Natural Approach to Joint Health

by Mark Davis on Sep 01, 2022

Natural Approach to Joint Health

Today we are talking about joints, the space between two bones in the human body, that are supposed to move freely and without pain. If you or someone you love suffers from joint pain, this is for you. We're going to discuss exactly where joint pain comes from, and more importantly, the natural ways that you can immediately begin to feel better, right away.

What are joints?

Joints are the spaces where any two bones in the body meet. There are all different kinds of joints inside your body. The ones that typically give people problems are the joints of the back and the hips, the knees, the shoulder, the hands, even the ankles. As a result, millions of Americans every year are taking anti-inflammatory medications, over the counter painkillers, and unfortunately sometimes even prescription medications, all to deal with the pain associated with inflammation and degenerative changes.

Remember, all medications come with some level of risk, including kidney and liver problems, digestive problems, even the risk of addiction. That's why I'm such a huge advocate of doing absolutely everything you possibly can naturally, to avoid having to take medication, or worse yet, end up having surgeries to replace the joints just simply to mitigate the pain.

What causes joint pain?

To understand what to do to help solve this problem, we must first understand where the joint pain actually comes from. Pain in the joints is often due to inflammation in the joint itself or degeneration of the joint. More often than not, we see a combination of these two things working together and oftentimes there's not one single cause, but a combination of several little things that add up to cause the joint to become inflamed and deteriorated. For example, as we start to get older, collagen decreases in our bodies and therefore decreases the amount of space within every joint. However, not everyone who gets older has pain. Perhaps their diet might be better or maybe they're more active. 

There are several foods in the standard American diet that cause inflammation. Things such as hydrogen in oils or an abundance of omega-6 fatty acids. As an individual, if you decrease your exposure to these types of toxins, you stand a better chance as you age not to get those types of joint issues. 

Another very common contributing factor is obesity. In a recent study, the CDC found that nearly 40% of all Americans are considered overweight and 25% of children between the ages of six and 18 are overweight as well. Not only does that extra weight year after year after year cause extra wear and tear on the joints, but remember, most people are not getting overweight by eating healthy food. Rather, eating foods that are inflammatory in nature, such as highly processed foods, high in carbohydrates, and foods that are high in sugar. Foods containing hydrogenated oils or foods that are low in omega-3 fatty acids. Each one of these things contributes to your body's inflammation.

Another factor to consider is bad biomechanics. Since the advent of the computer, more and more people at a younger and younger age are spending more time hunched over computers, sometimes 6, 8, even 10 hours a day. It's no wonder that research has shown that one third of Americans have some sort of joint pain. Think about it. Not only does this sedentary lifestyle not help with keeping joints moving freely throughout the regular movement throughout the day, but the muscles that are supposed to help stabilize the joints become weak and don't support the joint. That in turn causes much more unnecessary wear and tear on the joint. By simply changing your diet to lower inflammatory foods and moving more with good biomechanics, you are going to substantially improve your joint health.

Joint Pain and Your Spine

Now let's talk a little bit about the spine. Since it relates to the spine, I would highly recommend regular chiropractic care, as it's going to keep the joints of the back moving freely and improve something that we call, proprioception. Proprioception is the neural feedback from movement within your spine and other joints, that tells your brain how your body is oriented in its surroundings. Studies have shown that when you decrease proprioception from lack of movement, your nociception increases. 

Nociception is your body's sensitivity to pain, so the less your joints move, the more sensitive you are to pain. Again, that's one of the many reasons why I'm such a strong advocate of going to the chiropractor regularly. Keeping the joints of the spine moving freely keeps you less sensitive to pain. It's as simple as that. Not only that, but it keeps the arthritic changes from occurring within your spine. Much of your arthritis in your spine is responding due to lack of movement in the spine.

In particular, arthritis can cause absolute havoc to your nerves. They can grow little spikes called osteophytes, that can poke on the nerves and negatively impact your health and cause pain. Regular chiropractic care keeps the joint's moving and arthritis at bay. It increases your body's proprioception, and it helps keep your body's perception of pain at normal levels, not sensitized levels.

You may be thinking okay, that's great, now I know what's causing the pain but what else can I do if I don't want to take medications for my pain that I'm having right now? 


Let's start with collagen. Collagen builds the joints and keeps the connective tissue strong. Collagen is fantastic because it contains nearly 20 different amino acids, which are the building blocks to proteins. Proteins play an important role in muscle development. When your muscles around the joints are strong, they're protecting the joint, and because of that, they take some of the pressure off the daily activity on the joint, as we talked about before, when relating to exercise. What this means is, it decreases the unnecessary wear and tear into the joint and helps combat arthritic changes, but collagen even goes a step further. It helps decrease the swelling and pain in the joint, which is one of the reasons I absolutely like it so much. Now, collagen is found in a lot of different things. It's found in beef, chicken, fish, eggs, and so on. A couple of the best ways to get collagen in your diet is by simply making bone broth from organic pasture raised beef.

If you don't have the time or inclination to do that, you can supplement it with a high quality bone broth or straight collagen itself, which you can just simply add to a smoothie or your coffee. Remember, as with any supplement, you want to make sure it meets the quality tests. What are those? You want to make sure that it's been manufactured in the United States, in FDA approved labs. You want to make sure it's NSF and GMP certified and you want to make sure that it's Third Party Tested for quality, purity and consistency. When it comes to something that you're going to be ingesting every single day, you want to make sure it's absolutely the best quality possible, and those standards are going to ensure that.

Now there are a couple of different types of collagen. If you're going to supplement collagen, I would recommend that you get both type one and type three collagen. Type one is wonderful because it is a value-added benefit of improving the overall look of your skin, and decreasing wrinkles, while increasing the elasticity and hydration of the joints and even rebuilding bone. Type three is primarily bovine collagen peptides, which not only help improve hydration and decrease pain, it also helps decrease inflammation. Type three also decreases inflammation within the gut, so if you're having gut issues, it'll help heal that as well.

