Does Collagen Help with Joint Pain?

The Benefits of Using Collagen For Your Joints

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.

Collagen is 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.

Sources:

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

Is Tap Water Safe to Drink?

“Charleston Water System tap water meets or exceeds all drinking water standards and is safe to drink unless your immune system is severely compromised. You do not need a water filter to make your water safe to drink.”  So, it’s safe to drink for most?

You’re probably already thinking:  Why isn’t tap water safe for everybody?  What is the best type of water to drink?  Let’s first take a look at what’s potentially in tap water to make it less safe to drink.  Let’s explore that in another post.

How do you know if your tap water is contaminated?

  • Common sense:  look, smell, taste…
    • Water that’s safe to drink should ideally be clear with no odor or funny taste.
    • If your tap water tastes metallic, smells fishy, or comes out cloudy, it’s likely unsafe and full of contaminants.

Why and how does tap water become contaminated?

It can contain microorganisms like bacteria and parasites that get in the water from human or animal fecal matter.  It can contain chemicals from industrial waste or from spraying crops.  Nitrates used in crop fertilizers can enter the water with runoff from the land.

Is fluoride in tap water toxic?

Since the mid-1940s, compounds containing the mineral fluoride have been added to community water supplies throughout the U.S. to prevent tooth decay.   But is fluoride good for us in general?  Fluoride is added into the tap water we bath, drink and breath so we should consider if fluoride is healthy in general when considering the risk vs reward.

So yes, fluoride has been shown to help fight cavities and keep our gums healthy.  Since most of the commonly used tooth pastes utilize fluoride to help protect against cavities I wonder why it’s necessary to add to the water as well.

Is fluoridation of tap water just an old policy that needs to be updated?

“In June 2015, the Cochrane Collaboration—a global independent network of researchers and health care professionals known for rigorous scientific reviews of public health policies—published an analysis of 20 key studies on water fluoridation. They found that while water fluoridation is effective at reducing tooth decay among children, “no studies that aimed to determine the effectiveness of water fluoridation for preventing caries [cavities] in adults met the review’s inclusion criteria.”  To read more about the Harvard article click here.

The Cochrane report also concluded that early scientific investigations on water fluoridation (most were conducted before 1975) were deeply flawed. “We had concerns about the methods used, or the reporting of the results, in … 97 percent of the studies,” the authors noted. One problem: The early studies didn’t take into account the subsequent widespread use of fluoride-containing toothpastes and other dental fluoride supplements, which also prevent cavities. This may explain why countries that do not fluoridate their water have also seen big drops in cavity rates.”

Is fluoride bad for you?

Everything in moderation…excessive fluoride causes fluorosis- changes in tooth enamel that range from barely noticeable white spots to staining and pitting. Fluoride can also become concentrated in bone—stimulating bone cell growth, altering the tissue’s structure, and weakening the skeleton.  Cancer.org says this about fluoridation causing bone cancers.

That’s not the worse of it.  Research in laboratory animals suggests that high levels of fluoride is toxic to the brain and nerve cells.  Human epidemiological studies have identified possible links to learning, memory, and cognition deficits, though most of these studies have focused on populations with fluoride exposures higher than those typically provided by U.S. water supplies.

So what do you think?

DOCTORJASE.COM How much water should you drink?

 

What Causes your Back and Neck to Hurt After a Car Accident

Nothing good ever comes out of a car accident! Here’s the deal:

  1. Your vehicle may be damaged
  2. Your insurance rates could go up
  3. You could sustain painful, life-altering injuries.

Even minor crashes, which may not appear as big a deal, can leave a lasting damage to your body. It takes 8.7 mph to damage a vehicle, but it only takes 5 mph to damage the human body. As a doctor of chiropractic, I implement soft tissue and realignment strategies to induce movement, circulation, facet joint receptor reeducation and proper healing of muscles, ligaments, tendons and more.

Your neck (cervical spine) and back (thoracic/lumbar spine) are particularly sensitive to sudden, jerking movements, and it can result in whiplash or lower back injuries. Let’s take a closer look at the some injuries, the mechanism of injury and how long that pain may remain.

Neck Strain/Sprain and Whiplash

When you are in an accident, the force of your vehicle crashes into another object there are a few factors that affect future disability and returning back to pre-accident condition. Some of those factors include mass of the vehicles, velocity and inertia. Remember these terms from college physics? You’re not alone I disliked physics as well.

