Fish Oil and Joint Health

The older we get, the less flexible we become. Our joints creak. We may feel stiff when we get up in the morning. When we stoop down to pick up something we dropped, it may take us longer to rise. But growing older is just one factor that impacts joint health. Being overweight, sustaining an injury and even poor posture can cause unnecessary wear and tear on your bones.

What are joints?

What exactly are joints and what role do they play in human functioning? When two bones come together in the body, a joint is formed. They help us to bend our knees, to stretch and to wave our fingers as well as other movements. Joints are joined together by cartilage, a firm but flexible connective tissue that provides a cushioning effect. But depending on a variety of factors, such as weight and excessive exercise, it is said that this connective tissue can begin to deteriorate, causing pain.

Fish oil supplements:
  • Can increase joint mobility
  • Can help decrease joint inflammation
  • Can help reduce arthritic pain
  • Can lessen joint stiffness
Symptoms of poor joint health

Could you be suffering from poor joint health and not be aware of it? Common symptoms of unhealthy joints include pain, swelling and stiffness. You may also experience a limited range of motion or a feeling that your bones are rubbing together. If you frequently hear creaking noises when you make certain movements, medical experts believe this is also a common indicator of joint trouble.

Let’s take a look at three conditions that are symptomatic of poor joint health and examine how fish oil supplements can help alleviate the pain:

Osteoarthritis

Medical experts tell us that there are more than 100 forms of arthritis.

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common joint disorder that Americans face. It is brought about by aging and unnecessary wear and tear on the joints.1

If you are carrying around a few extra pounds, this can increase your risk of developing OA in the hip, knee and ankle. If your job requires you to kneel, climb stairs or squat and walk excessively throughout the day, you may also be at a higher risk.

It is believed that fractures and other joint injuries can lead to osteoarthritis later in life.

But help is on the way. Fish oil supplements can provide significant relief for joint pain, according to findings from a recent study by the International Journal of Neurosurgery and Neuroscience2 The study was conducted on 250 patients who complained of chronic neck and back pain.

For three months, these patients were asked to consume 1200 mg per day of EFA and DHA (eicosapentaenoic acid and decosahexaenoic acid), essential omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil. At the end of the clinical trial, the participants reported significant improvement in their overall pain and discomfort, and many claimed that they were able to reduce their need for the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) they usually took for aches and pains.

Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a type of chronic arthritis that usually flares up in joints on both sides of the body, such as the hands, wrists, fingers or knees. RA typically affects both sides of the body at the same time, which helps distinguish it from other forms of arthritis.

Characteristics of this ailment include morning stiffness, limited range of motion and numbness, tingling or burning in the hands and feet. Medical research has shown that supplementing the diet with fish oil can be effective in suppressing the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, such as pain and joint tenderness. That’s good news for people who live in pain from this disorder. According to WebMD, the EFA and DHA found in fish oil may decrease inflammation in RA patients.3

Levels of C-reactive protein, a form of protein found in the blood, rise when inflammation is present throughout the body.

According to the same article, several studies have shown a direct correlation between increased DHA consumption and decreased C-reactive protein levels, which means reduced inflammation. OmegaMx, a highly concentrated fish oil supplement, is high in both DHA and EPA and delivers more omega-3 fatty acids per pill.

Fibromyalgia

Many people who suffer from fibromyalgia say they feel like they’re living in a constant fog of pain. Some features of this debilitating but common condition include fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues and widespread musculoskeletal pain.

Fibromyalgia can cause achiness, stiffness and tenderness of the muscles, tendons and joints, WebMD reports.4

In addition to this overall soreness, it is thought that people who suffer from fibromyalgia may have painful tender points or localized areas of soreness around their joints that are sensitive to the touch. Medical professionals believe that women are much more likely to develop fibromyalgia than are men.

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil can prove beneficial in improving immunity and reducing some symptoms of fibromyalgia, such as inflammation. They suggest consuming one to two fish oil capsules or one to two tablespoons of fish oil daily for best results.5

  • Fish oil is beneficial for a wide range of conditions
  • Can help you maintain mobility as you age
  • Helps provide relief for that dreaded morning stiffness

Some people accept as a fact that squeaky bones, muscular aches and pains and joint stiffness are an unavoidable fact of growing older. Just because Father Time is knocking on your door doesn’t mean you have to suffer in silence with poor joint health. As researchers and medical professionals have discovered, fish oil is effective in combating joint pain – no bones about it!



References

  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001460/
  2. http://www.surgicalneurology-online.com/article/S0090-3019%2805%2900774-3/abstract
  3. http://www.webmd.com/rheumatoid-arthritis/guide/can-your-diet-help-relieve-rheumatoid-arthritis?page=2
  4. http://www.webmd.com/fibromyalgia/guide/fibromyalgia-symptoms
  5. www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/fibromyalgia-000061.htm
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