Painful joints complicate even the simplest activities. Walking up a flight of stairs, bending or even rising from a seated position is much more difficult when your joints become stiff and painful. Collagen supplements promise to ease your pain naturally, but do they work?
What is Collagen?
Collagen is a natural protein produced by your body. It's essential for:
● Healthy Skin: Collagen keeps your skin taut and supple. As collagen production decreases as you grow older, sagging and wrinkles occur, and the skin becomes dryer and thinner.
● Joint Function: High amounts of collagen are found in the cartilage at the ends of bones. Cartilage is the flexible tissue that absorbs shock and helps the bones in a joint glide together easily. Joint pain often occurs when cartilage decreases due to wear and tear or injuries.
● Muscle and Tendon Health: Reduced collagen production due to aging can also affect muscle strength and mass and loosen the tendons that connect muscles to bones in your joints. Your muscles help support your joints and are essential for normal joint function. Muscle weakness can be a contributing factor in joint pain.
● Strong Bones and Teeth: Collagen is also found in bones and is responsible for keeping your bones strong. As collagen production declines, you may be more likely to break your bones, even if you only experience a minor fall. Declining collagen production can also cause your teeth to become brittle and break easily.
What Are Collagen Supplements?
Collagen supplements are intended to replenish your body's natural supply of the protein. Available in pill, powder, gummy or liquid form, the supplements are readily available in grocery stores, pharmacies, and from online stores. Type I and III collagen supplements are recommended if you want to improve the condition of your skin, while Type II collagen supplements are used for joint pain.
Can Collagen Supplements Ease Joint Pain?
Supplements can be helpful but not everyone notices a difference in joint pain after taking them. If your joint pain is due to osteoarthritis, the supplements are worth trying. They may help tighten the muscles and tendons that hold your joints together, improve muscle mass and rebuild cartilage.
In an article review published in the Journal of Arthritis, researchers evaluated clinical evidence and studies that explored the effectiveness of collagen supplements. They noted that collagen may be helpful in treating osteoarthritis joint pain, although more research is needed.
Other studies considered the effectiveness of bioactive collagen peptides (BCP) in treating joint pain in both athletes and non-athletes. After taking BCP daily for knee pain, athletes reported a 37.5 percent decrease in pain.
The non-athletes experienced similar results after taking the peptides for 12 weeks for hip and knee pain. Activity-related pain improved by 38 percent, while at rest pain improved by 39 percent.
Bone strength may also be improved by collagen supplements. Taking collagen regularly can help you avoid painful fractures by increasing the density and strength of your bones.
Collagen supplementation, coupled with chiropractic treatment, offers a natural way to treat joint pain. Your chiropractor can correct misalignments and muscle imbalances that cause or worsen joint pain. Treatments also reduce stress on your joints, promote healing, ease stiffness, and improve range of motion.
Are your joints stiff and achy? Chiropractic care can help you reduce your painful symptoms. Contact our office to schedule an appointment.
Arthritis Foundation: Are Collagen Supplements Helpful for Arthritis?, 4/4/19
Penn Medicine: 4 Head-To-Toe Ways That Collagen Can Improve Your Health, 11/4/18
Journal of Arthritis: Efficacy of Oral Collagen in Joint Pain - Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis, 2/28/17
Osteoarthritis and Cartilage: Efficacy of Specific Bioactive Collagen Peptides in the Treatment of Joint Pain, 4/26