Your joints are aching, and it is seeming to get worse and worse. Exercising may feel uncomfortable, you feel stiff getting out of bed in the morning, and your quality of life is suffering. When your joint begins to ask, most people associate it with age and the development of arthritis. Arthritis is when the cartilage between your bones begins to wear down, causing aches and pains that range from dull to severe to debilitating.
However, arthritis is not the only cause of achy joints and joint pain. Often times, hormonal imbalances in the body can cause achy joints, namely low testosterone levels.
In this article, we will take a deeper look into how low testosterone levels contribute to joint problems, who is most likely to experience these hormonal imbalances, and the best treatments you can do to fix low testosterone and achy joints.
The Connection Between Low Testosterone and Achy Joints
Low testosterone is also commonly referred to as Low T. low T develops when your testosterone hormone drops in the body. Generally, this hormonal imbalance happens to older men, although it can happen to younger men as well. Your doctor will perform a blood test to confirm whether or not your levels are low. If your levels are under 300 nanograms, than you have low T.
Although testosterone is the main male sex hormone and is most important for the reproductive system, it also plays an important role in bone health and weight management. Achy joints and low T are not directly related, but they play off one another and both conditions show correlation or cause and effect.
Low T can lead to weight gain. When you gain a lot of weight in a short period of time, it puts strain and stress on the body, muscles, and joints in the body that your body has not been used to. This extra strain can cause painful and achy joints. Other symptoms of low T include:
- excessive fatigue
- a loss of sex drive
- breast enlargement
- weight gain
Treatments for Low Testosterone Levels
Although low T levels are frustrating and can produce a wide variety of side effects, there are great treatments options that will solve low T levels. In order to receive more intensive therapies to treat low T, you must have low levels in both your blood have many of the symptoms associated with low T outlined above.
Furthermore, low T treatments may not fully solve your achy joints. More often than not, low T and achy joints are solved by upping your testosterone levels but also doing treatments to directly help achy and painful joints.
Low T Treatments
Hormone therapy is generally not the first action for treatment. Most of the time, your doctor will aim to identify the root cause of low T levels, such as weight gain, medications, or any other number of possible causes. If all else fails, you may have to do hormone therapy. Hormone therapy can be done in a few different ways:
- Skin patches
- Mouth tablets
Skin patches are attached to the skin and release small amounts of hormones into the body through the skin. Gels are also applied to the skin, usually on your upper arms, shoulders, and your legs. Gels can get messy and you always have to wash your hands to avoid overexposing yourself to too many hormones. Mouth tablets are attached to your cheek or gum. Pellets are implanted under the skin, and injections are mostly done within a doctor’s office every seven to fourteen days.
Natural treatments are also an option and preferred by many people. Getting enough exercise and lifting weights can help increase levels in a safe and natural way. A largescale study found that people who exercised on a regular basis had higher levels of testosterone overall.
Making sure your stress and cortisol levels are in check can also allow your testosterone levels to return to normal. When you have very high levels of cortisol in the body, due to stress, anxiety, etc., it can rapidly decrease your testosterone levels. If you have prolonged stress, your levels can drop quite dramatically.
Therefore, find ways to reduce stress and anxiety levels. Workout, do yoga, pick up meditation, or fully immerse yourself in something you love like fishing, hiking, or reading.
Other natural treatments include:
- Getting plenty of sleep
- Eating fats, carbs, and protein
- Get more sun or take a vitamin D supplement
- Avoid estrogen-like compounds
- Take natural supplements like zinc, vitamin B, A, C, and E
Treating the Achy Joint Problem
If you have achy joints due to a combination of low T, excess weight, high stress levels, and the like, there are many ways you can reduce your joint pain.
Just as exercise is great for increasing low T levels, it is also good for relieving achy joints. Although it may seem counterintuitive, light movement can increase blood flow and loosen up your joints, so they are not as stiff. Making sure you are stretching out your tight muscles can also help joint pain tremendously.
Taking collagen is another treatment for joints that many people swear by.
Studies have shown that taking collagen can help relieve joint pain due to a variety of causes.
Taking a trip to see your chiropractor can also help with any joint pain you may have. Chiropractic care is used to treat a wide range of conditions. Chiropractors can adjust your joints that are causing pain, pressure, and stress in the body. It can help improve your mobility as well.
Low testosterone levels and achy joints are not directly correlated on the surface, but if you dig deeper into the root causes for each condition, the connections begin to show.
In order to find relief for both achy joints and the symptoms associated with low T levels, you should treat each condition separately in order to benefit as a whole.
Getting enough sleep, exercising, maintaining a healthy weight, eating a balanced diet, and seeing a chiropractor can help with both conditions.
Dr. Brent Wells, D.C. is the founder of Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab and has been a chiropractor for over 20 years. His practice has treated thousands of patients from different health problems using various services designed to help give you long-lasting relief.
Dr. Wells is also the author of over 700 online health articles that have been featured on sites such as Dr. Axe and Lifehack. He is a proud member of the American Chiropractic Association and the American Academy of Spine Physicians. And he continues his education to remain active and updated in all studies related to neurology, physical rehab, biomechanics, spine conditions, brain injury trauma, and more.