Drugs for the treatment of ligaments and joints
High physical exertion on the ligaments and joints leads to chronic pain and the development of degenerative processes in the ligaments and joints. In addition, almost every athlete is faced with various injuries, so it is very important to pay increased attention to their prevention. This is facilitated by both a thorough warm-up and the use of special sports supplements that accelerate the regeneration of the connetive tissue and contribute to its strengthening. For any sport, a certain range of injuries is characteristic. If you visit the gym, then the increased load falls on the joints and ligaments , they should be taken care of first.
Connective tissue includes: tendons, ligaments, cartilage, bones, muscle fascia, aponeuroses (fibrous membranes that connect muscles together or with bones) and membranes practically all organs. The main function of connective tissue is to create mechanical strength and shape for the body. Connective tissue is mainly composed of collagen , which is a strong protein thread that does not allow tissue tearing and elastin, which provides elasticity and extensibility to tissues. Each type of connective tissue contains special cells – fibroblasts in ligaments and tendons, chondroblasts – in cartilage, osteoblasts – in bones. These cells produce elastin and collagen, and also contribute to the renewal and repair of connective tissue.
To achieve high results in bodybuilding, athletes have to exercise with large weights in training, since muscle growth requires creating the maximum load on each muscle bundle. With the constant growth of working weights, the risk of injury increases, so it is necessary to additionally strengthen the ligamentous apparatus and the cartilaginous tissue of the joints.
Systematic cartilage trauma leads to the development of osteoarthritis – a disease that is accompanied by severe pain sensations in the joints, impaired motor activity and is practically irreversible, that is, it often leads to disability. About 20 million Americans suffer from this disease, and statistics show that the risk of developing this disease is significantly higher when doing strength sports.
- Do bodybuilding or powerlifting
- You experience painful sensations, crunching or stiffness in your joints and ligaments
- Want to strengthen your ligaments and joints
Remember that ligament and joint diseases are very difficult to treat , so prevention is much more effective! Our recommendations are devoted to prevention, and only secondarily to treatment. Preventive courses are especially relevant for people over the age of 30, when the connective tissue becomes more vulnerable.
Nowadays, you can find dozens and even hundreds of supplements that are designed to heal and strengthen joints and ligaments, but most of these products are completely ineffective. At the same time, the other part does not meet modern quality standards, or has a very high cost and can be replaced with more economical products. In this part, only those agents are considered that contribute to the restoration of cartilage and connective tissue, and not just temporarily eliminate symptoms.
Let’s start the analysis with a list of active ingredients with an objective assessment of effectiveness based on modern research:
- Glucosamine sulfate – strengthening joints and ligaments
- Chondroitin sulfate – strengthening joints and ligaments
- Collagen – strengthening joints, ligaments, bones, improving skin properties
Calcium and Vitamin D are essential for strengthening bones and should be taken at the same time. It should be noted that vitamin D deficiency is quite common – this is especially characteristic of the northern climate. Some studies show that vitamin D deficiency leads to various disorders, including inflammation of the ligaments and joints. Taking appropriate supplements can reduce such negative processes.
- Methylsulfonylmethane – relieves pain and suppresses inflammation, but does not contribute to the restoration of connective tissue
- Shark cartilage – contains glucosamine , collagen and calcium, however, the effectiveness of treatment is higher when using these components in a purified form.
- S-adenosylmethionine – the drug has been approved in clinical trials for the treatment of joint diseases in European countries. The problem is that very large doses are required to obtain the effect – up to 1500 mg per day, given the high cost of S-adenosylmethionine, its course will be very expensive. The supplement also has a moderate antidepressant effect.
- Omega-3 fatty acids – make a moderate but significant contribution to the health of joints and ligaments. It has been noted that omega-3s help relieve pain in joint diseases and improve mobility. The best source of omega-3 is fatty fish.
- Bromelain is a mixture of plant-derived proteolytic enzymes. A good remedy for relieving pain and inflammation in a recent injury or in the active phase of inflammation.
- Curcumin is a plant extract that has anti-inflammatory effects. Studies have shown that curcumin is quite weak.
- Hyaluronic acid – non-sulfonated glycosaminoglycan, which is part of connective, epithelial and nervous tissues. It is one of the main components of the extracellular matrix, it is found in many biological fluids (saliva, synovial fluid, etc.). It takes a significant part in the proliferation and migration of cells, and may be involved in the development of malignant tumors. Produced by some bacteria (eg Streptococcus). The body of a 70 kg person on average contains about 15 grams of hyaluronic acid, a third of which is converted (broken down or synthesized) every day.
