For some people, the occasional and conveniently vague “phantom joint pain” is a good excuse for keeping the sofa warm when they are long overdue for exercise. For others, however, joint pain is a genuine impedance to exercise and general mobility.

What causes joint pain? Discomfort in the joints can be caused by a variety of factors, ranging from nutritional deficiency to inflammation and injury. Some cases of persistent joint pain can even be caused by emotional factors rather than structural or nutritional ones. In this article, we will cover the physical factors that can cause your joints to feel achy, stiff and sore.

If you are experiencing joint pain and injury has been ruled out, your discomfort is likely due to an imbalance within your body. Fortunately, such imbalances can easily be corrected naturally, without the potentially dangerous side effects of prescription or OTC pain medication. Here are ten tips on how to relieve joint pain naturally:

1. Practice Yoga - Whatever your preconceived notions are about this practice, throw them out the window. Yoga is highly therapeutic for your joints and connective tissues, whether you decide to burn incense and chant “om” or not. Even just a few poses a day can go a long way to rehabilitating a tender spot. To witness just one example of the power of yoga, see the incredibly moving video at this link of 47-year old disabled veteran Arthur, who healed himself completely by practicing yoga.

2. Get your Omega-3 - Omega-3 fats can be true miracle workers for joint pain and a variety of connective tissue issues. The best natural sources of omega-3 are chia seed and krill oil. Krill is a tiny, shrimp-like crustacean that is rich in omega-3 and natural antioxidants that preserve the delicate oil before and after consumption. Fish oil contains no such antioxidants and often goes rancid before it is even consumed. Krill is also much easier to digest than fish oil (no fishy burps!) and works quickly to reduce inflammation and pain.

3. Lay Off the Carbs - Yet another negative side effect of over-consumption of refined carbs and sweets is inflammation, which spells pain for your joints as well as a host of other health issues. Reduce your consumption of refined carbohydrates such as cakes, bread, pasta and sugar. Be sure to watch for hidden sugars like corn syrup in processed foods, even those that aren’t considered sweet, such as ketchup and salad dressing.

4. Dose Up on Antioxidants - As a general rule of thumb, anything that is an antioxidant is also anti-inflammatory. Since reducing inflammation is often key to relieving joint pain, you may find relief in flavonoids, a group of antioxidants that reduce the type of inflammation that causes joint discomfort. Flavonoids are found in blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and cherries. Eating these foods or using flavonoid supplements can bring pain relief as well as many other health benefits.

5. Say No to Nightshades - Nightshades are a family of plants that can cause health problems in people who are genetically predisposed. Certain alkaloids found in nightshades can inhibit collagen repair and/or cause inflammatory degeneration in joints. This spells pain for people who are sensitive to these chemicals. Some commonly consumed nightshades include tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, potatoes and tobacco (yet another reason to quit smoking!). If you have nagging joint pain, try eliminating nightshade vegetables from your diet and watch for a reduction in symptoms.

6. Watch Your Posture - The frame of your body is built to move and rest in certain ways. If you have habituated postures that go against the way you are built to naturally rest and move, your joints will soon suffer from being held and used in less than optimal positions. If you sit for long periods of time during the day, get up to stretch and walk around at regular intervals to prevent stiffness. Additionally, practicing yoga is an ideal way to learn body awareness and improve your posture.

7. Practice Moderation - Not exercising or moving your body at all can cause stiffness and soreness in the muscles and joints. However, being overzealous with exercise can cause the same problems. Ideally, find a middle ground by choosing forms of exercise that move the joints through their natural range of motion without damaging them. Rebounding, swimming, cycling, walking and yoga are all healthy choices.

8. Stay Hydrated - Water is the main ingredient in the fluid that surrounds your joints and allows them to move freely without pain or stiffness. Not surprisingly, a common and much overlooked cause of joint pain is chronic dehydration. Most people drink too little water and use diuretics like tea, coffee, caffeinated soda or prescription pills, which only worsens the dehydration in the body. Drink enough water to keep your urine light in color to ensure your joints stay healthy.

9. Pop a Pill - Taking bromelain, a proteolytic (breaks down protein) enzyme extracted from pineapple stem, is a great way to relieve and even prevent joint pain. Bromelain is commonly sold as a natural digestive aid to help with the breakdown of protein foods. Taken on an empty stomach, this enzyme goes to work breaking down inflammatory proteins in the bloodstream. This reduces inflammation and helps speed healing of tissues, thus relieving joint pain.

10. Alkalize - The foods we eat can either help to alkalize our body or cause it to become more acidic in its chemistry. Since the pH (acid/alkaline balance) of the blood should be slightly alkaline, disease can result when too many acid wastes build up in the body. Acid waste in joints can cause pain and inflammation, such as gout, which is caused by a build-up of uric acid in the joint.

Drinking more water and eating a mostly alkalizing diet are the best ways to keep your body pH balanced. Foods that tend to be acidifying are sweets, flour products, coffee, red meat and alcohol, while foods that are alkalizing are fruits and most vegetables. Though each body is unique, a reasonable rule is that 70-80% of your diet should be comprised of alkalizing foods, and the rest can be acidifying.

If you are experiencing joint pain, fight the urge to reach for a quick fix with prescription or OTC drugs. Try using the ten tips above to relieve joint pain naturally. Not only will your joints feel better, but you will enjoy an increase in your overall health as well.

Author's Bio: 

Carisa Holmes is a holistic health advocate, Reiki practitioner and author based in Columbus, Ohio. Carisa has worked in the holistic health and natural beauty fields for nearly 10 years.

Through overcoming a plethora of personal health issues and working with clients, Carisa has developed a clear understanding of the functions of the physical body as well as the more subtle layers of the human energy field.

In her practice, Carisa helps empower people to move toward higher levels of wellness. Using tools such as whole food, natural skin care and powerful yet gentle Reiki, Carisa helps clients lose weight without starving themselves, heal sickness and injury, increase energy levels and feel more calm, happy and alive.

Carisa is very grateful for the many things she has learned and is eager to share them with others.

To contact Carisa about how you can heal yourself naturally, visit or email directly at