All genders are equipped with the same composition of 360 joints, yet women still fare worse than men when it comes to joint pain. This is rarely spoken about in the world of health and supplements, yet women need to take extra care to protect their joints.
There are many reasons for this disparity, such as fluctuating levels of an important anti-inflammatory hormone - estrogen, the lack of a hormone that protects men's joints - testosterone, and the presence of a somewhat mysterious hormone called relaxin, which weakens women's joints.
Beyond that, women also have biochemical challenges to contend with, such as skeletal differences and the fact women's bodies are more likely to hold onto fat.
Joint pain is no minor issue. It can lead to chronic pain and lack of mobility that seriously hinders how people are able to enjoy their life. That being considered, it seems wholly unfair that women are at such a disadvantage.
If you have experienced joint pain, or you are just looking for ways to stay healthy into old age, then adding an effective joint support supplement into your routine could be the most beneficial supplement you could take.
In this article, we're going to look at the best joint health supplements that can relieve joint pain and inflammation, improve joint function and ease chronic joint pain and joint discomfort. We will also break down what separates women from men and why it is even more vital that as a women, you protect your joints.
#1 Rated Joint Supplement: Physio Flex Pro
We want to delve deep into the science of joint pain, but first here is our top choice supplement: Physio Flex Pro.
No other supplement offers the same level of ingredient quality and value for money that Physio Flex Pro can give you. It includes all the best natural ingredients for joint pain at effective dosages.
Physio Flex Pro promises to rebuild cartilage, reduce joint pain, increase flexibility and protect your joints as you get older so that your mobility and quality of life remain high.
Unlike other joint supplements on the market, physiotherapists and orthopedic surgeons have formulated Physio Flex Pro to provide comprehensive joint support.
Check out the formula:
Physio Flex Pro is our top-rated protection because it includes all of the best and most well-researched ingredients to improve joint health. It covers all bases in one easy-to-take supplement. The benefits include:
- Ease joint pain
- Increased bone strength
- Increased flexibility
- Faster recovery from injury
- Improved mobility
- Protect joint cartilage
- Decrease joint inflammation
- Better joint health over the long-term
Physio Flex Pro delivers all of this using 100% natural and plant-based ingredients for less than $2 a day. This is excellent value for money for what we believe to be the best joint supplement on the market right now.
Who Should Use Joint Supplements?
Joint supplements are not just for the elderly, people suffering from severe pain, or conditions such as Osteoarthritis, or rheumatoid arthritis, although those people can certainly benefit from taking a high-quality joint supplement.
Joint supplements can preemptively protect your joints, especially if you participate in any activities that cause repetitive strain or impact. They can also improve flexibility and mobility.
We live longer than ever before, which puts a lot of strain on our joints. Prevention is better than cure. Therefore, we believe that anyone can benefit from taking a high-quality joint supplement. However, the types of people who could benefit most are:
- People with joint pain.
- Manual laborers.
- Anyone with a genetic predisposition for arthritis.
- Yoga practitioners.
- People recovering from injury.
- Office workers, who spend all day sat down.
- Menopausal women.
- People who are active, especially sports that put a lot of strain on the joints, such as weightlifting, running, basketball, squash, and MMA fighters.
Most of the population would benefit from an excellent joint supplement. Whether you spend your days in a stationary job or you work your joints hard, a supplement can protect your connective tissues and prevent wear-and-tear that can otherwise lead to pain and lack of mobility.
Do Women Experience More Joint Pain?
According to the Arthritis Foundation, women suffer more joint pain than men. Statistically, for people over the age of 65, around 50% of men may have arthritis, and 66.666% of women.
This is a pretty shocking statistic on both sides, which just highlights the importance of caring for your joints.
But why are women at higher risk of joint pain? Well, there are several theories, and it is likely down to a combination of factors, such as:
Women have Less Testosterone
Men have much higher levels of testosterone than women. Testosterone has many effects, including building a strong musculoskeletal system.
So men's joints are more likely to be surrounded by protective muscle, which reduces the likelihood of joint problems.
