Top 5 Supplements for Pain
I have helped people with many different ailments and conditions, but as a Chiropractor what I see most is people who have pain of some form or another. While Chiropractic care is very good at treating musculoskeletal complaints, I have heard from multiple chiropractors that have been practicing for 35 years or more that they feel the treatments they do today just don’t hold as long as they used to when they were first starting in practice. There are many causes for this, they range from increased sitting in todays’ society, to increased toxin exposure, to poor nutrient quality. In this article I want to focus on the poor nutrient aspect of why treatments aren’t lasting as long as they used to.
When someone receives an adjustment or therapy it has a direct healing effect on the body, but the body has to do its part to heal and repair after that treatment too. In order for the body to do its’ part it has to have all the raw materials in place to do that healing and repair. Those raw materials are made up of what you eat every day. If you are eating poor quality foods like processed sugar, processed grains, and vegetables oils these things are not only poor materials for your body to use but are inflammatory by themselves. I realize diet changes are hard, but they are the most important thing anyone can do for their health. In this post I want to talk about the best anti-pain nutritional supplements one can take to boost their diet.
- Collagen Protein – Collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies. It is the stuff that hold us together because it makes up our joints, ligaments, tendons, and other connective tissues. Most people do not get enough because we would mainly get it by eating things like bone broth and organ meats. If those are things you can work into your diet then great, just be sure to get them from sources that are 100% grass-fed. Supplementing with collagen is a great way to help your body rebuild joints and reduce pain. It will also help you have healthy hair, skin, and nails.
- Turmeric – This is a spice native to India and Southeast Asia. Within turmeric we find the compound Curcumin. This compound is incredibly anti-inflammatory, even more so that NSAIDS like aspirin and ibuprofen. In fact, there are over 10,000 studies showing the many health benefits of turmeric, decreasing pain being one of them. While adding turmeric to your food when cooking is a great idea it can also be taken as a supplement, especially when healing from pain.
- Magnesium – It is estimated that 80% of the population is deficient in magnesium just due to the nature of the American diet and the decreased nutrients in our soil our food grows in. Magnesium is the relaxation mineral, so it is good for any ailment we would describe as tense, stressed, or tight. This especially applies with tight and painful muscles. Studies have shown how beneficial magnesium is for pain as well as headaches and migraines.
- Omega-3 Fats – It has become well known that omega-3 fats are the anti-inflammatory fats and anti-inflammation means less pain. Studies consistently show that omega-3 fats reduce inflammation and pain. The most popular source of omega-3 fats are fish oil supplements, however you have to be very picky about where you get those because most of the ones you find in stores are rancid and can actually be inflammatory. It is important to be getting omega-3 fats from foods like wild-caught salmon, pastured eggs, and grass-fed meats. I like supplementing with fermented cod liver oil as a source of omega-3 fats because it is more nutrient dense than regular fish oil and much less likely to be rancid.
- Sulfur (MSM) – Methylsulfonylmethane, also known as MSM or sulfur, is used for many different things in the body. It helps our liver detoxify and helps us use and reuse the collagen protein that rebuilds joints. It is also very useful when it comes to pain. One study showed that the antioxidant effect from sulfur helps repair the tiny muscle tears associated with pain. Foods high in sulfur are cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, and brussel sprouts as well as eggs from pastured hens. You can also supplement with sulfur but be sure to get one that is pure organic sulfur with no fillers or binders.