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    Testosterone Replacement: Can it Help Joint Pain?

    Posted: May 7, 2021

    As we get older, many of us expect some occasional aches and pains, but chronic joint pain is a problem for many people. If you have low T levels, you might have a higher risk for joint pain and arthritis. The good news is studies suggest testosterone replacement may help alleviate joint pain for men with low T. There may be many different explanations behind why testosterone might help with joint pain, and research is still ongoing. If you think you have testosterone deficiency, talk to one of our medical providers about your symptoms to learn if you have low T and discuss treatment options. 

    man on testosterone replacement injections stretching before a run

    Testosterone replacement may help alleviate joint pain for men with low testosterone according to research.

    Recent Studies Find Testosterone Replacement May Help with Joint Pain

    There have been several studies looking at the effects of TRT on joint pain. Many have found that testosterone may help relieve joint pain, even in those with late-stage osteoarthritis who also have lower testosterone levels. Osteoarthritis is a common reason for joint pain and is caused by wear and tear on your joints.

    One 2016 study found that the number of men with low T who reported joint pain improved after starting TRT. The study looked at different factors of health-related quality of life for men with hypogonadism (a.k.a. low T), including joint pain. The participants used testosterone therapy for just over five years at 63 months. At the beginning of the study, the majority of the men, about 58%, reported joint pain. After three months of testosterone injections, that number fell to 46%. After nine months, just 22% of the men reported joint pain. Finally, at the end of the study, only about 1% had joint pain after using testosterone. Therefore, evidence suggests testosterone may play an important role in joint pain. 

    Low Testosterone Can Increase Your Risk for Joint Pain and Arthritis

    There are many reasons why you might have joint pain, particularly as you age. One of the most common reasons for joint pain is osteoarthritis. This can lead to pain, inflammation, swelling, and stiffness. 

    Osteoarthritis and low testosterone share some of the same risk factors, including:

    • Age
    • Obesity
    • Metabolic diseases
    • Sedentary lifestyle

    Research is still ongoing, but testosterone deficiency may be linked to joint pain. Low testosterone may even increase your risk for osteoarthritis. It may also be a risk factor for developing rheumatoid arthritis, which is an autoimmune disease where your body attacks its own tissues, including joint tissues. This can also lead to joint pain and many other symptoms. 

    Why Might Testosterone Replacement Therapy Help Relieve Joint Pain?

    There are several ways to explain why testosterone might help people with their joint pain if you have a testosterone deficiency. TRT can help bring your testosterone levels into healthy ranges, which can have many positive effects on the body.

    Testosterone Can Help with Weight Management

    One indirect way testosterone may influence your risk for joint pain is weight gain. Unexplained weight gain is a common sign of low T. Testosterone helps increase muscle mass and control body fat. So, lower testosterone levels may make you more likely to carry excess weight. That extra weight can put additional stress on your joints and cause pain. In fact, obesity is a common risk factor for osteoarthritis, one of the top reasons for joint pain and aches. 

    Testosterone replacement therapy can help your body redistribute fat and increase muscle mass. Paired with healthy lifestyle changes, testosterone may help you lose extra weight that puts more pressure on your joints. You see, testosterone helps promote muscle mass, which burns far more calories than fat. So, someone at the same weight eating the exact same diet, but with more muscle mass may lose more weight than someone with less muscle mass. Therefore, testosterone injections may help you control and manage your weight, which can in turn help relieve joint pain from carrying around extra weight.

    Testosterone Replacement May Help You be More Active

    Another common issue we see in men with low testosterone is fatigue and low mood, which can make it hard to get enough exercise. Many people notice a significant improvement in their activity levels after starting a TRT program. This, too, can help you lose weight. However, it can also help strengthen the muscles that surround your joints, which can also help with joint pain. Remember, leading an inactive lifestyle is a risk factor for osteoarthritis. This is because muscles support your joints and help them function. Low activity levels and not getting enough exercise may mean those muscles are weaker, which can increase the risk for wear and tear on your joints, leading to joint aches and pains. Therefore, if you’re struggling with energy and motivation to exercise due to low T levels, testosterone injections may help.

    Testosterone May Stimulate Cartilage Repair Cells

    Another interesting way testosterone may help with joint pain is that it may stimulate chondrogenic progenitor cells, also known as chondrocytes. These cells are found in healthy cartilage tissue, such as in your joints. They may also help repair cartilage as it deteriorates, such as due to arthritis. Cartilage coats the ends of your bones at your joints and helps provide cushion and lubrication when you move. When the cartilage breaks down, it can cause your bones to grind together, leading to inflammation, pain, swelling, and other symptoms. Therefore, testosterone replacement may help these chondrocytes in your body repair damaged cartilage that can cause joint pain. 

    Testosterone May Help Your Body’s Natural Opioid Response to Pain

    Testosterone may also help reduce your perception of joint pain by working with your body’s natural pain relief system. When you feel pain, your body releases endorphins, which are essentially your body’s natural opioids. So, if you have joint pain, your body should be releasing endorphins to help control the pain. Testosterone may play a role in this process. It can help with opioid binding on endorphin receptors, assisting in the pain relief process. Therefore, it may help reduce the amount of pain you perceive from your joints. 

    Get Help for Low Testosterone Today at Low T Center

    Low T can leave you feeling unlike yourself, with symptoms like fatigue, depression, and low libido. Our team at Low T Center is here to help you address your health and find treatment solutions that work for you. We take a holistic approach to men’s health, which means we address your health as a whole to find underlying causes for your symptoms. Then, we customize treatment plans to help you feel your best. If you think you might be suffering from a health condition, book an appointment now so our medical team can help. 

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    Disclaimer: This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of Low T Center. You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.