Changing Estrogen Levels
The amount of estrogen a woman has changed over time. It reduces every month when a woman has her period, and then it plummets when she goes through menopause.
This is bad news for joints because estrogen is an inflammation fighter, and inflammation is a key component of arthritis.
In one study, more than 1,000 postmenopausal women had either hormone replacement therapy or a placebo. Those who took estrogen experienced significantly less Osteoarthritis in both their hands and their knees.
The Presence of Relaxin
Relaxin is a hormone that is released in small quantities when a woman ovulates, and when she is pregnant, it is released in much larger quantities.
Relaxin prepares a women's body for pregnancy, and one of its roles is to loosen tendons and ligaments that keep joints tightly together. This allows the expansion of joints in the pelvic area when a woman gives birth.
However, relaxin also destabilizes joints throughout a women's body, and joint laxity can cause bones to move from their natural boundaries, leading to cartilage damage and, eventually, Osteoarthritis.
There are structural differences between men and women. For example, women's hips are wider to facilitate child-bearing. This means that women often have a slight inward bend at the knee. This is a slight difference, but it can have a big impact on the knee joint. As a result, women's knee ligaments are at a higher risk of problems.
In fact, women are more likely to develop a condition called patellofemoral misalignment. This is where the kneecap doesn't quite fit right with the thigh bone, leading to friction.
Women's knees also contain less cartilage than men's, even when the bone size and body mass are considered.
Women Hold Onto Fat
Women carry more excess weight than men. The normal fat percentage in women is around 18-20%, but just 10-15% in men. Women's bodies hold onto fat in anticipation of pregnancy so that they can nourish a fetus from their own reserves.
As a result, women are more likely to be obese, which is considered the biggest risk factor for Osteoarthritis. This is because every additional pound of bodyweight above the knee is placed an extra four pounds of stress on the knee.
Arthritis, especially rheumatoid arthritis, can be genetic and affects both men and women.
However, researchers have found specific genetic links between women and their descendants for knee and hand osteoarthritis. Therefore, women are more likely to inherit joint problems from their female ancestors.
All of this may seem rather strange. After all, why would evolution give women such a weakness? The answer is simply that throughout human history, men needed to have bodies that were more capable of heavy-duty performance so they could hunt for food and protect their families. In contrast, women needed bodies adept at child-bearing.
Unfortunately, our bodies evolve slower than our social evolution. But luckily, we have the tools at our disposal to protect our joint function.
What are the Causes of Joint Pain?
Joint pain can be caused by a host of different conditions and the general wear and tear that comes with age.
The most common cause is arthritis, which comes in a multitude of different varieties. However, the two most common forms are Osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Osteoarthritis is the most prevalent form of arthritis. It affects millions of people worldwide. It is usually a result of wear and tear over time and occurs when the protective cartilage that cushions the bones wears down. Osteoarthritis can affect any joint but most commonly damages knees, hands, hips, and spine.
Osteoarthritis affects more women than men. The gender disparity becomes statistically noticeable around age 40, as the risk is significantly greater for women after menopause. By the time a woman is 65, she is twice as likely to experience Osteoarthritis than a man.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks the body. Again, women are at a disadvantage; 75% of Rheumatoid Arthritis sufferers are women.
How to Prevent Joint Problems
While there are many things beyond your control, such as growing older and being female, there are steps you can take to protect your joints. When you protect your joints, you also protect your mobility, which is essential to your overall health and wellness.
- Maintain a healthy weight - Weight puts extra strain on your hips and knees.
- Exercise regularly - Exercise strengthens the muscles that protect your joints. Low impact activities such as walking and swimming are best.
- Stretch regularly - Stretching improves range of motion and lowers your risk of injury.
- Control your blood sugar - High blood sugar hardens cartilage that supports your joints.
- Quit smoking - Smokers have higher levels of cytokines in their bodies, which are inflammatory and bad news for joints.
- Eat fish - Omega-3s reduce inflammation.
- Speak to your doctor - If you are experiencing joint pain, speak to your doctor. They may be able to help you prevent arthritis pain or slow its onset.
- Take a high-quality joint supplement - A high-quality joint supplement such as Physio Flex Pro will help keep your joints healthy.
