Fact Checked By Dr B Lee
Joints are connections between bones that enable movement and provide support to the body. They are responsible for allowing us to walk, run, jump, bend, and perform all other physical activities. Joints are complex structures made up of several components including cartilage, synovial fluid, ligaments, and tendons.
So What Are Joints Made Of?
Cartilage is a smooth and slippery tissue that covers the ends of bones where they meet in a joint. It acts as a cushion and helps reduce friction between bones during movement. Synovial fluid is a thick liquid found in joints that provides lubrication to reduce friction between cartilage and other joint structures. Ligaments are strong fibrous tissues that connect bones to each other and provide stability to joints. Tendons are similar to ligaments but connect muscles to bones and help control joint movements.
What Do We Mean By Joint Flexibility?
“Joint flexibility” means the range of motion that a joint can move through without pain or discomfort. Good joint flexibility is important for maintaining mobility and reducing the risk of injury. Joint flexibility can be affected by factors such as age, injury, or disease; poor joint flexibility can lead to stiffness, pain, and difficulty performing daily activities.
Which supplements have been proven effective at increasing joint flexibility?
Now, I know what you're thinking - "Is he really suggesting that there's some kind of pill out there that can turn me into Gumby?" Well, dear readers, let me tell you this: if such a supplement exists, I haven't found it yet. But no worries: I have scoured the depths of scientific research (and by "scoured," I mean Googled) to bring you the 5 most promising options for improving joint flexibility. So sit back, relax those stiff joints of yours (or pop some ibuprofen), and let's dive into the wonderful world of natural supplements!
Glucosamine has been discussed among people seeking relief from joint pain and stiffness; it's an alluring idea: natural supplements improving flexibility/easing discomforts. Studies suggest glucosamine reduces inflammation and promotes cartilage health - both contributing towards enhanced flexibility - since it's naturally present within cartilages playing an essential role in maintaining their health. However, our bodies produce less with age leading towards decreased flexible mobility and increased arthritis risks on the other hand. Many individuals who've tried glucosamine report significant improvements in their flexible mobility along with joint improvement enabling them to resume previously given-up activities due to stiffened joints.
Chondroitin is another supplement often used to support joint health. It's a natural substance found in the cartilage surrounding joints; it has been shown to help reduce pain and inflammation, as well as slow down the progression of joint degeneration. One of chondroitin's main benefits is improving joint mobility/flexibility since it supports structure/functioning of joint cartilages that can become damaged over time due to age or injury; by providing nutrients for rebuilding cartilage, chondroitin helps improve overall joint health and flexibility.
Studies have also found that chondroitin may help reduce symptoms such as stiffness/pain - particularly in people with osteoarthritis. This condition causes breakdowns within joints' cartilages leading towards reduced mobility/inflammation/pains. Chondroitin protects these affected areas from further damage while promoting repair thus reducing symptoms.
Another benefit of chondroitin is its ability to improve bone health since it supports formation of bone tissue helping prevent loss of bone density commonly seen with aging populations. By promoting better bone health, chondroitin can help reduce risks associated with fractures or other injuries affecting our joints.
Combining Omega-3, Turmeric and Ginger
Besides glucosamine/chondroitin supplements mentioned above, omega-3 fatty acids/turmeric/ginger are common natural supplements known for enhancing flexible mobility and improving overall joint health. Omega-3 fatty acids work by reducing inflammation within our bodies which happens to be one major cause behind painful/stiffened joints; addressing this issue directly through consumption reduces pains/swelling allowing individuals more comfortable movements/enhanced flexibility. These powerful anti-inflammatory fats can be found in fish oil/flaxseed oil/chia seeds/walnuts making them versatile options for everyone.
Turmeric contains curcumin - a potent anti-inflammatory compound blocking enzymes responsible for inflammation within our bodies. Consuming turmeric helps reduce inflammation and in turn reduces joint pain/swelling; it's remarkable how such a simple spice can have powerful effects on our health. Ginger is another incredible ingredient used for centuries in traditional medicine to alleviate pain/reduce inflammation. Gingerols/shogaols are compounds responsible for these benefits, reducing production of inflammatory cytokines within the body. Whether consumed as fresh ginger root/ginger tea/ginger supplements, this powerful root has significant impact on joint health.
When used together, omega-3 fatty acids/turmeric/ginger have synergistic effects on joint health by reducing inflammation within our bodies which improves flexible mobility/reduces pains/stiffness while promoting overall better joint health. Nature has provided us with incredible tools to take care of our bodies achieving optimal health, right?
Conclusion: Yes, supplements help improve flexibility of joints!
In conclusion, joint supplements may not turn you into a human pretzel overnight, but they can certainly help improve your flexibility and reduce pain. So go ahead and stock up on glucosamine, chondroitin, omega-3s, turmeric, and ginger - or try spotting a commercial supplement that combines all these together in one single pill if you have the budget for it! Just don't forget to stretch before taking them or you might end up looking like a stiff robot instead of the flexible yogi you were aiming for.
“And if supplements don’t do the trick?” I hear you asking.
Well, there's always the option of hiring someone to carry you around everywhere like Cleopatra. If you want to be flexible like a yogi, I suggest you start with some simple joint excercises along with taking joint supplements. If you're already relatively healthy though and aren't suffering with joint pain, yoga and pilates are a great way to maintain healthy joints. Maybe one day you'll be able to do the splits like Jean-Claude Van Damme (or at least attempt it without pulling a muscle). Just remember, flexibility is not just about physical ability but also mental agility!
Still got doubts? See how modern science is backing us up!
According to a systematic review of randomized controlled trials published in the Journal of Orthopedic Science, "Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are effective for reducing pain in patients with osteoarthritis, particularly those with moderate to severe knee pain." The study also found that these supplements can improve joint function and mobility (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4712867/).
A meta-analysis published in Arthritis Research & Therapy concluded that omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory effects and may be beneficial for people with rheumatoid arthritis. The study suggests that consuming omega-3s through diet or supplementation could reduce joint inflammation, stiffness, and pain (https://arthritis-research.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/ar2662).
Turmeric has been extensively studied for its anti-inflammatory properties. A review article published in Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology states that "Curcumin [the active compound in turmeric] has been shown to exhibit anti-inflammatory activity by inhibiting the production of inflammatory cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor-alpha, interleukin-1beta, interleukin-6, cyclooxygenase 2, prostaglandin E(2), leukotrienes" (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17569207/).
About Factchecker Dr B Lee
Dr Lee is a member of Center TRT's research team, he has more than 200 scientific publications, and has been a member of the global obesity center. With more than 20 years experience in health, focusing on wholistic treatment, lifestyle and dietary changes to improve health outcomes on a regional and nationwide level. Dr B Lee's Profile