Genetic Influences on Joint Pain: What You Need to Know

Are your genes responsible for your joint pain?

May is National Osteoporosis Awareness Month, a time to highlight the importance of bone health and prevention strategies for osteoporosis.

My last blog post delved into the impact of hormonal imbalances, specifically estrogen and testosterone, on joint pain. Today, I will explore genetic influences on joint pain and how your genetic blueprint may influence bone health and contribute to joint discomfort

Bones and Collagen: Essential Supporters of Our Body

Bones and collagen play important roles in supporting and functioning in our bodies. Bones provide essential support and protection, serving as the framework for our bodies. They are composed of minerals like calcium and phosphorus. Bones ensure bone strength and also contribute to various other bodily functions.

Remember, maintaining healthy bones is a continuous process called bone remodeling where old bones are broken down and new bones are formed. It's a dynamic cycle crucial for bone health, influenced by genetics, diet, and lifestyle choices.

Similarly, our cells are constantly renewing themselves, with old ones being replaced by new ones. Collagen, the primary protein in our body, acts as a building block for connective tissues, supporting our skin, hair, nails, joints, and organs.

human cells get replaced

Variations in collagen genes can affect tissue formation and function. When cells break down too quickly without being adequately replaced, it can lead to degeneration and weakening of these structures. Both genetics and lifestyle choices, such as diet and exercise, play significant roles in collagen production and breakdown.

Genetic Influences on Joint Pain

This research highlights a significant connection between genetics and joint health. Our genes shape the structure and function of our joints, impacting everything from cartilage integrity to bone density. This genetic influence can make some individuals more susceptible to joint-related issues such as osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, and other degenerative conditions.

Understanding your genetics is important in identifying tailored approaches to manage and alleviate joint pain and prevent future discomfort.

A study published in the UK Biobank revealed associations between certain genetic variants, such as GDF5 and COL27A1, and knee pain. These findings highlight the importance of genetics in joint health and advise personalized management approaches based on individuals' genetic profiles.

Practical Applications of Genetic Insights

The image shows a sample overview of test results and how genes or gene combinations may impact bones, collagen, and joints. A high or very high impact (light or dark purple) suggests that the individual may carry genetic variants increasing susceptibility to osteoporosis, osteopenia, and soft tissue injuries.

For example, if you have the COL12A1 gene AA variant, your risk of ACL injury is higher. This means you need to be more mindful of the types of exercises you do and pay attention to other factors like inflammation and oxidative stress.

Genetic insights may give you that AHA on why; despite trying various exercises, massages, and alternative therapies, some individuals still experience joint pain. However, this doesn't mean that joint pain is inevitable. With the correct information, you can take personalized action steps to address these issues.

Taking Action Based on Genetic Insights

Once armed with knowledge about how genes influence body and organ systems, targeted steps can be taken to address these issues. These steps might include lifestyle adjustments, dietary modifications, and incorporating specific supplements. For instance, ensuring sufficient intake of hydrolyzed collagen can support joint and bone health, while vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption and bone density. (Get your hydrolyzed collagen & vitamin D here and save 15% every time you shop)

Understanding the root cause of pain can aid in its management and potentially prevent future discomfort. This underscores the advantage of understanding one's genetic makeup. By tailoring approaches to individual genetic profiles, overall health and well-being can be enhanced. Wanna learn more about understanding your genetic makeup?

One of my clients had been experiencing headaches since she was six years old and frequently dealt with bloating as an adult. Her genetic report revealed a specific gene that made her sensitive to gluten. After completely eliminating gluten from her diet, her headaches and bloating vanished.

The Role of Epigenetics

Epigenetics emphasizes that our environment and lifestyle significantly influence gene function. For instance, regular exercise and a balanced diet can promote healthy gene expression, while chronic stress and poor dietary choices can dampen gene activity. This means that even with genetic predispositions to certain conditions, lifestyle choices can influence gene expression.

Nutrigenetics and Nutrigenomics

Understanding the distinction between Nutrigenetics and Nutrigenomics is crucial.

nutrigenetics nutrigenomics

Nutrigenetics examines how individuals respond to nutrients based on their genetic profiles. For instance, if you have trouble sleeping after drinking coffee in the afternoon because you metabolize it slowly, it's likely because of a specific gene variant. Conversely, someone with a fast coffee metabolism can sip espresso before bedtime and still doze off.

Nutrigenomics explores how foods and nutrients alter gene expression. This uniqueness explains why some may adore spicy food and devour habanero peppers (like I do), while others struggle with even a hint of black pepper. Understanding these interactions allows for more informed dietary choices that support your genetic profile and overall health.


Understanding one's unique genetic makeup can mitigate health risks, promote optimal health, and potentially alleviate or prevent joint pain. This knowledge empowers individuals to take proactive steps in managing their health, tailored to their genetic predispositions.

Comprehending the interplay between genetics and lifestyle choices is critical in managing joint pain and upholding overall health. By incorporating genetic insights into your health strategies, you can take charge of your well-being and reduce the risk of future joint issues.

About the author 

Ani Papazyan BS, CN, LMT, LE

As a Pain Resolution Practitioner, I empower individuals to conquer body pain, reclaim their lives, and embrace personalized wellness based on their unique genetic makeup, offering tailored solutions, self-help techniques, and transformative strategies.

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