What can you take to lubricate your joints?
This is an interesting question. The desire to “lubricate” your joints is a common one. If you’re suffering from stiff or aching joints, then you’re probably wondering what you can do to loosen them up and ease the pain. Or if you’re an athlete – or just health conscious – then improving your flexibility is probably a top priority too. And so it should be! Flexibility and joint health are key markers of health and fitness as we get older, and being agile is integral to many sports.
So it’s little wonder that we are constantly being asked what you can take to lubricate your joints.
Is there a supplement which lubricates the joints?
How can natural joint supplements help with joint pain, flexibility, and long-term joint health?
Let’s take a look at the options and find out!
Supplements for lubricating the joints
Probably the best thing to take to “lubricate” your joints is a high quality chondroitin supplement.
Chondroitin is a complex of molecules. These negatively charged molecules weave through the lattice like structure of your cartilage. Or more accurately, chondroitin suffuses cartilage’s extracellular matrix. Once it’s there, it attracts and binds to water molecules due to its negative charge. This simultaneously strengthens, stabilizes, and lubricates your cartilage, making it stronger, firmer, yet more elastic and better able to absorb shocks.
This is the most direct way to literally lubricate your joints; by lubricating your cartilage on a cellular level.
Certainly this is much more of an effective approach than using things like omega 3s; while effective for reducing inflammation and easing joint pain that way, fats don’t actually “lubricate” your joints in any way. Consuming omega 3s doesn’t mean you end up with oil lining and lubricating your joints!
If you want to lubricate your joints, the only real way to go about it is to supplement with chondroitin. This literally lubricates your cartilage. Things like omega 3s do help with flexibility, but they don’t lubricate your joints; the human body doesn’t work that way!
What about synovial fluid?
Synovial fluid is the fluid which surrounds your joints. You can think of your joints being submerged in synovial fluid; it fills the cavities of all your synovial joints.
The primary purpose of synovial fluid is to reduce friction between your bones at the joints. This fluid also acts as a kind of shock absorption tool for your joints and bones; its viscous, liquid nature means it is excellent for absorbing impacts, which protects your joints. However, the reduction of friction is its primary purpose.
As such, synovial fluid can be said to be the joint’s primary “lubricant”.
Increasing your synovial fluid would be the best way to “lubricate” the joints, although this is rarely what people have in mind when they ask about lubricating the joints.
Learn more: How to increase synovial fluid.