When a car collides with an object the force of the collision will impact the car and not you at initial impact. If you visualize your body as being separate and unattached to the car you can see when the car collides with a immovable object you will continue to move forward for a fraction of a second before the seat belt or airbag is deployed.  This is due to the law of inertia which states a object will remain in motion until it is acted upon by another force.

Whiplash is often a result of an incident like this, most notably a car accident. The force of the crash causes the muscles/tendons to stretch/tear, facet joint pain, alterations in spinal curvature and more.  While you may not exhibit symptoms right away the research suggests that you may not feel symptoms up to 6 months following a car accident.  So my best recommendation is that if you get into a car accident over 5 mph you get checked out by an auto accident chiropractor.  If you are located in the Charleston, SC area an were involved in a car wreck I can help.  To schedule visit westashleychiropractor.com

If you feel any of the following symptoms following a car accident you likely have whiplash.

  • Headaches- traveling from your neck or localized.
  • Tightness/Pain in the neck and/or upperback
  • Limited range of movement, including side-to-side, up and down, or looking over your shoulder
  • Tenderness in the muscles and surrounding structures

Low Back Pain

According to the ACA, 80% of Americans suffer from some form of back pain or discomfort in their life.  Lower back pain is one of the most common types of pains, so it is often not the first thing you think of after an accident.  Even if you had back pain once in a while before your accident it doesn’t mean that it’s pre-existing.  Also, pain can be of different qualities and varieties.  Some low back pain might be dull, achy, sharp, shooting, throbbing, tight, pinching etc.  So even if you had low back pain prior to an accident that lower back pain can change or get worse.  My job with car accident patients is to return them to pre-accident condition.

Like with whiplash, some people may experience pain immediately, others may not feel anything for days or even weeks after the crash.  Lower back pain can begin gradually, and many clients often complain about delayed back problems following a vehicular accident. In the majority of cases, lower back pain sustained from a car wreck is likely one of two things: disc injuries and/or facet joint injuries.  Chiropractic and pain management doctors are best probably the best doctors to see for these types of injuries.

Disc Pain is a Misnomer, but Pain may be Caused by the Disc

The vertebral discs are small, round pieces of cartilage that act as padding between each of the bones in your spine.  If damaged, it can restrict movement, including your ability to walk or stand properly.  Spinal disc issues typically develop over time, as the bones deteriorate.  Sudden trauma can also cause discogenic pain, and is often more painful and debilitating.

Lumbar Sprains/StrainsSprains occur in the body when excessive force is used, causing the muscles to overexert themselves.  The muscles act as a protective barrier to impending injury.  This type of strain on the muscles and tendons can lead to pain, discomfort, and swelling. Many clients complain about trouble sleeping or lying down, while other may feel sharp pains when walking or bending over. As you can imagine, this can greatly impact your ability to complete important tasks, or even walk across your home.

Disc Herniation

A hernia occurs when a soft tissue tears through a denser ligaments and the outer annular fibers of the vertebral disc.  Your spine is comprised of many little vertebrae, each separated by a cushion-like pad.  These pads are known as the discs, and when sudden force occurs, like that of a car accident, it can cause the disc to bulge, herniate or rupture.   For many patients, the rupture itself does not hurt, the pressure from the ruptured/bulging/herniated disc on the surrounding nerves can cause extreme discomfort.

Facet Joint Pain

The facet joints sit behind the vertebrae and are surrounded by a flexible membrane that produces a lubricating fluid that is crucial to facilitating your movements.

The facet joints are responsible for supporting your body’s weight and preventing you from moving your body in the wrong direction. For example, the facet joints allow you to move and twist your torso around but prevent you from bending fully in half. As with most of the spine, this area is filled with nerves. When you sustain an injury to the facet joints, it can be especially painful because of those nerves.

Facet joint pain often feels similar to discogenic pain, and it can be hard to diagnose without an experienced medical professional. Some symptoms include muscles spasms, which leads to further misalignment and neck/back pain.

The Importance of Doing Something About it

Where do you think your pain stems from?  Also, it’s important to note that with car wrecks the pain is usually sprain/strain and facet.

