Joint pain is alarmingly common. It seems like we reach a certain age and joint pain becomes inevitable. Obviously those of us who have lifestyles which obviously exaccerbate joint pain (jiujitsu competitors, weight lifters, distance runners, inactive people, obese people, etc) will experience joint pain in later life. But even people who seemingly have no real risk factors for arthritis, osteoarthritis, or chronic joint pain end up in agony caused by stiff, aching joints.
Of all the joint pain we experience, none is more debilitating, pernicious and seemingly incurable than knee pain.
Knee pain comes in many forms. A lot of people find that their knees are stiff first thing in the morning. They may ache after running, or just after a long walk. Some people find that their knees crack and lose mobility in the winter, which may be accompanied by severe joint pain. This is to say nothing of people with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or any other form of joint disease.
Thankfully, there is no longer a need to either put up with arthritis pain and stiff knees or to rely solely on nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and painkillers such as Aspirin. There are now some very high quality joint supplements capable of naturally easing knee stiffness and providing pain relief from aching knees.
In this article, we’re going to look at the best joint supplements for knees. Read our overview of the best supplements for joints that really work for a broader look at joint supplements. Please post any questions in the comments section at the end.
Causes of Knee Pain, Stiffness, and Cracking
So what causes knee pain, stiffness and poor mobility?
There are a number of different causes of knee pain and poor joint mobility. Some of them are genetic, others environmental, and some behavioral.
The main causes of knee pain and poor knee flexibility are:
Obviously, some people are genetically predisposed to conditions such as arthritis. For these people, little can be done to halt the progression of arthritis completely. Whether it is because of autoimmune diseases which cause cartilage breakdown at the knee joint, issues maintaining connective tissues, or another genetic, inherited condition which damages the joints, it is unfortunately true that joint pain, stiffness and ahces can be unavoidable in some cases.
However, it is also true that genetically caused joint pain can be made significantly worse by environmental and lifestyle factors. In fact, the vast majority of the joint pain people experience is caused, or at least made dramatically worse, by factors within their control.
One of the main avoidable causes of knee pain is excess weight. Being obese places an incredible amount of stress on the knee joint. If you’re carrying a lot of excess body weight, then every step you take is placing extra weight on your knees. This can cause tiny amounts of cartilage damage, leading to gradual cartilage breakdown over time. This is why losing weight is arguably the easiest preventative measure you can take to avoid cartilage loss and subsequent knee pain.
Another common cause of knee pain is sports injuries. Many sports unavoidably involve injury and repetative damage from impacts. Jiu Jitsu, Judo, wrestling, weightlifting, trail running, and long-distance running are all infamous for causing arthritis in the knees. The repeated impacts to the knee involved in these sports causes repeated and intense stress on the knee joint, not dissimilar to how being obese wears down cartilage and connective tissues over time.
The other main cause of joint pain is dietary habits. This is often surprising to people, but what you eat and drink can have a profound impact on your joint health, including your knee health. Many substances cause systemic inflammation when consumed; the prime examples here are high-fructose corn syrup, processed meat, refined vegetable oils, trans fats and alcohol.
Eating an inflammatory diet is a sure-fire way to cause knee joint damage and give yourself stiff, aching, cracking knees. Fortunately, eating an anti-inflammatory diet is a highly effective way to reduce knee pain and promote knee joint health over the long-term.
Natural Supplements for Knees
So what are the best natural joint supplements for your knees?
Those of you currently struggling with knee pain will be very glad to learn that there are a number of natural, safe substances capable of significantly reducing knee pain, improving flexibility, and supporting long-term knee health. Below is a breakdown of the most effective natural joint supplements for knee health and knee cartilage repair.
Glucosamine/Chondroitin for Knee Pain
Glucosamine and chondroitin are two of the most important building blocks of your joints. Glucosamine is an amino sugar and an integral part of many of the connective tissues which make up, surround and protect your joints, including ligaments, tendons and the lubricating synovial fluid. Chondroitin is a large molecule that is woven throughout cartilage, allowing it to absorb water and become more shock-absorbant.
Supplementing with either glucosamine or chondroitin is known to improve joint health, prevent joint pain, and promote knee mobility into old age. However, taking both chondroitin and glucosamine at the same time is by far and away the most effective way to promote knee health and reduce knee pain over the long-term.
Ginger for Knee Pain and Inflammation
Ginger is a powerful anti-inflammatory, which is why it has been prized for its broad health-promoting properties throughout the years. Ginger is a mainstay of traditional medicine, thought to be capable of lowering blood pressure, reducing nausea, and easing joint pain. Recent research suggests that ginger is actually good for reducing joint pain, including pain in knees. One study found that highly concentrated ginger extract was effective in treating people with osteoarthritis of the knee. Interestingly, the study found that ginger was particularly effective at reducing knee pain felt after walking. The Arthritis Foundation (AF) suggests taking a maximum of 2g of ginger a day, divided into three doses, or drinking up to 4 cups of ginger tea daily. This dose of ginger has been found to be effective for relieving knee pain.
