1

votes

What supplements/exercises do you recommend for joint pain and stiffness?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 12, 2010 at 5:04 PM

I am 45, been paleo for a year, never been overweight - underweight if anything. I have never been particularly supple but lately I seem to be stiffer than ever and I suffer from quite a bit of pelvic, lower back, lumbar pain. My neck is also stiff and painful - I can hardly look over my right shoulder. So I have decided to make an effort to tackle this because on a paleo diet I expect I've got at least another 45 years to go and I don't want to spend them hobbling about. What supplements would you suggest? Conventional Wisdom would say cod liver oil which I don't currently take but can CW be right for once? I also think I need to do some specific exercises for suppleness - should I go for yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi or belly dancing?

C61399790c6531a0af344ab0c40048f1

on December 14, 2010
at 11:23 AM

Yeah - setting at my desk while my class are silently working is a pipe dream!!

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on December 14, 2010
at 07:56 AM

I don't think you can say it is obvious her spine is out of alignment. Other things could cause this as well. The use of statins can cause similar symptoms and I'm sure there are plenty of other systemic problems with those symptoms. If taking statins, I've heard that often, CoQ10 can counter the aches that statins tend to cause. Statins interfere with CoQ10 production so that makes sense that you might need to supplement if on statins.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on December 13, 2010
at 06:19 PM

If it is inflammation, see the following thread for ideas on that: http://paleohacks.com/questions/15132/suggestions-on-substitutes-for-nsaids-and-the-like#axzz1817gA8CF I recommend the castor oil, it's working for me.

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on December 13, 2010
at 05:08 PM

Haha, as I posted that, I thought "watch, QOTSA is going to be one of the few people that don't sit for 12 hours a day" -- sorry I made that assumption. If you aren't already, no-heel footwear may help, too.

C61399790c6531a0af344ab0c40048f1

on December 13, 2010
at 04:48 PM

Thanks Jae, I was surprised to see someone recommending chiro as I though most paleos were anti pseudoscience. I suppose it is all down to the individual practitioner but I'm very aware of the placebo effect (which, if it works, works!). I've booked in for a straightforward massage in the first instance to see what effect that has.

C61399790c6531a0af344ab0c40048f1

on December 13, 2010
at 04:45 PM

Actually don't sit that much as I'm a secondary school teacher but I'm not standing still either - pain is much worse when I've been standing still for a while. Thanks for the link - will check it out.

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on December 13, 2010
at 04:07 PM

How much time do you spend per day sitting in a chair, reading, or looking at a computer screen?

1568416ef28477d1fa29046218d83ddd

(6235)

on December 13, 2010
at 04:07 PM

This is just a study that shows overall people think alternative approaches for back pain help http://www.jabfm.org/cgi/content/short/23/3/354 there is at least one study, but as it was sponsored by the chiropractic assn I find it suspect. There is not much that I can find on issues other then back pain. I know that personally alternatives are a part of my approach, but that is based off of what works for me.

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on December 13, 2010
at 03:44 PM

Also, OP, I don't know much about chiro, but from what I understand of it, it is officially pseudoscience. I've seen exactly one chiro in my lifetime, and he had very good hands. IMO the good hands make up for the pseudoscience. After all, mainstream medicine is full of bad science (although not pseudoscience). I'd rather have a good practitioner who gets good results but believes in strange things, than a well-trained orthopedic surgeon who understands the conventional science, and gets mediocre results.

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on December 13, 2010
at 03:37 PM

I'm sorry, Dexter, I usually like your posts, but this comment bugs me. The fact that there are many chiros in practice just means that people believe in chiros. There are many, many bad chiros out there. Some good ones, too. Most physical therapists are bad IMO. And so with martial artists, school teachers, medical doctors, and the like. The good ones are worth their weight in gold.

C61399790c6531a0af344ab0c40048f1

on December 13, 2010
at 09:26 AM

Thanks - I will definitely try this.

C61399790c6531a0af344ab0c40048f1

on December 13, 2010
at 09:24 AM

Main improvements I've noticed have been getting rid of bloating and digestive discomfort and not getting hungry.

89e238284ccb95b439edcff9e123671e

(10299)

on December 13, 2010
at 07:43 AM

QOTSA, I'm sorry but can't help you on that question. I could give some advice or even names here in Belgium, but I've got no idea for wherever you live...

06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on December 12, 2010
at 11:30 PM

The fact that there are so many chiropractors of various stripes in business must mean that their clients are happy with the results. I know I am happy with my kinesiologist...although I have not had to see him for a couple years now since my early days of paleo. The marketplace always seem to weed out the bad ones.

C61399790c6531a0af344ab0c40048f1

on December 12, 2010
at 09:47 PM

Unfortunately people like Ben Goldacre and Simon Singh seem to imply otherwise - does anyone have any scientific evidence for chiro?