Have you recently started developing neck or lower back pain? If you have been in a car or truck accident, your pain may be related to the damages you sustained. In this case, we recommend contacting a licensed medical professional immediately. A proper diagnosis is essential, as improper treatment can cause your injury to get worse! An MRI, tomography, or x-ray can sometimes help doctors to determine the source of your pain and how best to treat it.

Even if you have mild pain it’s important to get checked by a chiropractor for musculoskeletal issues that may appear down the road.  Some more severe injuries may need surgery.  Chiropractic care, certain exercises, and even therapeutic massages will help in healing most car wreck victims.

fender-bender-large

In an at Fault State?

South Carolina is an at fault state meaning there’s a ton of personal injury (car wreck) attorneys that will represent your case if you weren’t the at fault driver.  They work to coach you on your case against the at fault’s insurance company.  This is important to get right because medical bills, loss of work, etc can pile up following a car accident.  After an accident, you may need hospital care, chiropractic care, medication, injections and more.  Additionally, the emotional distress you can sustain from an incident like this can further add on to your stressful situation.

Is it Normal to have Pain While Working Out?

Once an athlete always an athlete.  Just because you don’t compete anymore doesn’t mean you don’t tax your body and push it to it’s limits.  In my Charleston clinic, JP Chiropractic, I work with tons of athletes to improve movement patterns with chiropractic and physical therapy.  So many of my colleagues only focus on the joints, but neglect the soft tissue (muscle, tendon, ligament).  JP Chiropractic is more than a rehab facility; it is a holistic functional movement and functional human facility.

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Is it normal to get pain while working out?

Yes, because most people don’t take care of their spines, joints and bodies they way they should.  In a perfect World you would have your alignment/nervous system checked weekly; you’d foam roll for 10 minutes per day; if you do strenuous exercise you would do 10-15 minute preworkout warm-up then a 10-15 min post workout stretch unique to your needs; you wouldn’t eat/breath/drink a bunch of toxins; you would be adequately hydrated; you wouldn’t have any nutritional deficiencies; you would meditate or perform slow flow yoga etc…

For a professional to give great advice they need a full health history which includes lifestyle choices, how long you sit or stand for work, you diet, the integrity of your spine, your range of motion, the balance of your muscles.  Follow the steps below if you are having pain while working out.

What to do if you’re getting pain while working out...

Step 1:  Stop doing that type of movement!  If you have a trainer ask them for a modified version or different exercise all together.   It may still cause you pain.  Usually, if you have pain during any exercise there is most definitely an underlying problem!  This means for you to put step 2 into action.

Step 2:  Make an appointment with a chiropractor or physical therapist for an assessment.

Step 3:  Follow me on all social media outlets for more tips.

I’ll update this post to add specific pain mechanisms and possibilities during common pain aggravating movements like shoulder press, bicycles, dead lifts and squatting.

I know this seems like common sense, but…

 

Why are people dying from e-cigs and vaping?

News

Vaping: CDC investigation continues..

How many cases have there been?

On 23 August the CDC reported that a patient had died after being hospitalized with an unexplained respiratory illness after reported vaping or e-cigarette use. The case is the first death linked to vaping to be reported in the US and followed a spate of reports of severe lung illness which officials said were linked to vaping. As of 23 August, 193 cases of severe lung illness had been reported by 22 states.  I imagine this number will greatly increase as awareness increases.

How old are those affected?

In Illinois, the patient that died was an adult, officials said, but other patients in the state were aged between 17 and 38 and most have been men. In Wisconsin, where there are 16 confirmed cases, teens and young adults were initially affected, but officials have now reported cases in older age groups across the country.

What are the symptoms?

  • increase of symptoms including breathing difficulty
  • shortness of breath, or chest pain before they were hospitalized
  • mild to moderate gastrointestinal illness, including vomiting and diarrhea
  • fatigue

What’s caused this?

So far, CDC investigators haven’t identified a cause and they have found no evidence to suggest that an infection is to blame.

All patients had reported using e-cigarettes. Officials said that they haven’t found a specific product or compound that links all of the cases, but many of the patients had recently used products containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or CBD as well.

In some of the research I found on Pubmed the liquid in the devices, even without the nicotine causes lung inflammation, cellular toxicity in lung and throat tissue causing negative changes to physiology and immunity.  Link here

How prevalent is vaping among young people in America?

