There are major root causes why the body suffers from pain and stiffness over time, and they really have nothing to do with aging. Here’s a look at what might actually be going on.

5 reasons for pain and stiffness in the body

Trauma

It is common to attribute the aging process to aches and pains, but if you have been injured in the past, in many cases your current pain may be due to an old trauma that was not properly treated. With impact trauma, an injury can be active in your body for years and can create enough stiffness to get your attention.

Repression

Studies show that pain can be psychological or emotional in origin. In the act of repression, we use our own muscles to contain our emotions; not all pain is purely physical in nature. Chronic pain could be related to repressed psychological or emotional stress that is directly causing muscle tension.

Stress

Pay attention to how your shoulders and neck tense when you’re under pressure, and think about how we tend to be shallow breathers when stress levels are high.

While our natural stress response is designed to help us respond when faced with fear, whether the fear is real or imagined, one of the consequences is that your muscles tighten. If you’re not taking the time to detoxify stress and recharge, the daily pain and stiffness can be a consequence.

Inactivity

Movement is probably the most essential aspect of keeping your body free and flexible. When we activate our muscles it causes our tissues to heat up and be in a more fluid state.

If we go days or weeks without making time to exercise and move, we are actually creating stiffness. Neglecting exercise and daily movement has been shown to accelerate the aging process and also puts you at risk for age-related disorders such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and musculoskeletal disorders.

Contract movement

One thing that can be worse than inactivity is engaging in the wrong kinds of moves. Muscle stiffness after exercise is usually the result of a low-level micro trauma or a small tear to the muscle fibers, caused by the stressor of exercise.

Not only is it important to make sure you are performing the exercises correctly, it is also important to avoid overtraining. More is not always better and you don’t need high intensity workouts to see results.

It’s important to balance your lifestyle by including activities like the therapeutic flow of yoga and core work like Pilates.

In addition to assessing the true root cause of pain and stiffness , there are also functional foods that you can include in your daily routine that have the potential to provide many benefits, such as decreasing inflammation, healing joints, and repairing damage.

Functional foods for joint pain

Whether you have occasional joint pain or a more chronic case of arthritis, there are certain foods that can help. One food that helps a lot in pain and stiffness is gelatin . Try using it in this simple juice recipe:

  • 1 organic cucumber, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon of organic ginger powder
  • 2 cups organic coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon of raw organic honey
  • 2 tablespoons of organic gelatin
  • 1 teaspoon organic turmeric powder (add a pinch of black pepper)
  • Mix and enjoy cold.

What is gelatin?

Bottom line: gelatin is essentially “cooked collagen.” In the natural process of making homemade bone broth, you are concentrating all your cooking energy on extracting the wonderful natural collagen, proline, glutamine, and glycine from your bones and ligaments. You can see the gelatinous characteristics of cooked collagen (also known as gelatin) when your homemade broth cools.

Collagen is our most abundant protein in the body, especially what is known as type 1 collagen, which is found in our bones, muscles, skin, blood vessels, digestive system, and tendons.

Collagen is what helps to give our skin youth: strength, regeneration and elasticity. When it comes to our joints and tendons, collagen is like glue that works to hold the body together.

As we age, our natural collagen production declines. It can decline even faster if we don’t follow a clean eating routine and if we neglect to make time for holistic lifestyle practices that include proper daily movement, stress management, hydration, and sleep.

The rate at which wrinkles and sagging of our skin could accelerate and our joints could weaken due to a decrease in healthy cartilage.

If you feel like you have a set of “skeleton legs” that feel stiffer and cause pain during movement , this can be a clear indicator of a loss of collagen. When we lose collagen, our tendons and ligaments no longer move easily.

Move painlessly by focusing on collagen. Add this healing complex protein to your routine – think of it like adding oil to a squeaky door hinge.

Collagen works to help your joints move more easily and painlessly. Studies have even found collagen to be an effective treatment method for osteoarthritis and other joint pain and disorders.

Types of collagen sources

It is important to know that there are at least 16 different types of collagen in the body. Of these different types, between 80 and 90 percent consist of types 1, 2, and 3. This is important to know, as different forms of collagen are found in certain foods and collagen supplements. Here’s the breakdown of our 3 most abundant forms of collagen:

Type 1: our most abundant by far, and considered the strongest. Type 1 forms tendons, ligaments, organs, and skin. Type 1 also helps build bones and can be found within the gastrointestinal tract. Essential in wound healing and adding elasticity to the skin.