How Do Joint Supplements Work?
Different joint supplements work in different ways. Many individual ingredients are beneficial for joints and work in unique ways. However, the most effective way to support joint health and flexibility stack, such as Physio Flex Pro, is so that you can experience many benefits at once.
The most effective joint supplements work in some reliable ways, such as:
- Stimulating repair and regeneration of connective tissues
- Reducing inflammation
- Restoring shock-absorbing fluids between joints
- Inhibiting enzymes that destroy connective tissues
- Suppressing osteoclasts (bone destroying cells) and promoting osteoblasts (bone-building cells)
Best Natural Supplements to Relieve Joint Pain and Increase Flexibility, and Mobility
Every joint supplement on the market today claims to be the very best. That is why it is important to look at the ingredients and evaluate their efficacy based on the available clinical evidence.
To help you, we've picked out the most effective ingredients with the most robust scientific backing. These are some of the best joint supplements you can buy, and they're the ingredients we look to see in every stack.
Curcumin is the most active compound found in Tumeric and is the reason for the majority of Tumeric's benefits.
Curcumin is a powerful anti-inflammatory which makes it great for reducing inflammation-related joint pain and even shows promise at treating arthritis pain.
But the most impressive thing about Curcumin is that it inhibits Cyclooxygenase (COX-2), an enzyme that produces prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are pro-inflammatory messengers that are linked with chronic joint pain. By inhibiting them, Curcumin can relieve joint pain and stiffness. This functions in a similar way to many arthritis medications.
Curcumin is also a powerful antioxidant, which means it can protect your joints from oxidative stress.
But the benefits of Curcumin don't end there. It even has the ability to reduce advanced glycation end products. These are proteins that become glycated. Studies show that these proteins are a factor in many age-related diseases, including arthritis and Alzheimers.
Garlic has potent anti-inflammatory properties. Studies show that garlic modulates the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. These cytokines can lead to joint pain, chronic inflammation, and damage to connective tissues. By suppressing the production of cytokines, garlic reduces inflammation and protects joints from damage.
Eating sufficient garlic to benefit from these effects may prove difficult, which is why a garlic supplement could prove beneficial.
Ginger has been used to treat anxiety, nausea, high blood pressure, and joint pain for thousands of years! It is incredibly rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds.
In one 2016 study, ginger was given to people following knee surgery who responded poorly traditional anti-inflammatory drugs. It was shown to have effective pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties.
Similar to Curcumin, compounds in ginger also function as COX-2 inhibitors. In fact, a review of five studies found that people who had Osteoarthritis and took ginger had a 22% reduction in disability and a 30% reduction in pain compared with control groups.
Considering the powerful benefits and lack of side effects of ginger, we would expect it to be in any high-quality joint supplement.
Chondroitin Sulfate is a vital part of cartilage that acts as scaffolding. It attracts and binds to water molecules and hydrates your cartilage, enabling it to absorb shocks and impacts.
Chondroitin also promotes chondrocyte cells which are responsible for regenerating and repairing your cartilage.
Chondroitin can also be taken as a dietary supplement. In a review of 43 randomized controlled trials including 4,962 participants treated with Chondroitin and 4,148 placebo participants, Chondroitin was found to significantly reduce joint pain in a clinically meaningful way.
Glucosamine Sulfate Supplements
Glucosamine is a structural component of tissues and integral to joint health and functioning. It is a primary component of synovial fluid, which surrounds, cushions, and protects your joints. When Glucosamine is more available, it promotes the production of this fluid which improves the ability of your joints to absorb impact.
Glucosamine is also an important component of the portions that form connective tissues like tendons, cartilage, and ligaments. It even supports chondrocyte cells, which repair and regenerate your cartilage from the inside out.
In one study, Glucosamine supplementation over a 3-month period significantly decreased cartilage breakdown in soccer players and professional rugby players.
In most studies involving Glucosamine, it is taken in combination with Chondroitin. The combination lowered C-reactive protein (CRP) — a biomarker of systematic inflammation — by 23% in one such study. Glucosamine and Chondroitin have also been shown to inhibit the activation of inflammatory pathways in synovial cells.