  • American high school students increased from 11.7% to 20.8% between 2017 and 2018
  • Increased from 3.3% to 4.9% among middle school students.

UK vs US vaping regulations compare?

UK has much stricter regulatory requirements:

  • All e-cigarettes and e-liquids must be notified to the MHRA before they can be sold.
    • restrict e-cigarette tanks to a maximum capacity of 2 mL, the volume of nicotine containing liquid for sale in one refill container to 10 mL
    • the nicotine strength of liquids to no more than 20 mg/mL
    • Products that contain nicotine must be child resistant, include new labeling requirements and warnings
    • certain ingredients are banned, including coloring, caffeine, and taurine.

In the US, product manufacturers have to comply with Food and Drug Administration requirements.  But the system is pretty lax—I couldn’t find much in the form of regulations on nicotine or chemicals.  If you find this please email me.

What’s the FDA doing about this?

Blaming vaping companies for unscrupulous marketing practices:  click here to read about juul’s marketing practices on blast.

Meanwhile, the FDA continues to have lax regulations on chemicals and amount of nicotine in these ENDS’s.

 

Resource:  BMJ 2019366 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.l5320 (Published 29 August 2019)Cite this as: BMJ 2019;366:l5320

How to Manage your Dog’s Inflammation with Hip Dysplasia

Kramer, my pup, is a shephard-rottie mix.  He’s such a smart, handsome and really everything considered the almost perfect dog.   The biggest issue I have is figuring out ways to help him with is weak and wobbly hind legs.  The weakness and wobbliness is from what I guess is hip dysplasia, a disorder more common in larger breeds.

I read up on surgery, supplements and food.  I’ve observed him after we went on runs and after he’s been to day care.  It’s evident that the best thing for him is consistent strengthening like light consistent jogging.  This not help his hip stability, it helps stimulate his mind.  If you’ve had a intelligent dog you understand their need for stimulation.

Since we can’t fix the medical condition we can only work to rid of the inflammation, ensure proper musculoskeletal aligment, mitigate pain and help to strengthen the surrounding muscles.  One of the biggest ways to lower inflammation in body is to limit it in the diet.

Chronic inflammation, which is internal inflammation that persists is linked to many health issues including obesity, heart disease, cancer, and arthritis. The inflammation that occurs after an injury is the body’s natural response to the trauma. Its purpose is to flood the injury site with nourishment and jump start the healing process. Chronic inflammation serves no such purpose and is detrimental to overall health. There are many factors that can lead to chronic inflammation including lack of exercise, stress, and poor diet.

Inflammation is harmful to the health of dogs just as it is to humans. One of the keys to keeping a dog’s inflammation at bay is a healthy diet. There are an assortment of spices and foods that can be a first line of defense against chronic inflammation. Some of the more commonly used foods in commercial pet food recipes are listed below.

Dog Food Ingredients that are Anti-inflammatory

Spices that combat inflammation Herbs and spices contain an assortment of vitamins and minerals, and can be a great way to prevent chronic inflammation. Some of the more powerful anti-inflammatory spices include:

  • Cloves
  • Ginger
  • Rosemary
  • Turmeric
  • Paprika

You could always add some in to their bowls.  Obviously, not too much- add a little at a time to see what they like best then stick with it.  Besides being anti-inflammatory, these spices can improve the taste of the food. Furthermore, spices can act as natural preservatives, and can extend the freshness of dog food and eliminate the need for artificial (and potentially harmful) preservatives.

Food that combat inflammation

There are several foods that have anti-inflammatory properties, any of which are commonly found in dog food recipes.

  • Animal-based omega 3 fatty acids, like those found in fatty fish or eggs- Kramer loves eggs and I share everyday I cook eggs.
  • Berries, especially blueberries, and many other fruits like papaya and cherries.
  • Leafy greens and vegetables, including kale, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, squash, pumpkin, bell peppers, sweet potato.

These foods are great additions to any dog food recipe. Besides being anti-inflammatory, they provide a natural source of sweetness and flavor, which is much better than added sugars or other “natural flavors”. Fruits and vegetables are also the preferred way to add color to dog food, and are a much better alternative than the artificial colors that are often found in the lower quality foods.

Written by Dr. Jason Pero DC
JP Chiropractic in Charleston, SC