affected area, bringing more white blood cells and producing prostaglandins, complex acids that act like hormones and cause the inflammation.
“Inflammation is really a complex cascade of genes triggering hormones,” Dr. Upcott explains. “It’s how the body tries to protect itself from a harmful substance or an injury, allowing the healing process to begin. That’s fine with a wound or an injury, because it’s short term. When the body heals, the genes stop producing the prostaglandins and the inflammation subsides – and with it the pain. But with a chronic condition like arthritis, the genes keep producing prostaglandins, the inflammation does not subside, and the pain persists.”
It’s impossible to relieve that pain on anything more than a temporary basis, Dr. Upcott notes, unless you reduce the underlying inflammation.
“I have used a number of natural products,” Dr. Upcott says, “including glucosamine, devil’s claw, turmeric, and fish oils. But for the past few years I have had the most success with Zwell Reflexir, a product that combines cat’s claw and maca root . My success rate with Zwell Reflexir is over 90%.”
The two substances in Reflexir have been the subject of over 10 years of clinical studies, Dr. Upcott says.
Cat’s claw turns off 35 of the destructive genes that produce the prostaglandins, while maca turns on IGF-1 (Insulin-like Growth Factor 1), which helps do the repair work on damaged tissue. IGF-1 diminishes with age, and can be turned off completely with a chronic condition like arthritis. Maca, in effect, turns it back on again, promoting tissue repair.
The compounding of the two substances simultaneously promotes tissue repair and calms the genes that produce inflammation.
The result is not only effective pain relief, but an improvement in the underlying condition that caused the pain in the first place.
“It’s important to know,” Dr. Upcott says, “that we have a solid scientific understanding of how natural products work. We understand their pharmacology and they are the subject of clinical trials. What we’re trying to do is combine modern science with a more effective stimulation of the body’s natural ability to heal.”
The content and opinions expressed in this article are the professional and/or personal view or opinion of the author only. Opinions expressed should not be construed as medical advice, and the article’s content is not a substitute for direct, personal, professional medical care and diagnosis. Individuals should always consult with their health care provider before beginning or changing any treatment program.
This article is brought to you by Zwell.ca – Live Better Longer. Visit our website for more information –
• about joint pain and inflammation
• the product Zwell Reflexir or call 1-877-993-5522.
• learn more about Dr. Kelly Upcott.
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1, 2) BMJ 2010;341:c4675 doi:10.1136/bmj.c4675