Five Drug-Free Self Care Tips
for Joint Pain Treatment

Joint pain treatment shouldn't automatically include a trip to the drug store. The good news from The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is there are at least five things you can do proactively to keep your joints healthy and working.(1) If you already suffer from pain, stiffness and decreased mobility—including arthritis—these natural remedies help manage and even improve joint comfort so you can lead a more active lifestyle. The list includes:

  1. Diet
  2. Exercise
  3. Weight Control
  4. Stress Reduction
  5. Joint supplements anchored by glucosamine

Pain announces a warning. Finding natural joint pain remedies to take control of your joint health—or to keep problems from developing in the first place—becomes very important.

Millions of Americans need joint pain treatment

Nearly 30% of American adults experience chronic joint symptoms of pain, aching, or stiffness in or around a joint.(2) This is not a surprising statistic, considering we put tremendous strain, wear and tear on our joints to get us through the day.

The average person takes 8,000 to 10,000 steps a day.(3) That adds up to 115,000 miles in a lifetime, or about four times the circumference of the globe. Are you surprised? That can be a painful journey if you are one of the millions of people who need joint pain treatment.

Healthy joints are essential to an active lifestyle no matter anyone's age. As the years pile up, our joints take a beating, sometimes to the extreme. There are more than one million total joint replacement procedures performed on knees and hips each year.(4)

An estimated 50 million U. S. adults (about 1 of 5) report doctor-diagnosed arthritis today. This number is expected to increase to 67 million by 2030. As a disease, this is high prevalence. More than one-third of these adults will have limited activity as a result.(5)

The good news is that with some daily care and prevention, your joints can serve you well for decades, even if you've already been diagnosed with arthritis.(6)

Natural joint pain treatment starts with a lifestyle review

Our joint functions certainly can diminish with age, but too many of us assume that joint discomfort or pain is a normal part of the aging process and we just have to live with it,” said Dr. Jamie McManus, MD, Chairman of Medical Affairs, Health Sciences and Education at Shaklee Corporation, Pleasanton, CA.

Nothing can be further from the truth. There are a wealth of lifestyle preventative measures, from achieving and maintaining a healthy weight, to staying physically active, to eating a healthy diet, to targeting a supplementation program that can all work to keep our joints functioning well as we age.”

Dr. McManus said that a lifestyle review is a good place to start for natural joint pain treatment. For both prevention and management, ask yourself:

  1. Are you eating a healthy diet?
  2. Are you getting regular exercise?
  3. Are you at a healthy weight?
  4. Are you committed to reducing stress?
  5. Are you using joint health supplements?

Self care joint pain treatment: Are you eating a healthy diet?

Are there specific foods that can prevent or support joint pain treatment?

What you eat can make a big difference,” said Dr. McManus. “Our research at Shaklee has found that eating a high fat, high carbohydrate fast food breakfast promotes inflammatiojn that lasts for several hours after consumption of that 'fast food' breakfast. This is obviously not a good thing. Although acute inflammation is part of a healthy immune response, low-grade , persistent inflammation is not. The good news is that eating an anti-inflammatory diet along with losing weight is a powerful combination to help fight inflammation and improve joint function.”(7)

The Shaklee Corporation has long-dominated the nutritional supplement industry with its scientific approach to natural product development. It prides itself as being “beyond organic.” Known for top tier quality, its scientists endeavor to create the best product of its kind in the market. They've invested more than $250 million in clinical testing, research and development and have over 90 published studies in peer-reviewed scientific journals, more than any other nutritional company!

According to the Arthritis Foundation, approximately two-thirds of your diet should come from plants, including fruits, vegetables and whole grains. The other one-third should include fat-free or low-fat dairy products and lean sources of protein. (7A)

Foods to eat less of:

  • All fast food
  • burgers
  • fries
  • fruit juices
  • processed/packaged foods
  • red meat
  • sodas
  • sweets
  • white flour/rice/bread

Such highly processed foods are high in sugar and fat and promote inflammation, so stay away from them,” warned Dr. McManus.