C61399790c6531a0af344ab0c40048f1

on December 12, 2010
at 09:46 PM

How do you identify a good one?

C61399790c6531a0af344ab0c40048f1

on December 12, 2010
at 06:04 PM

I thought chiropractors were a load of mumbo-jumbo along the lines of homeopaths? Do they actually do some good then? - and I've never heard of kinesiologists but I'll check it out. Thanks.

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10 Answers

2
62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on December 13, 2010
at 04:17 AM

I had this problem. I fixed it with a high quality magnesium supplement (do not use oxide). I take about 400 mg per day. I too thought I was just getting old, but then I found out I was just magnesium deficient. Another supp that has good success with many is glucosamine and chondroiten. And of course, I say the same thing every time. Go to fitday.com, type in your food intake, and see what nutrients you are low on. Try eating more foods with that or supplementing and see if that fixes the aches. Low vit C could concievably cause that prob as well.

C61399790c6531a0af344ab0c40048f1

on December 13, 2010
at 09:26 AM

Thanks - I will definitely try this.

2
5841391284e7af8c495c54bd90d3a795

(2764)

on December 12, 2010
at 10:15 PM

I practice Aikido. No matter what you do, though, let whoever is teaching - Aikido, yoga, etc. - know what problems you have so they can take that into account when helping you.

2
9f2b5def0bc7fd8ad615637d1ffeb9ec

on December 12, 2010
at 09:15 PM

I agree the above statements.

Omega-3s from fish oil helps my joints. Glucosamine and chondroitin did nothing for me.

I had a chiro for a while who did nothing for me, but I think if you can find a good one they can help, especially for neck pain.

2
89e238284ccb95b439edcff9e123671e

(10299)

on December 12, 2010
at 07:52 PM

Joint pain and stiffness can be mechanical, inflammatory, or both. Even if you're on a paleo diet, it could be useful to check for non mechanical contributors. Especially if you have flare-ups (or improvements) that you can not link to a mechanical cause (like prolonged sitting, standing, movements you're not familiar with, just plain old overload, ...).

It could be worth trying eliminating some foodgroups like dairy, nightshades, eggs, ...

If mostly mechanical, indeed some yoga, tai-chi, ... could be useful. And seeing a specialist in musculoskeletal health could be useful. (Hey, as a physical/manual therapist, I'm biased). And make sure you go to a good one.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on December 13, 2010
at 06:19 PM

If it is inflammation, see the following thread for ideas on that: http://paleohacks.com/questions/15132/suggestions-on-substitutes-for-nsaids-and-the-like#axzz1817gA8CF I recommend the castor oil, it's working for me.

C61399790c6531a0af344ab0c40048f1

on December 12, 2010
at 09:46 PM

How do you identify a good one?

89e238284ccb95b439edcff9e123671e

(10299)

on December 13, 2010
at 07:43 AM

QOTSA, I'm sorry but can't help you on that question. I could give some advice or even names here in Belgium, but I've got no idea for wherever you live...

1
F6c1df7d5699661bd1f0d6d0a6c17fc6

on December 13, 2010
at 03:10 PM

There is anecdotal evidence that nightshades exacerbate joint problems. You might want to avoid those for some time, and see if it helps.

If we are talking about stiffness without pain, you could do mobilization exercises. "Super joints" by Pavel Tsatsouline is good in that regard, or just search for "mobility exercises" on the internet.

I do these every day and some others every day.

Thoracic mobility and hip mobility: http://www.edinburghdtm.com/blog/2010/09/getting-your-5-a-day/

Leg raises for hip mobility: http://www.fightingarts.com/reading/article.php?id=256

My daily joint warm up takes me less then 10 minutes.

1
13c5a9f1678d75b93f269cdcf69f14d5

(2339)

on December 13, 2010
at 03:51 AM

I'd get an appt just to interview the chiropractor. One who works with a good massage therapist might be a plus for you.

Avoid pilates. Your neck isn't ready for that.

be very careful with the yoga. A good choice, but still be careful. You want a smaller class and experienced instructor.

I realize that you are not eating gluten, but you may need to be gluten free. Dfinitely worth checking for other food intolerances as well.

If you havent made headway in 6 months, consider rolfing which is sort of like massage therapy for tendons.

Congrats on a year of Paleo. Have you noticed other improvements or otherwise?

C61399790c6531a0af344ab0c40048f1

on December 13, 2010
at 09:24 AM

Main improvements I've noticed have been getting rid of bloating and digestive discomfort and not getting hungry.

1
06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on December 12, 2010
at 05:16 PM

My first thought is to get to a Chiropractor...or Kinesiologist. I like how Kinesiologists approach the spine better than the bone crunching of the traditional chiropractor.

