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Natural Awakenings NYC & Long Island

How to Naturally Reduce Joint Pain

by Dr. Gina Marino

Most people, at some point in their life, experience joint pain as a result of an acute injury such as an ankle sprain, knee sprain, or rotator cuff tear. Joint pain may also accompany varying types of joint inflammation, including osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease), rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and joint inflammation secondary to lupus erythematosus and irritable bowel syndrome. Of the numerous causes of joint inflammation, osteoarthritis is by far the most common, frequently affecting the lower back, neck, hips, knees, shoulders and wrists. Many factors are associated with the development of osteoarthritis, including overuse, too little use, faulty biomechanics, and overall lack of exercise. Joint pain related to osteoarthritis may be improved by engaging in a comprehensive program of restoring more efficient biomechanics, healthy nutrition, and targeted exercise. 

The Role of Chiropractic Care in Reducing Joint Pain

Regular chiropractic care plays a key role in the effective management of joint pain. By detecting and correcting sources of spinal nerve irritation and nerve interference as well as joint dysfunction, regular chiropractic care helps to restore proper biomechanics and optimizes the functioning of your entire physiology. Potential causes of joint pain in the neck, mid back, and lower back are addressed directly, and joint pain in other locations is benefited by more normalized communication between those sites and the nervous system as a whole. In this way, regular chiropractic care helps improve your long-term overall health and well-being.

How Diet Influences Joint Pain

Diet is frequently implicated in various systemic inflammatory disorders and, in consequence, various joint inflammatory conditions. For example, celiac disease—a chronic inflammatory disorder—is caused by gluten intolerance. Malabsorption syndrome and leaky gut syndrome—both of which may be associated with joint inflammation—may also be associated with gluten insensitivity or gluten intolerance. The inclusion of nutritional supplementation such as probiotics and prebiotics is helpful in the overall management of malabsorption syndrome and leaky gut syndrome. As well, instituting a gluten-free diet may be of assistance in managing gluten sensitivity, gluten intolerance and conditions such as celiac disease.

Additionally, sugar, refined carbohydrates, saturated fats, monosodium glutamate, and alcohol are known causes and potentiators of joint inflammation. For certain individuals, dairy products, eggs, tomatoes, nuts and coffee may exacerbate existing joint inflammation. In contrast, for most people, diets containing at least five servings of fresh fruits and vegetables daily help prevent the development of joint inflammation and help reduce inflammatory processes and thus ameliorate a primary cause of joint pain.

How Exercise Relieves Joint Paint 

Exercise helps to improve joint range of motion, strengthen supporting muscle groups, and increase the resiliency and flexibility of local soft tissues such as tendons and ligaments. Optimally, exercise is done five days a week for at least 30 minutes each day. Beneficial forms of exercise include walking, swimming, bicycling, yoga and strength training. For those that haven’t exercised in some time, it’s important to start slowly while gently building capacity and stamina.

Incorporating healthy lifestyle choices including chiropractic care, making healthy food choices and regular exercise can make a significant impact on inflammatory joint conditions, thereby increasing quality of life for years to come.

Dr. Gina Marino is the founder of the Center for the Alignment of Body, Mind & Spirit located at 2213 Wantagh Ave., Wantagh, NY. She offers gentle chiropractic care, reiki, lifestyle and nutritional advice. For more information, call 516-221-3500 or visit Align-Me.com.

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