Turmeric for Knee Pain and Stiffness
Arguably an even more potent anti-inflammatory than ginger, turmeric is one of the best joint supplements in the world and a great supplement for easing knee pain. Turmeric contains a compound called curcumin. In numerous clinical trials, curcumin has been found to be an extremely powerful anti-inflammatory. More importantly, the use of high-quality curcumin supplements has been shown to be effective for reducing joint pain, including knee pain associated with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Turmeric is typically a key ingredient in the best joint supplements for a reason – IT WORKS!
Omega-3 (Fish Oil) for Knee Health
Similar to ginger and turmeric, omega 3s have powerful anti-inflammatory properties which make them fantastic supplements for knee joint health, and for reducing joint pain more broadly. Omega 3 fatty acids improve markers of inflammation and reduce tissue inflammation across the entire body. Clinical studies show that the targeted use of omega 3 supplements can acutely reduce joint pain, particularly joint pain caused by cartilage erosion and repeated impacts.
Bromelain for Knee Pain
Bromelain is a really interesting joint supplement for knee pain. Bromelain is an enzyme found in pineapples; it has a digestive enzyme taste, which is why some people think pineapple tastes like vomit! Bromelain is used to treat digestive conditions, and it is increasingly used for treating joint pain. Seven randomized clinical trials found that bromelain is more effective than the pain reliever diclofenac at relieving osteoarthritis knee pain.
MSM and Joint Stiffness
MSM, or Methylsulfonylmethane, is easily one of the best supplements for knee pain in existence. It is an important nutrient needed to form many of the basic materials that make up your joints, including collagen, glucosamine, chrondroitin, cartilage, and other connective tissues. Supplementing with MSM has been shown to reduce knee pain and improve knee mobility/flexibility. Amazingly, MSM has been found to slow the breakdown of cartilage. This makes it an ideal joint supplement for people who put their knees through a lot of wear and tear.
Using Supplements for Knee Cartilage Repair
Damaged cartilage in the knee typically does not heal on its own. Fortunately, natural supplements can help protect and regrow cartilage. Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are both effective for promoting cartilage repair in the knee. However, cartilage repair is a slow process, so you need to take a long-term approach and be patient.
What is most important when it comes to knee cartilage repair is, unfortunately, prevention. With cartilage damage in the knees, prevention is the best protection. Using high quality joint supplements designed specifically to protect and nurture knee cartilage will help prevent you ever experiencing knee problems in the first place. All of the best joint supplements are designed for long-term, consistent use for optimal results.
Other Natural Options For Easing Knee Joint Pain
What are some other natural ways to ease joint pain?
There are lots of easy ways to naturally ease knee pain and increase knee flexibility. By employing some of these strategies, you may be able to slow down cartilage erosion and protect the knee joint from damage, thus helping you avoid experiencing any knee pain in the first place! With joint care, the best strategy is always to avoid damage and promote maintenance rather than trying to fix the joint once it is already damaged.
One of the easiest ways you can help reduce knee pain and promote healthy joint cartilage over the long-term is to cut out foods known to cause inflammation. Alcohol, tobacco, processed meats, saturated fat, trans fats, refined sugars, and refined carbohydrates (think white bread, pastries, etc).
Another good way to protect the knee joint and avoid chronic pain in later life is to practice yoga. Yoga entails stretching coupled with some gentle, relaxed meditation or mindfulness practices. No only does yoga strengthen and loosen the joints through stretching and holds, it also has a systemic anti-inflammatory effect resulting from the meditation/mindfulness aspect.
One final way you can ease knee pain naturally is to avoid the kind of physical activity that causes knee pain in the process. Many sports often cause adverse effects much later in life; people who compete in Jiu Jitsu, wrestling, MMA, weightlifting, and long-distance running may find that they develop symptomatic knee osteoarthritis in later life. The best joint supplements for athletes help reduce risk of injury and cartilage erosion, but they are not as effective as avoiding excessive joint damage in the first place!
Best All-Natural Joint Supplement For Knees
So what is the best joint supplement for knees?
The single best joint supplement for knees on the market right now is Physio Flex Pro. This is the only physiotherapist-approved joint supplement on sale today. It combines 8 clinically-proven active ingredients which together have a powerful anti-inflammatory effect, protect connective tissues from damage, and promote knee joint strength.
Of all the joint health supplements on the market right now, Physio Flex Pro is the one most effective for actually improving quality of life and reducing knee pain over the long-term. It is not a painkiller or a NSAID. Instead, key ingredients work to prevent the breakdown of cartilage, reduce inflammation, and promote knee flexibility.
We strongly recommend reading our full review which covers all of the pros and cons of Physio Flex Pro. After reviewing dozens of joint supplements on the market today, we are confident that this is both the most effective and the best value joint supplement money can buy right now. It eases joint pain while promoting long-term joint strength; a truly comprehensive joint supplement.