Joint pain can be caused by a range of different conditions, from a strain to osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis, a type of arthritis, can steadily get worse and can make going about every day life extremely difficult.
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Doctors will often recommend pain relief medicines to help relieve conditions like osteoarthritis – where the protective cartilage, a rubber-like tissue that protects joints on the end of bones, breaks down.
But for people looking for a more natural remedy, collagen supplements may help ease the pain.
Collagen is the main structural protein in the extracellular matrix in various connective tissues in the body and maintains the integrity of cartilage.
As people get older, the amount of collagen in the body decreases, and the risk of developing joints disorders like osteoarthritis increases.
Some studies have shown taking collagen supplements may help improve symptoms of osteoarthritis and reduce joint pain overall.
In one study, 73 athletes who consumed 10g of collagen daily for 24 weeks experienced a significant decrease in joint pain while walking and at rest compared to a group that didn’t take it.
Another study saw adults take 2g of collagen daily for 70 days.
Those who took collagen had a significant reduction in joint pain and were better able to engage in physical activity than those who din’t take it.
Researchers believe supplemental collagen may accumulate in cartilage and stimulate a person’s tissues to make collagen.
It’s also been suggested this may lead to lower inflammation, better support of the joints and reduced pain.
People considering taking collagen supplements to treat more serious conditions like arthritis should speak to their GP first.
Studies have suggested starting with a dosage of 8-12g of collagen daily offers pain-relieving effects.
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Other natural ways to relieve joint pain
In the case of osteoarthritis, simple lifestyle changes can help.
The NHS explains: “Exercise is one of the most important treatments for people with osteoarthritis, whatever your age or level of fitness. Your physical activity should include a combination of exercises to strengthen your muscles and exercises to improve your general fitness.
“If osteoarthritis causes you pain and stiffness, you may think exercise will make your symptoms worse.
“However, regular exercise that keeps you active, builds up muscle and strengthens the joints usually helps to improve symptoms.
“Exercise is also good for losing weight, improving your posture and relieving stress, all of which will ease symptoms.”
Being overweight or obese often makes osteoarthritis worse, so losing weight is also advised.
The health body adds: “If you’re overweight or obese, try to lose weight by doing more physical activity and eating a healthier diet.
“Discuss any new exercise plan with your GP or physiotherapist before you start. They can help you plan a suitable exercise programme for you. Your GP and practice nurse can also advise about how to lose weight slowly and safely.”
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