Turmeric, Ginger, and Boswellia

The next supplements you might want to consider if you're dealing with joint pain are a powerful trio of anti-inflammatory supplements, turmeric, ginger and boswellia. Each one of these three has been shown to be anti-inflammatory in nature, and when used together it's been shown to have really positive effects on joint pain. These three are definitely one of my first go-tos, whenever it comes to joint pain.

Omega Fatty Acid Supplements

The next thing to consider for joint health is omega-3 fatty acid supplements. Now, most often these are going to be some sort of fish oil. Omega-3 fatty acids are well known and documented in the literature for helping with inflammation at the cellular level, and the reason is because our Western diets are so high in omega-6 fatty acids and very low in omega-3. This imbalance creates what we call a pro-inflammatory environment. 

By supplementing with omega-3, you regain the balance that you've lost by consuming excess omega-6. Keep in mind when purchasing omega-3 fatty acids, make sure it's from a wild caught fish, and not a farm raised fish. You never want to buy a fish or a supplement that's from a farm raised source. They are much higher in toxins due to the environment that they were raised in and the food that they were fed. Also, the larger the fish, the higher the toxic concentrations, so you always want a supplement with a fish made from a wild caught fish that is small like a krill or a sardine.


Next up are electrolytes. These are important, especially in warmer environments or if you're an athlete or if you sweat a lot. Electrolytes play an important role in joint health. They help flush out toxins out of the body and they decrease inflammation overall. 

Potassium is a big player in this and it's found in things like bananas and coconuts and green leafy vegetables. You can always eat these foods for a whole food source, or you can supplement your diet with a high quality electrolyte tablet, or drink. Definitely stay away from the high sugar or chemically packed sports drinks when it comes to electrolytes. There are much better options at the health food store for electrolytes than that garbage. Stay away from it at all costs.

SAMe, Chondroitin, Glucosamine, and MSM

Now the next four supplements I'm going to talk about are some of the most popular ones for joint health, SAMe, chondroitin, glucosamine and MSM. Let's look at each one of those individually.

SAMe is a molecule that helps joints, by delivering sulfur to the cartilage and it helps maintain it in a healthy state. Whereas, glucosamine is naturally found in the cartilage, and it's sort of like the building block along with chondroitin sulfate for cartilage itself. When these three are used together, they hydrate, build and protect the joint. 

Methylsulfonylmethane, most commonly known as MSM, is made from a naturally occurring plankton in the ocean. It’s phenomenal for joint health, because it decreases inflammation and it supercharges the effects of chondroitin, glucosamine and SAMe. Think of it as the cherry on top, bringing all the components together to help make the joint even healthier.


Next up is boswellia, also known as Indian frankincense. Boswellia has been used for centuries in natural medicine to help with chronic inflammation. It works because boswellic acid prevents something called leukotrienes from developing. It's these leukotrienes that often cause inflammation within the joint, so if you prevent them from developing, you're actually preventing the inflammation from even beginning.


Next up is quercetin. Quercetin is one of the most abundant antioxidants available. It helps fight free radical damage and inflammation, so it's not only good for joint health, it's also good for cardiovascular health as well.


Lastly, bromelain. Bromelain is a proteolytic enzyme that's made from pineapple stems. It aids in digestive health by helping break down proteins. What is really cool about bromelain when it's taken on an empty stomach is it also decreases inflammation in the joints and it speeds soft tissue healing for injuries. We've used it not only in my practice, but even in my own home for many, many years, on myself and my kids. We've had exceptional results, especially in regards to things like athletic injuries. I like it a lot and recommend it regularly. It helps with faster healing, decreases pain and inflammation, all without any of the side effects that things like NSAIDs do.

That was a lot of stuff thrown at you all at once, so what are the takeaways?

  1. Change your diet and try to limit the foods that are highly processed and contain hydrogenated oils. 
  2. Get up and move your joints. A sedentary lifestyle is not healthy for a joint. It creates obesity and puts more wear and tear on the joints. 
  3. See a chiropractor regularly, not only for the health of your spine, but the health of your nerves and other joints as well. 
  4. Add in high quality, joint building and natural anti-inflammatory supplements.

Each one of the supplements we covered are available in a high quality form from your local supplement store or you can simply go to our website at Davis Nutrition where we have all of these packed into just three different supplements that you can take! 

Joint Flex is fantastic because it contains the glucosamine, the chondroitin, the MSM, bromelain, quercetin, and boswellia, all in the same supplement.

We also have a supplement with 500 milligrams of turmeric, 100 milligrams of ginger, and a proprietary blend of bioprene, which is made from black pepper and significantly helps absorb the turmeric and ginger, so you absolutely get the most out of your supplement.

Finally, we also have something called Pure Collagen. This is a hydrolyzed type one and type three collagen that we walked through. It's made from grass fed, pasture raised beef and, of course, like all of our products, it's manufactured right here in the United States, in FDA approved labs that meet all NSF and GMP certifications and is even third party tested for purity, quality and consistency.

Now, you can get all three of these products on our website individually, or you can bundle it into something called a joint rejuvenation bundle. That way you can save a little money and not have to pay any shipping. We've made it even easier by making it possible for you to get it set up on a monthly subscription, so you never have to think about ordering it or going to the store to buy it. 

As I said, you can always go to the store and pick up all these things that I've mentioned individually on your own. I just really believe in the fact that our products are really high quality, and that we want to make them as affordable as we can, and easy to get so that you're taking them regularly and everybody can reap the benefits.

Until next time, remember, health is by choice, not by chance.