Joints are the areas where two bones meet. The surface of a bone at a healthy Joint is covered with a type of tissue called Cartilage. Cartilage acts like a cushion that helps reduce the friction of movement within a Joint. Synovial fluids in a healthy Joint lubricates and nourishes the Cartilage. It makes sure that the surfaces of the Joint glide smoothly over one another, and acts as a shock absorber. Overall, a healthy Joint contains strong bones covered with smooth Cartilage and sufficient Synovial fluids for smooth gliding of bones.
Science-based reasons for Joint pain
As the age progresses Cartilage starts degrading and the ability of Cartilage to compensate stress declines. In addition, Joint health gets disturbed with aging due to loss of bone structure and increased stiffness of ligament (connects two bones).
Excess body weight
Weight plays an important role in Joint wear & tear, so when people are overweight, it puts stress on their weight-bearing joints like knees and hips. It has been observed that every pound of excess weight exerts about 4 pounds of extra pressure on the Knee Joint.
Excess weight frequently contributes to soft tissue damage and leads to progressive wear-and-tear disease of the Joints i.e. Osteoarthritis.
High-intensity Exercise & Sports
Studies have suggested that vigorous exercise and certain activities like repetitively lifting or carrying heavy objects, awkward work posture may increase the risk of Joint damage.
Sports which includes Joint to repetitive high levels of impact and loading increase the risk of Joint injury and degeneration.
Below are the science-based criterion to be the best nutritional supplement for Joint Pain
Should be helpful in improving the Flexibility of Joint
Healthy Joints move easily because of a smooth, slippery tissue called articular Cartilage. Cartilage covers the end of bones and provides a smooth gliding surface for the Joint.
As the Cartilage wears away, the symptoms of inflammation like pain & swelling occur more frequently. Glucosamine, hyaluronic acid, and chondroitin sulfate are important basic natural components of Cartilage and synovial fluid. Glucosamine prevents collagen degeneration while chondroitin sulfate helps in maintaining the quantity and viscosity of the synovial fluid.
Building bone strong enough
The main function of bone is to provide mechanical integrity for movement. Bone mass and architecture are adjusted to control the strains produced by mechanical load and muscular activity. Without sufficient mineralization, bones will deform under load.
Vitamin D is important for boosting bone health and muscle strength. Research has shown that inadequate vitamin D intake over a long period of time can lead to bone demineralization and weaken the architecture of bones.
Should enhance smooth gliding of bones in a Joint
Articulating bones (Joint) should move smoothly against each other without damaging the underlying bone tissue. Cartilage covers the end of bones and provides a smooth gliding surface for the Joint. Synovial fluid provides lubrication to further reduce friction between the bones of the Joint. This gives the ability of the bones to move smoothly against each other.
Hyaluronic acid (HA) is particularly abundant in the synovial fluid and has been shown to improve Joint lubrication because of its viscoelastic properties.
Helpful in controlling inflammation of Joints
Inflammation of Joint leads to the destruction of chondrocytes and suppresses their regeneration, thus producing a net Cartilage loss. The progressive inflammatory Joint damage is not only painful but also leads to a severe reduction in the quality of life.
Thus, a supplement that can control both the symptoms of Joint pain and underlying causes like degeneration of Cartilage, loss of synovial fluids in Joints, and loss of bone structure would be the best choice. Most of the Joint supplements available in the market do not fully fill the entire need for maintaining Joint health. Some are specifically formulated only for controlling symptoms and some can improve underlying cause partially.