Foods to eat more of:

  • Chicken/turkey(skinned)
  • Fruits (fresh/frozen/dried)
  • vegetables
  • whole grains/oatmeal/bulgar/whole cornmeal
  • beans/legumes
  • brown rice
  • nuts
  • cold water fish
  • fresh citrus fruits
  • broccoli/spinach/kale
  • red peppers
  • strawberries
  • olive oil

These good foods protect against inflammation,” stated Dr. McManus, who recommends eating more cold water fish like trout, salmon, herring, tuna and sardines, which are omega-3 gatty acid-rich foods. “Omega 3's are known to inhibit inflammation in the body and help offset the pro-inflammatory affects of omega 6 fatty acids, which we get plenty of in our diets.”

Fruits and vegetables are high in antioxidants and vitamin C,” McManus pointed out. “Vitamin C is needed to build collagen in connective tissue, an important component of healthy joints.”

Eating a Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil is a great way to reduce inflammation.” Dr. McManus said. “A recent study that found a compoound in olive oil called oleocanthol helps prevent inflammation. It works in a similar fashion as NSAIDS work.(8) Olive oils with the strongest flavors have the highest content of oleocanthol.”

On a similar note, a natural vegetable extract made from avocado and soybean oils has been shown in four clinical studies to have beneficial affects on osteoarthritis,” Dr. McManus observed. “Recent studies have found this avocado and soybean extract can actually relieve arthritis pain and may also stimulate cartilage repair and lower a patient's need for NSAIDS to control pain.”(9)

Self care joint treatment: Are you exercising?

You don't have to think typical exercise. Simple movement is one of the best self management exercises for those suffering joint stiffness, swelling, aching, or sharp pain. Keep physically active.

For people with arthritis, physical activities that use the large muscles of the body in rhythmic, continuous motion, such as walking, bicycling, swimming and stretching (yoga, pilates or tai chi) have been shown to have significant benefits, including reducing pain and improving physical function, mental health, and quality of life.

Over-exercising is discouraged. Avoid activities or sports that are traumatic to joints, such as sprinting, running, jogging, jumping, skiing, skating and heavy lifting. The goal is to use your joints daily, but not to the point of fatigue.

The Arthritis Foundation recommends you incorporate strengthening exercises into your routine every other day.

Self-care joint treatment: Are you at a healthy weight?

For many, losing weight tops the list of self care joint treatment. “It is estimated that if we eliminated obesity, this alone could lead to the prevention of 25-50% of the cases of osteoarthritis in adults,” Dr. McManus said. “Increased body weight adds stress, especially to the lower body joints.”

The Arthritis Foundation estimates that for every pound you gain, you add 4 pounds of pressure on your knees and six times the pressure on your hips. Gaining weight as you head toward middle age can increase the likelihood of developing osteoarthritis. Recent research suggests that excess body fat produces chemicals that travel throughout the body and cause joint damage, which would mean obesity plays a systemic, not just a mechanical, role in osteoarthritis onset.(10)

Just imagine if your ideal body weight is 140 pounds, which means that your bone structure functions most effectively at that weight,” McManus continued. “Then imagine putting a fifty pound weight on that bone structure and then think about what that would do to your joints. It's really not rocket science. Carrying around more weight will lead to more wear and tear on joints. If you are not below a BMI of 25, get there. Your joints will thank you.”

There may be an obesity issue with rheumatoid arthritis as well. Mayo Clinic researchers discovered there appears to be a link between obesity the painful autoimmune disorder in women. They studied hundreds of patients and found a history of obesity puts women at significant risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis. The connection may be because fat tissues and cells produce substances that are active in inflammation and immunity. Their findings are published online in the American College of Rheumatology journal Arthritis Care & Research, April 2012.(11)

Self-care joint treatment: Are you committed to reducing stress?

Studies show that stress reduction is important for any type of long-term illness, including arthritis. You can't always avoid stress, but you can manage it.

There is a correlation between the mind and arthritis or joint discomfort—by feeling good and believing in serenity the brain may actually release pain-reducing chemicals.

The more you laugh, enjoy life, and feel positive, the stronger your immune system and the more capable the body is to cope with symptoms.

Activities that completely absorb people slow brain waves and put us into a zone that stills stress. As a form of joint pain treatment, try any of the following stress reduction techniques:

  • Meditation
  • Reading
  • Therapeutic Bath
  • Gardening
  • Massage
  • Music
  • Laughter
  • Movies/Theater
  • Positive Attitude
  • Refrain from Complaining
  • Pleasureable Activities (cooking, painting, writing, sewing, photography, hiking, etc)

Self-care joint pain treatment: Are you using joint health supplements?

