If you’ve dabbled much in any sort of concerted exercise regimen, chances are you’ve dealt with your fair share of nagging joint issues. Since joints are subject to a lot of physical stress, it’s often necessary to medicate them. Give this article a read to learn about three tried and true ingredients to help improve your joint pain!
Considering joint issues are some of the most common injuries faced by active individuals, it’s pertinent to look at what supplements/ingredients actually help relieve nagging joint issues and bolster the integrity of these important articulations.
Read on as we cover what joints are, common joint injuries, and what ingredients are proven to work heal damaged joints.
What are Joints?
Before we move onto the supplementation side of this article, it’s useful to have an understanding of what exactly joints are and their biomechanical purposes.
People often confuse joints with tendons and ligaments given they all tend to lie in close proximity to one another.
An easy way to differentiate joints from tendons and ligaments is to remember that joints are not involved with muscles directly and are simply the junction at which bones connect; tendons and ligaments are associated with skeletal muscles and serve their own biomechanical functions.
Joints are classified primarily according to their structure, but may also be classified by their degrees of freedom, shape, biomechanical function, and axes of movement. To keep this article simple, we will classify joints structurally since many supplements actually work by enhancing the binding tissue of joints.
The three types of structural classifications for joints are:
• Cartilaginous—a joint joined by cartilage
• Fibrous—a joint joined by connective tissue composed mainly of collagen fibers
• Synovial—a joint that is not directly joined but instead has a synovial cavity where connective tissue forms an articular capsule.
Now that we have a general understanding what joints are and a way to denote them we can look at some common joint disorders/injuries that occur in bodybuilders and recreational gym-goers alike.
Common Joint Conditions and Injuries
Given the load-bearing role and movement roles that joints play, they are highly prone to degeneration as we age. Certain joints may exhibit more rapid degeneration, especially when repeatedly stressed through physical activity. This can leave active individuals susceptible to a variety of common joint
• Osteoarthritis—the most common form of arthritis; osteoarthritis is a condition that can occur in any joint throughout the body and is caused by the deterioration of cartilaginous tissue that cushions the end of your bones. As the condition worsens, you may reach a point where bones lose contact with one another.
• Bursitis—in synovial joints, there are bursae, which are synovial fluid-filled sacs that cushion the bones, muscles, and tendons near these joints. When bursae become inflamed (usually caused by repetitive motions that irritate them), the resulting condition is known as bursitis. Commonly affected joints include the hip, knee, elbow and shoulder.
• Synovitis—when the synovial membrane (a lubricant/liner of synovial joints) becomes inflamed; the joint may exhibit swelling, pain and stiffness. This is predominantly found in the knee, hip and shoulder joints.
Joint Supplement Ingredients to Consider
Now that we have a solid understanding of how joints function, we will dive into what research has to say about supplements and joint relief. It’s also important to note that many joint supplements act somewhat like preventative medicine, so they may be worthwhile in individuals who don’t currently have joint issues.
Glucosamine is one of the most abundant monosaccharides in nature, and is found in the shells of crustaceans as well as animal bones and fungi. Technically, glucosamine is an amino sugar (amino acid and sugar combined) and serves as a precursor to glycosaminoglycans, which are major components of cartilage.
Thus, some research suggests that supplemental glucosamine can benefit cartilage integrity and fight arthritic complications. Moreover, glucosamine sulfate is highly bioavailable and significantly elevates both blood and synovial fluid glucosamine concentrations.
Methylsulfonylmethane, also referred to as simply MSM, is an organic substance that is quite similar in structure to dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) but has very different applications in humans. Research suggest that MSM helps fight inflammation and oxidative stress, as well as relieve pain associated with osteoarthritis.
At this time, the underlying mechanisms that enact these benefits remain unclear, but it is speculated that they are mediated by the biologically-active sulfur provided by MSM. There is no recommended daily allowance set for sulfur, but it is not consumed in significant amounts in a typical daily diet.
As the main component of connective tissue (skin, hair, bones, tendons, etc.), Collagen is the most abundant protein in mammals, making up roughly ⅓ of the body’s total protein content. Collagen is rich in the essential amino acids alanine, glycine, and proline, which are crucial for the proper formation of elastin and inhibiting amyloid production.
Deficiencies and genetic disorders of collagen production have been implicated in joint disease and cartilage destruction; in turn, this makes collagen a major contributor to healthy skin, joints, and hair.
Looking for Effective Joint Pain? Try Labrada’s ElastiJoint
ElastiJoint is a scientifically formulated joint support formula that provides adequate once-daily doses of glucosamine sulfate, chondroitin sulfate, MSM, and collagen (from hydrolyzed gelatin). Moreover, ElastiJoint comes in three refreshing flavors that also provide a significant dose of Vitamin C to help fight oxidative stress and inflammation that can worsen joint pain.
 Towheed, T., Maxwell, L., Anastassiades, T. P., Shea, B., Houpt, J. B., Welch, V., … & Wells, G. A. (2005). Glucosamine therapy for treating osteoarthritis. The Cochrane Library.
 Kim, L. S., Axelrod, L. J., Howard, P., Buratovich, N., & Waters, R. F. (2006). Efficacy of methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) in osteoarthritis pain of the knee: a pilot clinical trial. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, 14(3), 286-294.
 Moskowitz, R. W. (2000, October). Role of collagen hydrolysate in bone and joint disease. In Seminars in arthritis and rheumatism (Vol. 30, No. 2, pp. 87-99). WB Saunders.
Unlike many joint supplements, ElastiJoint provides the building blocks necessary for cartilage, tendons and ligaments. Each bottle of ElastiJoint contains a month’s worth of doses and can be used indefinitely to support joint health.
To learn more about ElastiJoint and how you can order, click here!
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Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only and is not meant as medical advice, nor is it to diagnose or treat any medical condition. Please consult your physician before starting or changing your diet or exercise program. Any use of this information is at the sole discretion and responsibility of the user.