It is obvious that your spine is out of alignment which is causing nerves to be pinched which is preventing fluid movement...thus the stiffness. Until you get your spine problems worked out, there are really no supplements that are going to give you relief.

C61399790c6531a0af344ab0c40048f1

on December 13, 2010
at 04:48 PM

Thanks Jae, I was surprised to see someone recommending chiro as I though most paleos were anti pseudoscience. I suppose it is all down to the individual practitioner but I'm very aware of the placebo effect (which, if it works, works!). I've booked in for a straightforward massage in the first instance to see what effect that has.

C61399790c6531a0af344ab0c40048f1

on December 12, 2010
at 06:04 PM

I thought chiropractors were a load of mumbo-jumbo along the lines of homeopaths? Do they actually do some good then? - and I've never heard of kinesiologists but I'll check it out. Thanks.

06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on December 12, 2010
at 11:30 PM

The fact that there are so many chiropractors of various stripes in business must mean that their clients are happy with the results. I know I am happy with my kinesiologist...although I have not had to see him for a couple years now since my early days of paleo. The marketplace always seem to weed out the bad ones.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on December 14, 2010
at 07:56 AM

I don't think you can say it is obvious her spine is out of alignment. Other things could cause this as well. The use of statins can cause similar symptoms and I'm sure there are plenty of other systemic problems with those symptoms. If taking statins, I've heard that often, CoQ10 can counter the aches that statins tend to cause. Statins interfere with CoQ10 production so that makes sense that you might need to supplement if on statins.

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on December 13, 2010
at 03:37 PM

I'm sorry, Dexter, I usually like your posts, but this comment bugs me. The fact that there are many chiros in practice just means that people believe in chiros. There are many, many bad chiros out there. Some good ones, too. Most physical therapists are bad IMO. And so with martial artists, school teachers, medical doctors, and the like. The good ones are worth their weight in gold.

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on December 13, 2010
at 03:44 PM

Also, OP, I don't know much about chiro, but from what I understand of it, it is officially pseudoscience. I've seen exactly one chiro in my lifetime, and he had very good hands. IMO the good hands make up for the pseudoscience. After all, mainstream medicine is full of bad science (although not pseudoscience). I'd rather have a good practitioner who gets good results but believes in strange things, than a well-trained orthopedic surgeon who understands the conventional science, and gets mediocre results.

0
859c177b2d13a459ae6fb8f4bae8240b

on December 04, 2012
at 06:39 AM

Joint Pain Relief Supplements

0
77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on December 13, 2010
at 04:23 PM

  • Check out Kelly Starrett's mobility blog. It's ~10 minutes long and comes out fairly frequently. Watch one per day and follow along. After a couple of weeks, you'll figure out what is more important for you to do, and hammer on those every day. If you feel pain, stop.

  • I'm guessing you spend a fair amount of time sitting in chairs/cars? Get up and move around as often as possible.

  • Tai Chi, Pilates, Yoga -- all of these can help. Good practitioners are more important than good disciplines. A great Pilates instructor is much better than a bad Yoga instructor. Unfortunately, the only way to figure out if you've got a great instructor is to find out for yourself. Reputation can help, but it's not fool-proof.

  • Same goes for physical therapy, massage, chiro, trigger point, ART, Rolfing, Alexander Technique, Feldenkrais -- find a good practitioner.

C61399790c6531a0af344ab0c40048f1

on December 13, 2010
at 04:45 PM

Actually don't sit that much as I'm a secondary school teacher but I'm not standing still either - pain is much worse when I've been standing still for a while. Thanks for the link - will check it out.

C61399790c6531a0af344ab0c40048f1

on December 14, 2010
at 11:23 AM

Yeah - setting at my desk while my class are silently working is a pipe dream!!

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on December 13, 2010
at 05:08 PM

Haha, as I posted that, I thought "watch, QOTSA is going to be one of the few people that don't sit for 12 hours a day" -- sorry I made that assumption. If you aren't already, no-heel footwear may help, too.

0
0dc1d63c3d5975f5115f535c6a90c9dd

(2283)

on December 12, 2010
at 06:26 PM

Chiropractors are absolutely wonderful. Chiro has helped us in so many ways. Yoga, too.

1568416ef28477d1fa29046218d83ddd

(6235)

on December 13, 2010
at 04:07 PM

This is just a study that shows overall people think alternative approaches for back pain help http://www.jabfm.org/cgi/content/short/23/3/354 there is at least one study, but as it was sponsored by the chiropractic assn I find it suspect. There is not much that I can find on issues other then back pain. I know that personally alternatives are a part of my approach, but that is based off of what works for me.

C61399790c6531a0af344ab0c40048f1

on December 12, 2010
at 09:47 PM

Unfortunately people like Ben Goldacre and Simon Singh seem to imply otherwise - does anyone have any scientific evidence for chiro?

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