Type 2: mainly works to build cartilage and is also found in our connective tissues. Joint health depends on cartilage made from type 2 collagen. Researchers have found that supplementation with type 2 collagen helps patients with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.

Type 3: makes up our organs and skin. It is generally found with type 1: it helps to give elasticity and firmness to our skin. It also forms blood vessels and tissues within the heart.

Different sources of collagen will contain different types, here are our main sources and their differences:

Bovines (Cows / Beef)

They come from cows and more specifically from their skin, bones, and muscles. Bovine collagen mainly contains collagen of types 1 and 3 and additionally contains glycine and proline, which are useful in the production of creatinine, building muscle and also helping the body to produce its own collagen.

Chicken

This source provides type 2 collagen, which is the best for building cartilage. Chicken collagen is beneficial for joint health, especially since this source also provides chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine sulfate.

Fish

It mainly provides type 1 collagen, with the amino acids glycine, proline and hydroxyproline. Because type 1 collagen can be found throughout our bodies, consuming more collagen from fish has been associated with benefits for the joints, skin, vital organs, blood vessels, digestion, and bones.

Eggshell Membrane

Found in the shells and whites of eggs, this source contains primarily type 1 collagen and also provides glucosamine sulfate, chondroitin sulfate, hyaluronic acid, and various amino acids that benefit connective tissue building, wound healing, building of muscle mass and the reduction of stiffness and pain .

Collagen Supplements and Gelatin Supplements

Collagen and gelatin are essentially the same, they have a mirrored protein and amino acid content profile; what makes them different is how they should be used and how they are digested.

Gelatin powder has a jelly-like consistency when prepared. You can use powdered gelatin to make gut healing gummies, gelatin-based desserts, and you can add it to your baking to create a chewy consistency.

You should have a game plan when using gelatin, as pure gelatin powder will only dissolve in hot water and will always create that rubbery consistency. For someone who does not have a strong digestion, gelatin is not the most suitable option, as it can be problematic to break it down.

Collagen powders, which are known by the name of hydrolyzed collagen or collagen hydrolyzate, are processed differently than gelatin. Collagen is heated to a higher temperature and then treated with enzymes, which breaks the bonds between amino acids.

Collagen powders can be broken down more easily in the body, compared to gelatin, and is best for those with a weaker or stressed digestion.

Collagen powder can dissolve in both hot and cold liquids and does not create a gel-like consistency. The fact that you can add it to almost anything without introducing a new flavor or texture makes this an easy-to-use product with a lot of positive potential.

Bone broth is your most natural option and it is also the easiest to digest, check out this recipe to get the homemade bone broth set.

Additional health benefits of collagen

Shiny skin

Collagen may already be an ingredient in your skin care products, but topical absorption of collagen is almost nil; When you use collagen internally, this protein works to repair and significantly improve the elasticity and appearance of the skin.

Strong and thick hair

The effects of taking collagen are real for its beauty benefits. You can restore weak hair to strong, thick, naturally shiny hair. With less breakage and less fall taking 2-4 tablespoons of collagen daily.

Healthy nails

Do you have brittle nails? Lack of collagen could be to blame. Collagen protein is an essential component for nail health, and adding collagen to your routine can help keep your nails strong.

Better digestion

The beauty benefits are great, but behind the scenes collagen works to repair and heal the intestinal lining, and it’s a powerful addition to the Leaky Gut Protocol.

If stress is the cause of your digestion problems, where just eating a single pea is already the cause of great bloating, first remember that digestion is not a priority function when you are in fight or flight mode.

Take the time to recharge, and adding collagen daily can work to decrease digestive inflammation and heal the intestinal lining.

Recovery exercise

When you do a long-distance run or for a weightlifting session, you are putting a lot of pressure on the body, which naturally causes inflammation.

Good inflammation, but the kind that leaves you in pain “two days after leg day.” Collagen works to promote a healthy inflammatory response by accelerating the repair of damaged connective tissues.

Adding just 2 tablespoons of collagen powder to water, coffee, or herbal tea makes for a functional pre-workout with noticeable benefits in reducing recovery time on the toughest training days.

Final notes

A good quality collagen powder will dissolve like cotton candy in water, either hot or cold. It has no taste or texture, it is also an easy way to add some added protein (8g in 1 scoop).

Experience the benefits for yourself. Improve your day and add collagen to your routine!

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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