The decline in a critical hormone is believed to be linked to joint pain and ailments commonly seen in men, particularly as they age. This brief piece discusses the importance of testosterone, conditions that prompt the substance’s depletion in men, how the important hormone is connected to joint pain and potential remedial steps that can be taken.
When men grow older, many experience a decrease production in hormones, a process known as andropause. In particular a decrease in the primary male hormone known as testosterone is common. This decrease in testosterone is said to be directly and indirectly related to joint degeneration and a number of other connective tissue ailments that can impact their mobility and cause a great degree of joint pain [healthline.com/health/low-testosterone/joint-pain.].
Why Is Testosterone Important to A Man’s Well-Being?
Testosterone is mainly thought of as the primary sexually-driven hormone a man’s body produces. Many know the substance is responsible for stimulating the growth of sex organs, fostering the growth of body hair and driving the male libido. However, testosterone is also responsible for many other critical functions, including but not limited to bone and muscle expansion, limiting the accumulation of body fat, impacting metabolism and affecting a man’s overall mood and general feeling. Common manifestations of low testosterone production include weight gain, a decreased sex drive, anxiety, depression, muscle wasting, high cholesterol, diabetes and bone weakening.
What Causes a Decrease In Testosterone Production?
Typically, as a man ages, the natural amount of testosterone produced by his body declines. Hormonal depletion may also be the result of numerous medical conditions. However, in some instances, men experience a more rapid decline in testosterone production due to what medical professionals call Andropause, or Male Menopause.
Is There a Direct Connection Between Low Testosterone and Joint Pain?
As previously mentioned, a decrease in bone and muscle size and strength is a symptom of low testosterone. When bones and muscles suffer, the joints, which connect bones and muscles also often feel the impact. In addition, the weight gain commonly associated with such a hormonal decrease can place added pressure on the joints, thus leading to injury and discomfort.
That said, scientific studies conducted in recent years seem to indicate a much more significant and direct correlation between testosterone and joint pain. These examinations revealed critical findings, such as the fact that testosterone stimulates the production of substances known as chondrocytes (which are said to play an important role in cartilage repair); could, in some cases, completely reverse degenerative cartilage problems and reduce chronic back pain when injected in therapeutic dosages.
How Can Joint Discomfort Resulting from Low Testosterone Be Treated?
Treatment can be geared towards either remediating the joint ailment in question or increasing testosterone levels within the body.
Remedies for joint pain will vary depending upon several different factors, such as the location of the joint, the particular ailment and the severity of pain and immobility involved. In instances involving only mild pain and limited or no mobility issues, a common course of action is the use of over-the-counter or prescription pain killers. In other instances, medical professionals recommend participating in therapeutic exercises designed to strengthen and stretch damaged joints. Should the pain be more severe and/or limit an individual’s mobility, surgery might be required and could be executed in the form of replacement procedures (knee, hip), or cartilage-repairing operations.
Should the joint pain be severe or be accompanied by other serious manifestations of low testosterone, hormone replacement therapy might need to be considered. Replacement therapy has been administered through oral preparations and injections. Though successful in treating a solid percentage of men, those interested in the procedure should discuss potential risks and side effects with their doctors.