Chondroitin and glucosamine work on a cellular level to promote healing and joint health, they work in synergy, and any good joint health stack should include them both.
Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is a building block of connective tissues. In fact, it is a primary structural component of both Glucosamine and Chondroitin, as well as collagen and cartilage.
Studies show that MSM supplementation protects joint health, improves joint mobility, and relieves pain. Its primary benefit is that it slows down the erosion of cartilage that comes from repetitive strain.
MSM supplementation can also promote cartilage and collagen regeneration, preventing the tissue degradation that inevitably comes with age.
In a study of 100 people over the age of 50, MSM supplementation decreased pain, stiffness, and swelling of joints. In addition, it improved the overall quality of life for the control group, who experienced less difficulty walking and getting out of bed.
Boswellia serrata is a type of tree found in the desert. It produces a gum resin which is the only source of boswellic acids.
AKBA (3-O-acetyl-11 keto-ß-boswellic acid) is one of these boswellic acids and is particularly effective at promoting joint health. AKBA inhibits 5-LOX, an enzyme that erodes cartilage. 5-LOX works slowly, but elevated levels over many years wrecks havoc on your cartilage and leaves your joints unprotected, immobile, and in chronic pain.
Other boswellic acids also inhibit matrix metalloproteinase (MMP), another enzyme that breaks down connective tissues. Inhibiting these enzymes protects your connective tissue and keeps your joints strong.
A systematic review and meta-analysis concluded that Boswellia Serrata could reduce pain and stiffness and improve joint function.
Selenium is a vital mineral with many functions in the body. It is involved in hormone production, immune system function, fighting free radicals, and even DNA production.
Selenium is also a significant anti-inflammatory and has immediate and long-lasting benefits to joint health. Its antioxidant activity also protects connective tissues such as tendons, bones, and cartilage from free radical damage.
In fact, low selenium levels have been associated with a higher risk of Osteoarthritis.
Fish Oil Supplements
Omega-3s are essential to human health and powerful anti-inflammatories. In particular, EPA, DHA, and ALA are the ones to look out for and can be found in high-quality fish oil supplements.
EPA and ALA are particularly beneficial to joint health as they work to lubricate the joints, keeping them flexible and mobile while simultaneously easing inflammation and joint pain.
While you can and should consume plenty of Omega-3s in the food you eat, such as fish, nuts, plant oils, and fortified foods, supplementation ensures that you receive optimum amounts.
You won't find Bromelain in traditional joint supplements, but recent research suggests that it has benefits to joint health, and some supplement brands are beginning to include it in their formulas.
Bromelain is an enzyme found in pineapples, and it is a potent anti-inflammatory.
In one study, Bromelain was found to be as effective as the pain killer diclofenac after mandibular third molar surgery. This is pretty amazing when you consider that Bromelain is natural and non-liver toxic.
Are Joint Supplements Safe?
All of the ingredients on this list are considered safe and have little risk of side effects. As a result, they are generally a great alternative to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which can cause problems for some people.
However, you should judge safety on a case-by-case basis as every supplement is different, and they can vary in terms of efficacy, purity, and safety.
We generally advise people to avoid any supplements that are unclear about what ingredients they include. We also suggest that everyone does their own research. If you are suffering from joint pain, you should speak to a doctor, as natural joint supplements may be insufficient for serious conditions such as arthritis. However, they may be effective when taken alongside prescription medication.
As with any new supplement, you should seek advice from a doctor, especially if you are on any prescribed medication.
Best Joint Supplements For Osteoarthritis
The best joint supplements for Osteoarthritis are Chondroitin, Glucosamine, and Omega-3 fatty acids. Glucosamine and Chondroitin promote healthy cartilage repair and generation, while Omega-3 helps with inflammation.
Best Supplements For Cracking Joints
Joint cracking isn't always a bad thing, it is usually just a result of air bubbles in the synovial joints. Synovial fluid surrounds and lubricates joints and is full of gasses, including carbon dioxide, oxygen, and nitrogen. When you stretch these joints, it creates pressure, which leads to the gasses in the fluid rapidly escaping. These escaping gasses generate a bubble, which quickly pops, causing a cracking sound.