Natural dietary supplements offer a safer alternative to non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and other pharmaceutical joint pain treatment. For centuries, botanical and nutritional remedies have been used to improve joint comfort and support long term joint health. What are today's main joint supplementation options? For prevention and management, glucosamine combined with boswellia heads the list.   


The number one natural joint pain treatment is glucosamine--an amino sugar and key building block for the larger protepoglycans in the joint. These are the large molecules that make up the matrix of cartilage and the lubricating sinovial fluid in the joint. Glucosamine-containing compounds are also found in the tendons and the ligaments of the joint. Glucosamine is made from glucose and the amino acid glutamine found naturally in the body, but its production slows with aging, when people need it the most.(12)

Numerous studies published over the years indicate glucosamine can improve joint range of motion and can enhance flexibility and improve joint function. In a review of randomized controlled trials, several trials found that glucosamine supplementation was superior or equivalent to taking NSAIDs. A meta analysis published in 2000 in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) examined glucosamine's affect prijmarily on pain and symptoms in subjects with osteoarthritis of the knee.(13) “This review concluded that the compound was safe and useful in relieving symptoms of osteoarthritis,” commented Dr. McManus.

In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study published in 2007 in the journal Arthritis and Rheumatism,” Dr. McManus continued, “researchers found that daily use of 1500 mg of glucosamine was more effective than acetaminophen, which is Tylenol, in reducing the symptoms of osteoarthritis.”

There's also evidence that taking glucosamine supplements for several years may promote long term joint health and may actually reduce the risk of having joint replacement surgery,” she added.(7)


The second joint pain treatment is boswellia tree resin. Boswellia has been used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine for centuries to support joints and soft tissues. Boswellia extract is a natural ingredient that works fast to improve joint comfort. Also known as Indian Frankincense, the extract comes from the gum resin from the tree boswellia serrata. Its key active components are boswellic acids that have anti-inflammatory properties. In laboratory studies, boswellic acids have been shown to inhibit the activity of leukotrienes--bio-chemicals produced in the body that attack joint tissue and contribute to joint discomfort.

Not all boswellic extracts are created equal,” said Dr. McManus. “Extracts that contain a high concentration of the boswellic extract AKBA (Ed. Note: acetyl-keto-beta-boswellic acid) as well as other natural constituents of the resin appear to work better than extracts that just have AKBA alone. A fast-acting boswellia extract is a great choice for those looking for a natural approach for relieving joint pain and stiffness.”(7)

In a recent human clinical study published in 2011 in the International Journal Medical Sciences researchers compared the effects of two different boswellia extracts,” Dr. McManus reported. “Both contained high levels of AKBA but one was composed of a synergistic blend of boswellia AKBA plus other natural constituents of the boswellia resin. After 90 days of use, subjects who took the extract made with the synergistic blend of active components experienced a 45% better improvement in joint pain and 31% better improvement in joint stiffness than those who took the boswellia extracts with just a high level of AKBA.”

In addition, the boswellia extract synergistically blended worked in as few as five days, up to 28% faster than claimed by the leading national brand (Osteo Bi-Flex®).(14).

Study results showed that New Advanced Joint Health Complex, produced by the Shaklee Corporation, also outperformed the ingredients in other joint pain treatment national brands including Nature Made® Triple Flex, and Schiff® Move Free®. This short video provides details.

Featured joint pain treatment supplement is vegetarian

Shaklee's Advanced Joint Health Complex joint pain treatment not only outperformed the competition in the 90-day clinical study, it was the only natural joint pain treatment in the study that is vegetarian.

Most glucosamine-containing joint supplement products contain glucosamine sourced from the outer skeletons of shellfish, which may cause allergic reactions in those with shellfish allergies, or a possible worsening of asthma symptoms.(15) Osto Bi-Flex®, Nature Made® Triple Flex®, and Schiff® Move Free® all contain shellfish-sourced glucosamine.