Vitamins and minerals – recovery ligaments and joints require a large amount of vitamins and minerals involved in the synthesis of new cells. These primarily include vitamins: B6, E, C, minerals: niacin, zinc, selenium, magnesium. Many vitamins and minerals are also excellent antioxidants to help protect cells from oxidative damage during inflammation.
- Vitamin C is required for collagen synthesis. In addition, it is an excellent antioxidant. This vitamin helps to reduce pain and inflammation. In addition, vitamin C improves recovery.
- Vitamin E is also a powerful antioxidant that reduces pain and prevents joint damage. Both vitamins C and E play an important role in the treatment of joint diseases due to a decrease in oxidative processes. Clinical studies show that supplementation with vitamins E and C can reduce inflammation and pain in ligaments and joints post-workout.
- B vitamins also have anti-inflammatory effects. So, they help with rheumatoid and osteoarthritis. Pantothenate or vitamin B5 has a beneficial effect on wound healing, improves collagen synthesis. At the same time, individual studies show that a low level of pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) in the body is inversely related to an increase in joint pain and ligament stiffness. Vitamins B6, B12 and folic acid have anti-inflammatory effects.
- Minerals are required to ensure the normal functioning of cells, they serve to activate the production of enzymes, the synthesis of ligament cells. Boron and manganese increase the reproduction of collagen, the synthesis of glycosaminoglycans, and improve metabolism. Some drugs are known to negatively affect the absorption of certain minerals. Taking appropriate supplements should ensure an adequate supply of them in the body. Clinical trials indicate that zinc deficiency has a negative effect on connective tissue synthesis. Zinc mainly activates the production of enzymes that are responsible for cell growth and integrity. With a lack of this mineral in the body, poor tissue healing is observed. Copper activates the production of lysyl oxidase, which is important in the conversion of collagen and elastin. Copper also has anti-inflammatory properties and may relieve joint and ligament pain
Above, almost all modern supplements for ligaments, joints and bones have been listed and briefly described, which have proven efficacy when taken prophylactically. We will not create an endless list of additives and ingredients that are useless or unnecessarily expensive. However, it should be noted that most plant extracts, animal supplements (marine crustaceans, sharks, insects, etc.) are not effective. Give preference to trusted firms and brands. The most optimal source of collagen is edible gelatin.
Elimination of pain symptoms
Quite often with therapeutic the goal of athletes is to take aspirin, paracetamol, ketans (ketorol), diclofenac and other anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce pain and inflammation of the joints and ligaments – however, these drugs can only temporarily eliminate the symptoms of the disease, without affecting its treatment. The listed non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs have a number of serious side effects – damage to the gastrointestinal tract mucosa, toxicity to the liver and kidneys, changes in blood composition, etc., therefore, they should be used only in the acute phase of the pathological process. Duration of admission should not exceed 1-2 weeks. It is better to give preference to anti-inflammatory drugs that selectively block COX-2 – Nimesulide, Celecoxib. They have fewer side effects.
The best supplements for joints and ligaments
For to obtain the maximum therapeutic and prophylactic effect, the course should include:
- Glucosamine sulfate and Chondroitin sulfate – it is best to purchase as part of one supplement.
- Collagen – in the form of gelatin, 10 g per day
- Bioavailable calcium and vitamin D – to strengthen bones
- Methylsulfonylmethane – for pain relief
The best complex supplements
There are two leading products:
- Bone Boost by SAN
- Animal Flex by Universal Nutrition
Supplements are also good value for money, however less complete composition:
- Joint Repair by Dymatize
- Joint Support by Performance
- Glucosamine + CSA Super Strength 120 tabs by Optimum Nutrition
- Glucosamine Chondroitin & MSM (ULN) everything you need at a nice price
Treatment and prophylactic course
For maximum effect, combine one of the complex supplements with a vitamin-mineral complex, omega-3 and collagen. Use edible gelatin as a source of collagen.
On average, ligament and joint supplementation lasts 1-2 months . The optimal frequency of courses is 2-3 times a year . You can find dosages and more specific information on how to take them in individual articles and on product packaging.
General tips to help keep your ligaments and joints healthy:
- Follow exercise technique to avoid injury
- If you have problems with ligaments and use safer exercises for joints
- Take a preventive course of a complex supplement, collagen and vitamin-mineral complex
- Do not work with too much weights
- Do not load joints and ligaments in case of injury until complete recovery
- Treatment of ligament and joint diseases should be agreed with the doctor