However, other times, cracking joints can be caused by the connective tissues or bones actually rubbing against one another. This will cause more of a scraping sound. If you experience any pain when joints crack or scrape against each other, then you should seek advice from a doctor.
The best ingredients for cracking joints are Chondroitin and Glucosamine. Glucosamine and Chondroitin promote synovial fluid production and healthy cartilage.
Best Joint Supplements For Knee Cartilage
Knees are probably the joint that people are most concerned about, knee pain can be debilitating, and we put a lot of strain on our knees with daily activity.
Knee cartilage takes a lot of beating especially if you practice running or weightlifting. That is why the best joint health supplements should focus on cartilage protection and repair.
Knee injuries are also some of the most painful, as we need them for almost everything we do. Unfortunately, finding relief from knee pain can be very difficult. However, the best supplements for knee cartilage are Glucosamine, Chondroitin, and MSM. While Chondroitin protects your cartilage by blocking enzymes that break down cartilage, both Glucosamine and MSM provide the body with the basic building blocks it needs to make new connective tissues.
Of curse anti-inflammatories like Omega-3s and Tumeric are also effective at treating knee pain.
Conclusion: Our Top Rated Joint Supplement
To optimize your joint health and flexibility, the most effective method is to combine several of the ingredients mentioned above and use them consistently over many months.
You cannot fix joint pain overnight. It takes time to repair and regenerate connective tissues. Therefore, you should take a supplement on a regular basis. If a joint supplement claims to be a quick fix, it is most likely a scam. The top joint supplements will make it clear that regular and prolonged use is required to experience the benefits.
So what are the best joint supplements on the market right now?
Best joint supplement of 2022: Physio Flex Pro
After reviewing the best ingredients for joint health and assessing dozens of stacks, we easily concluded that Physio Flex Pro is our top choice. It includes many of the ingredients listed above, including Selenium, Glucosamine, Chondroitin, Selenium, MSM, Ginger, and Tumeric. You can check out the complete list here.
The benefits of Physio Flex Pro include:
- Better shock absorption
- Joint pain relief
- Repair of connective tissues
- Increased bone strength
- Improved flexibility and mobility
- Long-term joint protection
The thing that sets Physio Flex Pro apart is that leading joint specialists, physios and coaches are using it and recommending it to their patients. Athletes in particular can reduce injury risk and pain and strengthen joint tissues.
Physio Flex Pro has an incredibly safe side effect profile and uses the highest quality ingredients.
Related articles: Best Joint Supplements
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The best vitamin for women's joints is vitamin D, and that is because vitamin D improves the absorption of calcium which is great for your bones. So if you don't get much sun, it is a good idea to supplement with vitamin D.
Vitamins are not the best supplements for cartilage. Instead, ingredients such as Glucosamine, omega-3, and Chondroitin effectively support cartilage health.
Many joint supplements have substantial clinical research supporting their use to reduce joint pain, including arthritis pain, and increase flexibility. However, it is also important to consider lifestyle factors such as regular exercise and stretching.
The cause of your joint pain is also an important consideration. Some supplements may be more effective on some people than others. That is why it is good to take a full stack to cover all bases. Furthermore, supplements do not replace the medication for more serious conditions such as arthritis.
Relieving joint pain and increasing mobility takes time. It takes time to repair connective tissues and replenish synovial fluid. However, after taking a high-quality joint health supplement over 4-6 weeks, you should notice a difference.
Foods rich in Omega-3s such as fish are the best defense against joint problems, thanks to their powerful anti-inflammatory properties. However, nothing can repair articular cartilage damage. In minor cases, while Omega-3 rich foods can help, they won't significantly accelerate cartilage repair and regeneration on their own. The best thing you can do is take an effective joint health supplement or seek medical attention in extreme cases.
Due to hormonal and skeletomuscular differences, women are more likely to suffer from joint problems than men. That is why it is so important that women take preventive measures to protect their joint health.