When looking for the best collagen supplements to help with joint pain there are a few things to consider. Firstly, what does and doesn’t collagen do? Well, while collagen is no Fountain of Youth as some folks may claim, research shows that collagen supplements can be effective in easing joint pain. Ever since I had the car crash, 5 years ago, I have suffered with my back. It hurts to even vacuum the house!
Collagen and the Effects of Aging
A structural protein for connective tissues, naturally produced collagen is found in the tendons and cartilage of humans and animals. Collagen is also a component of muscle; it provides structure to skin; and it helps to keep bones strong. As people age, their production of collagen slows down, and thus the tissues in our joints that depend on that collagen aren’t replenished at the same levels as they were when we’re young. The result: joints start to suffer from aches and pains. The remedy? The best collagen supplements out there.
What Do Studies on the Best Collagen Supplements Show?
The British Journal of Sports Medicine did a meta-analysis that looked at the effectiveness of collagen supplements with osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis that usually affects the joints in hips, knees, and hands. Osteoarthritis negatively affects joints by breaking down cartilage, which can be painful and debilitating. The findings show that the best collagen supplements are effective for “pain reduction in the medium term.”
A clinical trial at Penn State University, in which athletes were given collagen supplements, also suggests that the supplements were effective at reducing joint pain, thus improving athletic performance among the trial’s participants. With the ability to spurn new collagen growth, collagen supplements can be an effective tool for maintaining joint health, whether those joints are at rest or hard at work.
Cartilage and Collagen Working Together
Often described as the body’s “shock absorber,” cartilage is a solid yet pliable material that covers the ends of bones, reducing friction by compressing and expanding with joint movement. You don’t feel the shock that cartilage absorbs because cartilage has no nerve endings. But just like shocks, cartilage wears down, sometimes to the painful point to where two bones rub together.
Collagen is one of the main substances that make up cartilage, along with water, chondrocytes, and proteoglycans. And collagen is arguably the most important of the four substances, giving cartilage its framework and strength. Taking one of the best collagen supplements on the market can promote healthy cartilage, improving both joint flexibility and functionality as it eases pain.
Collagen and Lower Back Pain
When we think of chronic joint pain, we don’t just limit that to hands and knees — lower back pain can be just as prevalent and have an even more negative impact on everyday life. Trouble sleeping, the inability to stand for long periods of time, and even bladder-control difficulties can be attributed to lower back pain. Collagen plays a big part in having a healthy spine and thus taking one of the best collagen supplements can help to ease this pain.
Plus, collagen has benefits beyond the spine in helping with lower back issues. While collagen is perhaps best known for easing joint pain between bones, it’s also one of the main components of muscle tissue. Collagen contains high amounts of the amino acid glycine, the same protein-creating amino acid found in creatine, which is known to aid in building muscle mass and for providing strength to those muscles. Having stronger lower back muscles means less pain.
Even the best collagen supplements aren’t a magic cure that will instantly end joint pain forever. But if you’re looking for a way to ease that pain, collagen may be the answer you seek.