We put a lot of stress on our knees. They only really get a break when we’re lying down. Otherwise, while sitting, standing, or doing exercise, knee pain can flare up seemingly out of nowhere. But is knee pain something we have to just put up with? Can collagen cure knee pain, for example?
Today, we will look into if collagen peptides for knee pain are worth trying, and if there are other simple measures we can take to take care of our knees.
Can collagen cure knee pain? Well, let’s take a look at the science. First, we need to understand where knee pain stems from, what collagen for knee pain aims to achieve, and if that will have the desired outcome. Then we’ll have a decent shot at answering if collagen can cure knee pain.
What causes knee pain?
Before we answer if collagen can cure knee pain, we need to have a clearer understanding of what knee pain stems from.
There are actually a wide variety of reasons why your knee could be causing pain. Some people are looking for knee joint pain relief after exercise, while others are most interested in knee pain arthritis relief.
The knee joint works like a hinge, allowing a specific range of movement to stretch and bend the leg so we can sit, squat, walk, jump, or run.
The bones in your knees would grate on each other if they came into direct contact. That’s why between the tibia and femur bone we find two crescent-shaped pads of cartilage.
This cartilage is strong enough to act as a shock-absorber because it’s rich in collagen, which is why collagen for joints is an important consideration. The cartilage pads disperse the weight of the body across the joint rather than having it focused all in one place.
Your knee joints also have an inner membrane called the synovium. That secretes a fluid to lubricate the joint. Just like a machine, if the moving parts aren’t well lubricated, they rub on each other causing discomfort. That may be one reason for knee pain.
But there isn’t just one cause of knee pain. There are, by our count, more than half a dozen possible reasons why your knee may be aggravated. Here are some common knee issues:
Falls often involve direct contact between our knees and the ground, and frequently if we do fall on our knees, the weight of nearly the entire rest of our body is behind that fall.
One example injury that can be caused by impact on the kneecap is kneecap subluxation, where the patella sustains a knock that leaves it out of place, pulling on and aggravating the ligaments that are connected to it.
Impact can weaken our knees and take time to heal from, but it’s not just direct injuries that can cause knee pain.
Having a joint that allows us to bend and stretch our legs is actually a reasonably complex piece of bio machinery, and it gets more complex when we consider the different activities we perform with them.
Consider patella tendonitis (tendinopathy) for example, sometimes referred to as “jumper’s knee”. A vertical movement action, and subsequent landing, may overstress the patella tendon.
Your knees can also become injured by sudden changes of direction or speed. Athletes know all about the dangers of ACL or MCL tears, but they can affect anyone in the right situation! If you take the wrong step off of a curb, you could find yourself with a torn ligament.
There are over 100 different types of arthritis, and many of them can affect your knees. Some of the more common ones include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and septic arthritis.
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. It occurs when the cartilage in your knees wears down over time, resulting in painful bone-on-bone contact.
Rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, is caused by an autoimmune disease, and septic arthritis is brought on by infection, which can quickly create damage to your knee cartilage.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of different physiological problems that can affect your knees. If you suspect you have a knee injury, or some form of arthritis, it’s important to get a proper diagnosis from a medical professional so you can start a treatment plan.
But can knee pain supplements like collagen help? Can collagen cure knee pain in some issues, but not others? Can collagen cure knee pain at all?
Let’s take a look at how collagen may help heal your knees.
Collagen and its applications
The reason why collagen is favored as a remedy for knee pain involves understanding the power of that protein in our knees' natural biological makeup.
When it comes to protein players in the body, collagen is the clear MVP.
Why? Because of its versatility. Collagen is found in so many places in the body. Its powerful tensile strength is exactly what the body looks for to protect itself while still allowing for movement.
Get the microscope out and you would find collagen protein in obvious places such as skin cells, but it’s much more prevalent than that. Collagen is found in blood vessel-lining, our corneas, and even our bones.
Where collagen really stands out when it comes to our knees are our tendons, ligaments, and cartilage. We’ve learned how knee pain occurs when tendons or ligaments take too much strain, or when cartilage has been worn down.
The body knows this, and when naturally healing itself, it replaces damaged protein tissue with new collagen. This collagen is woven into the tissue matrix to restore strength to that part of the body.
So the thinking behind those who ask if collagen can cure knee pain is clear. The body is using collagen protein to heal itself – we just need to provide it with collagen and it’ll do the work for us! Right?
