Joint pain in Athletes from excessive training
Joint pain from training and fighting
It is inevitable that with the high level of training and competition, involving punching, kicking and grappling that the joints are undergoing tremendous unnatural pressure. This can lead to pain and inflammation particularly in elbows, knees and shoulders.
The usual reaction is to either work through it, which increases the inflammation, or use pharmaceutical anti inflammatory and pain relief such as Ibuprofen. All these pharmaceuticals are non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS). Why these may give short term relief allowing the athlete to continue, there is a down side for the MMA participant. Firstly they are acidic in nature something we want to avoid to maintain training over periods and they cause liver damage over sustained use, and our livers are under enough pressure!. But perhaps most importantly from the fighters viewpoint they lower blood platelet count, why should you care, well this increase bruising and prolongs bleeding after injury, definitely a bad idea.
What is the alternative?
What is the alternative? A month off training, I know, that's not going to happen, so lets see what help nature can provide. There are two main factors, first the inflammation (increased fluid to cushion the area), and the consequent pain. Celery seed has a brilliant track record at removing fluid from joints and is a traditional remedy for bursitis (tennis elbow, housemaids knee etc) which is effectively what we have created. The tincture, an alcohol extract, tastes horrible, but its short term use will get that inflammation away quicker than anything, and for those with a recurring problem it can be taken in capsule form in combination with other herbs designed to disperse the fluid out of the body. For pain relief a topical cream will work quickest and we recommend a cayenne muscle cream or “Sore-no-More” an American all natural propriety brand that is very effective. All this without compromising your liver or healing abilities!!
Long term herbal support for active athletes
In the long term our joint care must be paramount and osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease is likely to result the longer you have been in the sport. The physical nature of grappling, boxing, and wrestling accelerates the wear and tear on the joints, which makes it all the more important to supplement with something to promote joint health. Glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin sulfate are widely accepted as the two most beneficial supplements for promoting healthy cartilage.
Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are the molecules that serve as the precursors of cartilage. Cartilage lines all the joints in the human body and serves to protect and cushion the joints from normal wear and impact. Glucosamine occurs naturally in healthy cartilage, and it works by maintaining the integrity of the cartilage matrix, which is necessary for optimal joint function. It also supports the synthesis of proteoglycans, which are the building blocks of cartilage and other connective tissues. Glucosamine is also believed to support the production of hyaluronic acid, which is a major part of the synovial fluids that lubricate and provide mobility to joints.
Chondroitin sulfate is another glycosaminoglycan that is often taken in combination with glucosamine, and it is considered to be the partner agent of glucosamine for joint health. Most of the available evidence from controlled studies shows that glucosamine sulfate is effective in the treatment of degenerative joint disease.
We use our joints all day every day and the sportsman uses them more than most so look after them!
Richard Linton, Nutrition and herbal advisor to CTC Cage suppot