Shaklee's Advanced Joint Health Complex, Osto Bi-Flex®, Nature Made® Triple Flex, and Schiff® Move Free® all use glucosamine hydrochloride in their joint supplements.

Advanced Joint Health Complex's glucosamine is made from corn. Corn-sourced universally as well as shellfish-sourced. It's acceptable for use by vegetarians and those who strictly follow Jewish food habits.. It's also an alternative for anyone allergic to shellfish.

Advanced Joint Health Complex is manufactured and marketed by the #1 natural nutrition company in the U.S., founded in 1956, Shaklee, and contains 1500 mg of vegetarian glucosamine hydrochloride and 100 mg of a patent-pending fast-acting form of boswellia serrata extract resin in a complex also including vitamin C, zinc, copper and manganese.

Featured joint pain treatment supplement 100% chondroitin-free

In a recent clinical study, researchers found that chondroitin sulfate interferes with glucosamine absorption.(16)  Advanced Joint Health Complex is 100% chondroitin free. The leading competitive brands above all contain chondoitin and shellfish-sourced glucosamine. Nature Made® also includes artificial colors. New Advanced Joint Health Complex contains no artificial flavors, sweeteners, or preservatives and is gluten free. It is packaged in a recycable bottle and no bisphenol-A is used in packaging.

Several joint health products in the marketplace combine glucosamine with chondroitin sulfate, but that's not the best choice,” said Dr. McManus, referencing a 2010 study. “Research shows that chondroitin sulfate is not as effective as people think it is, largely because it is not well absorbed when given orally. It can also negatively influence the absorption of glucosamine, which in itself is typically well-absorbed.” (16)

Choose wisely: with dietary supplements, you get what you pay for

From the home page on this site you may be aware that I champion natural joint pain treatment in favor of typical drug therapies for my osteoarthritis. My husband also has osteoarthritis of both knees and his shoulder.

We no longer use prescription or non prescription drugs of any kind to manage arthritis symptoms. Frankly, we've achieved surprisingly good results through natural herbal supplements alone. We're very happy because we're getting our money's worth without compromising our health from drug side effects.

We developed to explore plant-based clinically-proven alternatives for joint pain treament that safely shuts the door on harmful side effects from pharmaceutical drugs.

We didn't get positive results from natural supplements without first trying many different brands: We discovered early on that not all dietary supplements are equal in quality, safety, or efficacy. In the U.S., dietary supplements are regulated as foods, not as drugs, and don't have to work in order to be marketed! They also do not need approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before they are marketed. Manufacturers can market products without proving efficacy.(17) The Current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) regulations limit the FDA's power comparing dietary supplements to pharmceutical drugs.

It took awhile to find a manufacturer we could trust. To help in finding the best dietary supplement company, I devised a list of 30 questions. The answers led us to the Shaklee Corporation, the nation's #1 natural nutrition company. We distinquished that Shaklee voluntarily operates as if it were a pharmaceutical company, where efficacy must be proved before their products can be sold. That's what impresses us about Shaklee.

While their products are not limited to joint health, they do have three superior supplements in this category that are scientifically and clinically proven to be the best in class.

Featured glucosamine and boswellia joint supplement

In Advanced Joint Health Complex, we use the best glucosamine joint pain treatment supplement available. We don't have to worry about ingredient purity, potency or side effects--we've chosen the right company with an ironclad guarantee (if it doesn't work, get your money back!).

That's the Shaklee Difference. Their products are 'beyond organic', always safe, always work, and always green.

In keeping with that tradition, I confidently recommend Advanced Joint Health Complex as a trusted joint pain treatment to relieve osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Note: For information on two other synergistically designed natural joint products for pain or arthritis, click on the following link: The Pain Trio..


(1) Publication, Handout on Health: Osteoarthritis. The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Department of Health and Human Services. Online version updated July 2010

(2) 2010 Summary Health Statistics for U.S. Adults: National Health Interview Survey, page 6, chart published January 2012. U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Cenjter for Health Statistics..

(3) Walking statistics, Podiatrists Keep America Walking: Did you know? Washington State Podiatric Medical Association, accessed online Oct. 5, 2012.

(4) Fast-Stats, Inpatient Surgery in the U.S. Source: National Hospital Discharge Survey: 2009. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Last updated May 16, 2012. Accessed online October 22, 2012.

