Tendon injuries are common in athletes. Tendons are the most common site of sports injuries, and a major cause of pain and disability. Tendon injuries are often caused by overuse, inflammation or degeneration.
Tendons are made mostly of collagen protein, which is the most abundant protein in the human body. Tendons connect muscle to bone, but their structure has properties that allow them to tolerate high force.
Tendon injuries need time to heal.
The first thing to understand is the difference between tendons and ligaments. Tendons are tough, fibrous structures that attach a muscle to a bone. They can be thought of as the vehicle that moves muscles. By themselves, they aren’t very strong, so they are surrounded by collagen fibers which give them strength.
Unlike collagen in skin or cartilage, tendon collagen doesn’t have a high proportion of glycine (a type of amino acid). What this means is that tendons are relatively inelastic, but they’re very strong. This arrangement helps keep our joints moving smoothly through their range of motion.
Tendons get injured when they’re overstretched (like during an intense workout) or if there’s too much strain put on them for too long (like with repetitive motions). The result is inflammation and sometimes tiny tears in the tissue.
As tendons age, they tend to lose their collagen content.
As tendons age, they also tend to lose their collagen content. Aging affects the ability of your body to make collagen and other essential proteins, so as you get older, your tendons become more susceptible to damage. The rate at which this loss occurs can be accelerated or slowed down depending on various factors like genetics and medical conditions, but is generally affected by age in all people.
Menopause speeds up the process of collagen loss in women due to a decrease in estrogen levels; this causes their joints to become less flexible and their tendons less elastic, making them less able to absorb shock. This can lead to tendonitis (inflammation of a tendon) or rupture from repetitive stressors such as running long distances on a hard surface without proper footwear support – but don’t let that scare you away from getting out there! A good pair of sneakers will protect your feet for years if properly cared for!
Recent studies suggest that supplementing with collagen may help heal tendon injuries.
A systematic review of randomized clinical trials looking at the efficacy of oral collagen supplements in the treatment of tendon and ligament injuries found that there is insufficient evidence to support their use.
Another study, however, found that collagen supplementation reduced pain and improved daily activities for patients with degenerative joint disorders. Better yet, no significant side effects were reported from supplementing with collagen.