Collagen for Meniscus Tear
Disclaimer: This content has been produced purely for informational and educational purposes only and is never intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical guidelines including diagnosis, advice, and treatment.
Most of the time, knee injuries are associated with trauma to the bones and joints. However, not only bones and joints are affected by knee injuries; connective tissues like cartilage, ligaments, and tendons can also be damaged.
One such connective tissue that is commonly damaged during knee injuries is the meniscus. And just like bone and joint injuries, meniscus injuries can also impair your ability to walk properly and affect your day-to-day activities.
There are various treatment options for meniscus tears, but additionally, you can opt for dietary supplements to strengthen your meniscus. This will assist the ongoing treatment and may speed up recovery.
Follow the article below to learn more about meniscus tears and how collagen supplements can support recovery.
WHAT IS MENISCUS?
The meniscus is a piece of cartilage present inside your knee between your thighbone (femur) and shinbone (tibia). One meniscus is present on each side of the knee – the medial one on the inside and the lateral one on the outside.
Being a cartilage meniscus has a rubbery texture, and its wedges act as shock absorbers for your knee, absorbing the impact of your upper leg on your lower leg. Meniscus also provides cushioning to your bones and knee joint so that your knee joint remains stabilized and you can move it smoothly.
When you grow older, the production of collagen in your body decreases; as a result, the meniscus gets thin and weak and may easily get torn. Meniscus tear is a common knee injury that primarily affects athletes and older adults but can affect anyone at any age.
The meniscus usually gets torn during a sudden movement in which your knee twists while your foot is still on the ground. Kneeling, deep squatting, or lifting a heavy object can sometimes also result in a torn meniscus.
Age-related degenerative changes such as arthritis increase the risk of meniscus tears without any blow to the knee joint. Arthritis patients can get meniscus injury simply by stepping their foot on an uneven surface.
Apart from old age and degenerative changes, obesity also increases the risk of a meniscus tear. That is because the knee joint is a type of weight-bearing joint and the excessive weight of obese people put more stress on the joint. As a result, people become more prone to meniscus tears.
Athletes involved in contact sports, such as football, are also at an increased risk of meniscus tears. Sports like tennis and basketball that involve pivoting may cause a meniscus tear as well.
It usually takes around 24 hours or more to develop symptoms of a meniscus tear and usually the first thing noticed by the patient is a popping sensation in the injured knee.
Some of the common symptoms that follow meniscus injury include:
- Knee pain, especially during twisting and rotating movements of the knee joint
- Swollen and stiff knee joint
- Feeling that your knee is locked when you try to move it
- Inability to bend and straighten your affected leg
- Feeling that the injured knee might give away
If left untreated, a meniscus tear may destabilize your knee joint and impair your ability to walk properly. Apart from that, meniscus tears also increase the risk of other types of knee injuries, such as the tearing of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).
There is also an increased risk of developing osteoarthritis in the knee whose meniscus has been torn.
COLLAGEN AND MENISCUS TEAR
The meniscus is cartilage, and the major structural component of cartilage is collagen. Therefore collagen supplements may help repair a torn meniscus and speed up recovery.
One of the factors that cause meniscus tears to occur is old age, in which your body doesn't synthesize enough amount of collagen, and your meniscus becomes weak and thin, resulting in meniscus injuries.
Collagen supplements tackle this issue by providing your body with suffienct amount of collagen that helps to fortify the meniscus, reduce its destruction and promote its repair in case of injury.
Another way by which collagen supplementation assists recovery in meniscus injuries is by inhibiting the death of healthy cartilage cells and using peptides in supplements as a building blocks for cartilage.
SIDE EFFECTS AND PRECAUTIONS
Collagen is one of those dietary supplements that are generally very well tolerated and do not cause any adverse effects. However, sometimes a patient might complain of the side effects listed below:
- Feeling of fullness
Apart from the above-mentioned side effects, one should also be aware that collagen supplements may sometime contain common food allergens, including fish, shellfish, and eggs.
Therefore, you should always read the list of ingredients before purchasing a supplement and should not consume it if it contains any of the substances you are allergic to. In case of an allergic reaction immediately stop the consumption of that particular product and seek medical attention.
IN A NUTSHELL
Meniscus tear is one of the common injuries of the knee joint that primarily affects older adults and athletes. It occurs when the cartilage present inside your knee, i.e., the meniscus, is torn apart either by wear and tear, trauma, or degenerative disorders.
Meniscus tear makes it difficult for you to walk properly and require proper medical and surgical treatment. However, to assist and speed up the recovery process, you may take dietary supplements like collagen that are good for your cartilage.
Collagen is a structural component of cartilage, and therefore consuming collagen supplements may strengthen your meniscus and promote healing in case of injuries. Collagen supplementation also prevents the destruction of cartilage and stimulates the synthesis of new cartilaginous material leading to a speedy recovery.
It is recommended that you speak with your healthcare provider before starting collagen supplementation, especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking medications for any underlying health disorders.
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