(5) Publication: Arthritis--The Nation's Most Common Cause of Disability; Why Is Arthritis a Public Health Problem?; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reported online April 12, 2012.

(6) Arthritis—Meeting the Challenge of Living Well at a Glance, 2012. What Can Be Done to Address Arthritis? Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). reported online April 12, 2012.

(7) McManus, J MD. Science Talk, Joint Health, July 2012, CD Hotline News produced by Shaklee Corporation, Pleasanton, CA.

(7A) Kennedy, K., article: “Healthy Eating for Osteoarthritis: How a balanced diet can help you control osteoarthritis”; Arthritis Today, accessed online 10-9-2012

(8) Chappell, MM, article: “How Olive Oil Reduces Inflammation, a study shows a surprising connection between olive oil and aspirin”; ArthritisToday, accessed online 10-9-12.

(9) Eustice, C. online article: Avocado Soybean Unsaponifiables May Slow Progression of Osteoarthritis,, May 27, 2008.

(10) Article: "What Causes Osteoarthritis? Obesity". Arthritis Foundation. Accessed online 10-9-12.

(11) Article: Mayo Clinic: Obesity Epidemic Fueling Rise in Rheumatoid Arthritis Among Women. April 25, 2012.

(11) Study: Obesity Epidemic Fueling Rise in Rheumatoid Arthritis Among Women. Study published April 2012 Arthritis Care & Research, accessable to health professionals

(12) Already a link? Wong, C. Glucosamine for Natural Arthritis Relief, September 26, 2011 (updated).

(13) McAlindon T, et al. Glucosamine and chondroitin for treatment of osteoarthritis. A systematic quality assessment and meta-analysis. JAMA 2000;283:1469-75

(14) Product bulletin, New Advanced Joint Health Complex, Shaklee Corporation. Pleasanton, CA accessed online October 12, 2012

(15) Gaber, C; Day, C., Why Do I Feel This Way?, 2nd Edition, p 146, 2005

(16)Jackson, C et. al, The human pharmacokinetics of oral ingestion of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate taken separately or in combination. Osteoarthritis Cartilage, 2010 March; 18(3): 297-302. Pubmed link

(17) Overview of Dietary Supplements, FDA, What is FDA's role in regulating dietary supplements versus the manufacturer's responsibility for marketing them?, accessed online July 29, 2012.

Joint Pain Treatment Disclaimer: Health statements on this Joint Pain Treatment page have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Links to related pages

Joint Supplements. Advanced glucosamine joint pain treatment knees its competition. 2011 clinical study: A vegetarian glucosamine joint supplement with fast-acting boswellia scored marked improvement in joint pain and stiffness in only 5 days compared to the leading brand. Click here for brand names and study details.

Arthritis Products. Three safe natural joint pain treatment products scientifically designed to fight pain and reduce dependency on pharmaceutical medicines. Each is totally safe and unique for rapid relief and joint health. Click here for details.

Boswellia. Now available as a joint pain treatment supplement ingredient, but widely used for centuries, this ancient herb has natural benefits similar to arthritis pain relief drugs but without harmful side effects. Click here for more on boswellia.

Glucosamine. Clinical studies indicate that glucosamine hydrochloride is most effective in a joint supplement when arthritis symptoms are moderate to severe. Glucosamine hydrochloride may actually rebuild the cartilage between the joints. Click here for glucosamine supplements.

Herbal Pain Relief. Herbal pain relief joint supplements are popular complementary or alternative treatments used effectively for all symptoms of various types of arthritis. Click here for more on herbal pain relief.

Fish Oil. Studies validate that fish oil supplements reduce joint inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis and other arthritis types. Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA. Click here for more information.

Osteoarthritis Relief. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. It affects joints of the knees, hips, fingers, lower spine and neck. Click here for more on osteoarthritis.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Relief. Many of the natural or herbal supplements for osteoarthritis are also recommended as joint pain treatment for rheumatoid arthritis. Click here for RA natural treatment options.

Joint Pain Relief. Wouldn't it be great if you could have a drug-free future with no harmful side effects and have complete control over your joint pain? Can you achieve it with a joint supplement? Yes, it's not a dream--all of this is .Click here for more on natural joint pain relief.

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