Issue #161


by Juan Carlos Lopez

20 Questions with Cover Model Lorena Aristizabal

Video Interview with Amateur Bikini Lorena Aristizabal

Lorena Aristizabal, Christina Mongiori, Corey Brueckner, Assunta Catalano & Shay Lynn Stone

Training and Joint Pain
by Tina Jo Orban

Video Interview with Amateur Bikini Monica Rubio


Training and Joint Pain by Tina Jo Orban                 

Having the motivation to train may be difficult enough. But when you have joint pain it can be one more barrier to getting to your workouts. Joint pain may be caused by an acute injury and the severity is determined by the degree of damage. For example, at a joint you may have a tendon or ligaments pull, sprain, or tear (the worst). You should know, you sprain a ligament or tendon—You strain a muscle. A sprain is a stretching or tearing of ligaments and this can be one of the reasons for joint pain. There many are others. Another possible reason could be the wearing away of cartilage at the articulation (fancy word for junction point of two bones). This is where you may hear the term arthritis. There are two types: osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis. The latter is less likely to be managed by supplements only. It is managed by medicine, as it is an autoimmune disease. Osteoarthritis can be dealt with with supplementation. Another possible culprit for joint pain, could be bone spurs. These may require surgical intervention.

When we talk about joints and pain related to workouts and mobility, or ROM (range of motion) we are referring to synovial joints. There are three over arching categories of joints: fibrous, cartilaginous, and synovial. There are subcategories within each of those. Without getting into an anatomy lesson, just know it is the synovial joints we are concerned about with movement for training.  The synovial joints are found at all major joints that we think of for mobility: shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees, ankles (laymen terms). All of these major articulations can make or break your training if healthy or pathological, respectively. Just about any exercise you perform for total body bodybuilding will require healthy joints. I have written previous articles about ‘training around injury’. And yes you can, but only for a short time. Yes you can train around an injury. A joint “down” for too long or remiss training for too long and your muscles will atrophy. You need that tension on the tendons and the stress on the muscles to keep up tonicity, let alone build tissue!

First know there are a remedies for joint pain. The following list may reduce or eliminate joint pain, and get you back to your training goals. There are a several proven supplements that improve cartilage (tendons, ligaments) health: Glucosamine[1] , Methylsulfonylmethane[2] (MSM), Ginger[3] (anti-inflammatory) Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids[4] (PUFAs). Then of course there are over-the-counter anti-inflammatories. NSAID’s we call them. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories. These can help reduce inflammation, thus the name. Just know that medicines such as pain relievers can mask the pain. That means you can train just as hard with the injury still present and make IT WORSE. My advice: do not use meds to mask pain and continue to train. Use the above supplements see which works best for you and stick with it. Most supplementation studies are done with trial subjects taking the supplement for six or more weeks for results. That said, there are two more words of advice about joints: when it is severe pain, acute or chronic seek medical care. Don’t train through severe pain. Also, some joints just need warming up start light go heavy. In other words— warm up first! Part of the benefit to warming up is increasing the ever so needed synovial fluid for cushioning your joint. The synovial fluid works as a cushion and lubrication for articulations. And the best advice for last: Drink plenty of water. Your tendons, ligaments, muscles need water to function optimally. Your body needs water to manufacture synovial fluid! Here is the synopsis: Some of these supplements may help your aching joints, anti-inflammatories can get you over the hump dealing with joint pain by reducing inflammation, seek medical advice for chronic or acute severe pain. Drink plenty of water to keep your joints tendons, ligaments, cartilage and muscles healthy and synovial fluid flowing.

[1] Glucosamine, may have both analgesic and disease-modifying actions. See article: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17658908

[2] MSM see: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21708034

[3] Ginger: research shows ginger has anti-inflammatory effects. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22054010

[4] PUFA’s see research article PUFA’s in conjunction with drugs are being used to treat Rheumatoid arthritis. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17335973

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