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How Could Turmeric Help Meniscus Tears?
A meniscus tear can lead to ambiguity and frustration with getting back to what you once knew as “regular life.” Many meniscus tears can (and often should) be treated conservatively to maximize the body’s own ability to heal₁. This all begins with taking care of your body including proper sleep, regular exercise, good nutrition, and stress management.
Knee inflammation and pain are a motivation killer.
If you practice good lifestyle habits, you’ll most likely heal with time. Sounds straightforward enough, right? In theory, it’s no problem. However, it may be hard to stay motivated if you have to keep dealing with issues surrounding pain and inflammation of the knee with a meniscus injury. Plus, you may be getting frustrated with feeling stuck taking over the counter medications you don’t want, getting injections, or even having surgery recommended. With all this conflicting information, how do you know where to focus your time and energy to get to your normal activities of daily living?
Why meniscus tears cause inflammation.
When the body detects an injury in the body, it will initiate an inflammatory response to kick start its own healing processes. This will lead to an increase in blood flow and essentially summon an army of cells whose specific purpose is to heal damaged tissues.
The increased volume in the area leads to noticeable swelling. Inflammation is necessary initially to promote healing. Unfortunately, some areas of the menisci innately have poor blood perfusion. Thus, the healing process can be a slow one when it comes to a meniscus tear.
The link between inflammation and pain.
The body’s inflammatory response ultimately leads to localized swelling, redness, and heat. This additional pressure in the leg irritates local pain nerves and makes the area very sensitive to use. When pain and swelling are present in the knee, it effectively forces you to rest your knee. After an acute injury or aggravation of a meniscus tear, this rest time is important for the recovery process.
The link between meniscus tears and chronic pain/inflammation.
The menisci are key role players in providing knee stability through proper cushioning and shock absorption with all weight bearing activity. If a meniscus does not properly heal, the damaged tissues can lead to chronic debilitating inflammation and pain.
These chronic issues correlate to imbalances in the knee itself related to strength, range of motion and the ability to properly bear weight. This put’s anyone with a meniscus tear (or other knee injury) at a significantly higher risk of developing Osteoarthritis in the future₂.
Ways to effectively and naturally treat knee inflammation and pain.
Luckily, there is a lot of supporting research for the following treatment options to address issues with knee inflammation and pain:
- Eat a balanced diet that promotes optimized body function at a cellular level
- Exercise often. Regular movement promotes muscle balance, flexibility, circulation and an overall sense of well-being.
- Work with a physical therapist₁. Receive proper education and a personalized program to maximize healing and results.
- Take a natural and effective supplement for inflammation₆. This may include high quality supplements such as Turmeric extract capsules.
How turmeric can help.
Curcuminoids, an extract derived from the turmeric root, has been found to be highly efficient in addressing inflammatory pathways in the body₃. Literature has repeatedly demonstrated its ability to decrease inflammatory markers within the body (and thus decrease pain as well)₅. It has been shown to be as effective as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, with fewer side effects related to stomach upset and organ damage₄. Turmeric extract is a powerful way to naturally address knee swelling. This can help maximize your ability to get on track with other treatment options too (as listed above).
Turmeric has great potential for helping with inflammation and pain associated with meniscus tears. If you decide to try it, it's important to understand that not all supplements are created equal, so do your research.
Maximize your recovery process.
Getting your pain and inflammation under control is the first step to recovering. Pain affects your psyche, movement patterns with daily activities and the ability to simply stay on task with a treatment program. Addressing this naturally is a great way to start.
There is a lot of bad information and confusing products related to what you should be taking though. Ultimately, make sure you choose a supplement that has 500 milligrams of turmeric extract (not just turmeric powder) from a clean source (no lead or GMO) to maximize its potency and benefits.
The bottom line.
Promoting maximal healing of the knee will ensure that you are able to live your life to the fullest. That starts with a good pain management strategy, including rest, modalities, and potentially high quality supplements. Without a proper plan for combating inflammation and pain, you risk having chronic issues with the knee related to poor leg function, decreased quality of life, and future onset of arthritis. There are so many great resources out there for getting you down the path to healing and recovery, don’t wait get started NOW.