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Many of us have inflammatory issues or creaky, painful joints. Some of us have both. When it comes to natural supplements, many times those issues are addressed in separate formulas, and depending on what you are after, it is important to know the difference.

When you see a formula with ingredients like glucosamine, chondroitin, collagen or plant-based collagen builders and MSM, odds are that formula falls into the joint health category. Joint health supplements are formulated to support healthy cartilage and joint lubrication. This type of supplement may benefit those with creaky, stiff joints and range of motion issues. The benefits of these supplements are sometimes slower to notice, so be patient with these products and give them a few months before you decide if they are helping.

Inflammatory support supplements are likely to contain ingredients like curcumin, boswellia, tart cherry and white willow bark. These supplements are used to support the body’s natural inflammation response and may be helpful with long-term inflammation and repetitive motion or overuse issues. Usually, this can feel tight, constricted and sometimes even hot. Though many feel this in their joints and muscles, increased inflammatory response can be associated with many issues in the body including stomach and gut problems, lung health, skin problems and even eye health.

While it is sometimes the case that these issues can be one or the other, it is often that both your joint health and inflammatory response can use some support. So, if you aren’t sure which way to go, you may want to give both options a try for a few months. Of course, skip the big box stores and focus on a health food store or supplement shop for a higher quality product.

Knowing the difference between joint health supplements and inflammatory support supplements can be a game-changer when you are in the aisles, and if you find the right product for your needs, then relief could be right around the corner.

Travis Lemon is a certified herbalist and co-owner of Tulsi at The Market in Huntington. He has worked in the natural health and wellness industry for over 14 years. He can be contacted at

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