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GO AWAY ACHES AND PAINS
by Dave Foreman
Tens of millions of Americans suffer from chronic joint and muscle pain each day.The Arthritis Foundation estimates 21 million Americans suffer from osteoarthritis alone. Another 2.1 million suffer from rheumatoid arthritis.Throw in the millions of people who have chronic discomfort from joint pain and don't even have a diagnosis and it almost seems epidemic. While we are at it, let's add in the millions suffering from muscle pain and discomfort and we have a serious situation. There are many reasons we get these aches and pains. Regardless of the condition, the pain usually reverts back to the body's inability to fight inflammation. Let's take osteoarthritis for example. For whatever reason (obesity, injury, age, muscle weakness, etc) the connective tissue (cartilage in this case) is worn away and eventually triggers inflammation. This inflammation - trapped between the bones (joints) has nowhere to go and pushes in on the nerves which pass through the joint. This pressure triggers the sensation of pain back to the brain and you feel miserable. Since most joint problems have no cure offered by modern medicine, they are treated by masking the symptoms. Drugs like NSAIDS, steroids and COX-2 inhibitors are used to fight the inflammatory process. Regretfully, these medications also come with side effects, such as bleeding issues, stomach discomfort, rebound pain or even death.
With regard to muscle pain we see the same type of story. Whether you are a weekend warrior, or have a health challenge, inflammation is usually part if not all of your problem. Again, similar action will be taken to suppress the inflammation and/or relax your muscles.
In natural medicine we can do many things to address joint and muscle issues. Utilizing nutritional supplements can help protect, maintain and repair the damage. An example would be the use of Glucosamine to help support the body repair and rebuild connective tissue. In the past, supplements that contain boswellia, ginger and turmeric were on the top of my list to help support your pain and inflammation needs. Recently I discovered something new, an extract from the Shea Nut - not really a nut but the pit of Shea Fruit (yes the same "nut" used to make shea butter). This newly patented ingredient goes by the name SheaFlex75™ (known as FlexNow™ Joint Formula, available at The Vitamin Shoppe®). FlexNow™ is a blend of naturally occurring compounds found in the Shea Nut that have been shown to help decrease inflammation and promote circulation to the joints. The effect on muscle aches and pains has been amazing too. Most sufferers will see results in 30 days or less. Those with severe or chronic cases may require 60 to 90 days. People currently taking Glucosamine or Glucosamine-Chondroitin may want to include this in their regimen for added relief. FlexNow (SheaFlex 75) was 1 of only 7 dietary supplements (2004) to meet all safety and toxicology requirements of the FDA. Consult with your health care provider prior to beginning any new supplement program.