Can collagen cure knee pain? Let’s discover whether collagen is the answer to your woes, a great assistant to your healing regimen, or a trend you don’t need to partake in.
Can collagen cure knee pain?
Now it’s time to answer the question we are here for: Can collagen cure knee pain?
It’s certainly true that supplying your body with the nutrition that it needs can help it to heal itself. But would the scientific community consider this a “cure”? What would happen if we asked a doctor, “Can collagen cure knee pain?”
A one word answer would have to be: No. Collagen is not medicine. So a “cure” isn’t the correct terminology.
However, we’re willing to bet that if you asked a doctor, “Can collagen cure knee pain?” they would ask you to rephrase your question to something like, “Can collagen support my knees’ healing process?” Or “Can collagen help with pain management in my knees?”
Now the answer changes.
And that’s much more useful for us; especially if you’re suffering from knee pain right now and are looking for some clear answers. Collagen for knee pain is worth paying attention to.
How collagen helps the knees
Problems with tendons, ligaments, and cartilage are usually the causes of knee pain. Collagen for knees is important because it’s one of the main ingredients in each of those parts of the knee.
The body is constantly replenishing protein that is damaged in an ongoing process. You could say that when the physical demands of the day are greater than the collagen stocks in these body parts, that’s when pain flares up.
If you take a regular collagen supplement, your body will have ample resources to rebuild and strengthen your ligaments and cartilage, not only to ease the pain, but in some cases, to help your body eradicate the issue.
In a 2008 study, researchers found that athletes with activity-related knee pain experienced significant improvements in joint pain, inflammation, and mobility when they took a daily collagen supplement.
So can collagen cure knee pain? Not exactly, but it can absolutely help you manage it, and even make pain a thing of the past when combined with the right treatment plan. So, if you have an injury to your knee, it’s a good idea to take collagen for ligaments to help you heal more quickly.
But can collagen assist with arthritis pain too? Let’s take a look.
Can collagen help with arthritis?
Research suggests that while collagen can’t cure knee pain on its own, it can certainly help in the case of arthritis. A 2019 review from International Orthopedics found that taking collagen every day for 24 weeks led to significant improvements in both joint pain and stiffness in people with osteoarthritis.
A 2009 study published in Arthritis Research & Therapy found that taking collagen supplements could even help ease pain, stiffness, and swelling in people with rheumatoid arthritis.
And there are plenty of other studies with similar findings. Taking daily collagen for knee pain can be truly beneficial for people suffering from arthritis of any kind.
It’s worth being mindful that while collagen can improve joint health and reduce (or even eliminate) pain for people with arthritis, collagen cannot cure knee pain or arthritis altogether. It’s important to follow your doctor’s recommendations closely and use collagen supplementation in addition to other treatments.
Additional methods to protect your knees
As well as collagen supplements, there are other tips you can try to prevent or reduce knee pain. Here are some of our favorite tips to add to your list of home remedies for knee pain:
Try the RICE method
RICE stands for rest, ice, compress, and elevate. These steps have been shown to help reduce pain and swelling. If you have a knee injury or joint pain from arthritis, icing and elevating your knee can go a long way to improving your symptoms.
Warm up and cool down
If you are going to do any physical activity, ease your body in and out of it. Take the time to stretch and prepare your ligaments and muscles for any potential dresses.
Some knee pain can be managed with over-the-counter NSAIDs like ibuprofen or tylenol. Sometimes, however, you need a little extra assistance with pain management.
Your doctor should be able to prescribe the right medication for your case, and give you clear instructions on how much to take and how long to take it for.
Diagnose the cause of knee pain
Of course, in order to receive the proper care and medication, you need to visit a doctor in the first place! While at-home care is great, it’s also important to have a qualified professional on your team.
You can ask your doctor about collagen for knee pain, and if there are any other steps you should be taking on your road to recovery.
Take collagen peptides for knee pain
There are many kinds of collagen supplements out there, and not all of them are equal. Collagen can’t cure knee pain at all if it’s a poor quality supplement!
When looking for collagen for knee pain, you want to find collagen peptides – also known as hydrolyzed collagen. These collagen molecules have been broken down into smaller pieces to make them easier for your body to absorb and utilize for healing.
While collagen can’t cure knee pain in its own right, a high-quality, hydrolyzed collagen supplement can help you fight off knee pain and joint stiffness, and assist your body in swiftly building back cartilage and ligaments – so you can get back on your feet as swiftly as possible.