Joint troubles are among the most widespread problems faced by strength training athletes. Certainly we have all had an ache or pain in a knee, elbow, or other joint at times, but constant, enduring pain is another story. Naturally there are diverse types of problems that cause frequent joint pain in athletes and regular people alike. Some joint pain can be alleviated by warming up properly before workouts, and by not over training.
The most common kinds and causes of joint pain that trouble athletes are:
- Arthritis: caused by wearing away of the joints, and distinguished by a deterioration of the cartilage at the ends of the bones.
- Bursitis: caused by inflammation or injury to the fluid sacks in the joints.
- Tendonitis: when the tendons around a joint become severely inflamed from overuse, micro injury etc.
About 80% or more of most bodybuilders' joint pain is completely inevitable. More often than not, they
- Hardly ever warm up sufficiently
- They over train
- They use excessively heavy weights/low reps more frequently than they should
- They don't let their joints, tendons, muscles, etc. recover from heavy workouts
- They use less than perfect form during heavy lifts
- They don't consume enough nutrients
Joint troubles can also be due to heredity, but maladaptive exercise form is one of the most common culprits. Maybe you are genetically inclined to having joint troubles, but it's more likely that your form is poor and you are hyper-extending or over flexing your joints.
Your first priority should be to use correct form for all exercises when you first undertake resistance training. You should strengthen adaptive and correct muscle firing patterns through high repetitions. Nerve, spinal and joint irregularities are the consequence of failure to do so. Collective injury will happen ultimately, and at times this damage is permanent.
Joint pain, along with respiratory problems, back pain, allergies, mood changes and insomnia are some of the indications of toxicity frequently found in bodybuilders. For this reason, you need to clean your organs. The body's central organ for detoxification and other vital metabolic processes is the liver. This organ has over 500 roles, several critical for life.
The liver produces all proteins, cholesterol and blood clotting factors. The liver also metabolizes drugs and alcohol. Bodybuilders who use oral steroids add more stress to the liver because steroids interfere with certain enzymes. To combat toxicity, it is important to add supplements such as Milk Thistle to your diet.
Joint troubles can be related to sodium intake – are you taking in enough organic sodium? Or are you consuming too much inorganic sodium (example table salt) in your diet?
Researchers worried about joint pain and health have been paying a good deal of attention to a fatty acid with the unpronounceable name Cetyl Myristoleate. A researcher at the National Institutes of Health discovered this fatty acid, and it seems very promising as a compound that significantly decreases joint pain attributable to a variety of causes. Several bodybuilders actually swear by it.
A lot of bodybuilders and other sportspersons are starting to notice the numerous benefits of flax oil for all kinds of uses. Flax oil is remarkably high in Omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce inflammation of any kind. Fatty acids do a lot for hard training bodybuilders, and just adding 1-3 teaspoonfuls of flax oil to a protein drink or over a salad daily will decrease the pain in your joints.
The chief ingredient in good old Jello might, as odd as it may appear, be just what the doctor ordered for painful joints. Gelatin has a very high level of two amino acids, proline and glycine, which play an important part in collagen creation. Collagen is a vital structural protein that forms an important part of bones, tendons and connective tissues. To equal the amount of proline in just 10 grams of hydrolyzed gelatin, you'd need 43 grams of dried egg whites or 35 grams of dried nonfat milk or 89 grams of lean beef.
A rising amount of studies have shown that the ingestion of just ten grams per day of hydrolyzed gelatin is helpful in significantly reducing pain, improving mobility and general bone/cartilage strength. However, bone metabolism is fairly intricate and not completely understood. The Jello people have prepared a product especially for bone health and joints called NutraJoint.
Herbal Relief from India
The inhabitants of Bagbahera region in India prepare special herbal oil using the tuber of the Adrak plant to treat joint pains. The tuber is crushed and the fluid is removed. This fluid is added to Til Seed oil and the solution is boiled. The oil is massaged on aching joints for pain relief. Once prepared in bulk, the oil can be stored for up to six months, after which it starts losing its medicinal properties.
The people of Bilaspur region use Asgandh roots for joint pain treatment. The root is dried and converted into powder. This powder is taken twice a day with sugar in lukewarm water, and the inhabitants of the region say it is one of the promising treatments. The intake of Asgandh in this form may have other health benefits as well, so the people of Bilaspur never miss the chance to take advantage of this herb.
If chronic joint pain is taking the fun out of your workouts, get an opinion from a good sports medicine doctor as to precisely what your problem is, so you can treat it accordingly.