Can turmeric treat joint pain?

Sep 23 2020Anne

Can turmeric treat joint pain?

Turmeric is an incredible superfood that’s been making headlines for the past couple of years, sky rocketing in popularity from relative obscurity as a traditional Indian spice. Numerous health benefits have been attributed to turmeric and it can be used for everything, from IBS to mood to circulation. However, today I’m going to focus a little bit more on why this spice is often recommended in association with joint pain!

Joint pain can arise for a number of reasons, particularly as you age and your risk of developing rheumatoid conditions and osteoarthritis increases. Usually it comes down to wear and tear or acute or chronic inflammation, both of which can be aggravated by poor diet and lifestyle factors. So where exactly does turmeric come into the picture? I’m glad you asked!

Turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory!

The reason why turmeric is so often associated with joint pain relief is that it has inherent anti-inflammatory properties. This is mainly due to a compound found in turmeric called curcumin which has a whole plethora of health benefits! When it comes to inflammation, this compound works to inhibit pro-inflammatory cytokines such as COX2 (cyclooxygenase), which produces prostaglandins that are capable of encouraging pain and inflammation.[1]

Naturally this goes a long way towards easing any aches or pains in the joints! In fact one small study in 2012 even found that one curcumin supplement was more effective at reducing joint pain and inflammation than a popular NSAID, diclofenac.[2]

Turmeric has antioxidant properties!

As I’ve mentioned, a common underlying cause of joint pain is wear and tear, which can happen naturally over time, however, scavenging free radical molecules can still play a big role. These unstable molecules are capable of damaging the cells and tissues around them, sometimes even harming your DNA! Of course, this is bad news for your joints which is why they rely so much on your intake of antioxidants, which can help to counteract this effect.

Fortunately, turmeric is rich in antioxidants so it can help to protect your joints from this type of damage, reducing your chances of experiencing uncomfortable bouts of joint pain.

Turmeric can help to reduce pain!

Plenty of studies have been conducted to try and examine how effective turmeric is at treating arthritic conditions like osteoarthritis and many of them have produced positive results. For example, one study that involved 107 participants with osteoarthritis found that their joint pain when climbing stairs was greatly improved compared to the test group that had been taking ibuprofen! [3]

Another study also found that 1000mg dose of turmeric a day was able to greatly reduce arthritis symptoms.[4] The exact mechanism for how turmeric reduces joint pain isn’t fully realised yet, however, it’s believed that it could relate back to its anti-inflammatory properties!

How should I use turmeric to ease joint pain?

Ideally, the most obvious way to go about increasing your intake of turmeric would to include more of it in your diet! This little spice is extremely versatile so you can incorporate it into a variety of dishes, from curries to lattes however, if you really want to see the benefits for joint pain, you will eventually have to consider a supplement, which can sometimes be problematic.

You see, turmeric supplements aren’t always well absorbed by your digestive system. You can take a 1000mg a day dose but ultimately only a measly 10mg may actually be absorbed. That’s why highly concentrated supplements such as Lamberts 10000mg Tablets are so popular! This simple one-a-day supplement contains a potent extract of turmeric root that utilises 95% curcumin compared with most other supplements that provide just 400mg of turmeric per tablet. If necessary, you can even increase your dose of this supplement to two a day, so you really do reap the benefits!