Creatine, Injury and Rehabilitation.

January 7, 2002


1- Featured Article:
Creatine and the recovery from injury

2- Article:
The Treatment of Joint Pain and Preventing Joint Injuries

Welcome to the 2002 inaugural issue of the Creatine Newsletter. In this issue of the Creatine Newsletter we will focus on sports injury and rehabilitation, an issue that concerns most athletes.

Don’t miss out on future articles! Sign up and get the latest post straight to your e-mail inbox or RSS reader.

This Month’s Featured Article:

Creatine and recovery from injury

Mature skeletal muscle is produced from the union of progenitor cells known as myoblasts. These myoblasts lie dormant waiting for the appropriate environmental cue to stimulate them to fuse. One of the most potent of such environmental cues is the loss of muscle tissue arising from inactivity or disease. To summarize, lost or damaged muscle is replaced by new muscle formed from the fusion of thousands of myoblasts.

The loss of muscle tissue because of inactivity or disease is known clinically as disuse atrophy. Anyone who has had a broken limb can testify to this effect. After weeks in a cast the immobilized limb is noticeably smaller and weaker than its unrestrained counterpart. In this instance inactivity resulted in muscle tissue actually being reabsorbed by the body. When the limb again becomes active the body replaces this lost muscle tissue through a process known as myogenesis.

Myogenic factors

Although muscle loss induces the process of regeneration, the actual triggering signal is a biochemical messenger. These biochemical messengers, also known as myogenic factors, were the focus of a recent study involving creatine.

The Study

This study examined the effect of creatine supplementation on the recuperation of muscle function following leg immobilization. Twenty-two college-aged subjects participated in the study. All subjects had their right leg immobilized in a cast for a period of two weeks. Ten weeks of rehabilitation therapy followed the two weeks of cast immobilization.

Throughout the entire study half of the subjects took creatine while the other half took placebo (maltodextrin). During the two weeks of immobilization the subjects supplemented their daily diets with 20 grams of either creatine monohydrate or placebo. During the rehabilitation period the creatine/placebo dose was reduced. For the initial three weeks of rehabilitation the subjects consumed 15 grams of creatine/placebo per day. Thereafter, the creatine dose was reduced to only 5 grams of creatine/placebo for the remaining seven weeks of rehabilitation.

Cross-sectional area of the quadriceps muscle (upper leg), leg extension power and myogenic factor expression were compared in the two groups.

Creatine: A practical guide
discusses the many ways that targeted creatine use can assists in muscle rehabilitation following injury.
Click here for more information about the guide.



This study demonstrated that leg cross-sectional area and strength recovered more rapidly in those individuals who had supplemented with creatine.

Most importantly, myogenic factor expression was greater for the creatine group during the rehabilitation phase of the study. In particular, one myogenic factor, MRF4 (Myogenic Regulatory Factor 4), correlated strongly with the increase in leg cross-sectional area. It would thus appear that MRF4 is responsible for the muscle regeneration observed in this study. Interestingly, MRF4 exerts its greatest effect over those muscle fibers most sensitive to creatine supplementation; the fast muscle fibers.


This study concluded that creatine supplementation stimulates muscle growth and recovery through the production of myogenic factors, in particular one known as MRF4. The authors of the study openly state that “creatine supplementation is capable of shortening the duration of rehabilitation needed to restore muscle mass following an episode of disuse atrophy”.

Take Home

This study suggests that creatine increases the expression of myogenic factors that induce muscles growth.

Scientific Reference

Hespel, P., Eijnde, B.O., Leemputte, M.V., Urso, B., Greenhaff, P.L., Labarque V., Dymarkowski, S., Hecke, P.V. and Richter, E.A. (October 2001) Oral creatine supplementation facilitates the rehabilitation of disuse atrophy and alters the expression of muscle myogenic factors in humans. Journal of Physiology Volume 536: 2: pages 625-633.

Creatine: A practical guide
Responsible creatine information with no strings attached!
Click here for more information about the guide.


The Treatment of Joint Pain and Preventing Joint Injuries

If you are among the millions who are active athletically, it is a certainty that at some point in time you will experience joint pain. It doesn’t matter if you are athletic for recreation or a professional joint pain will happen. For most of you, this is an accepted part of the price you pay for engaging in sports activities. The question is really not about whether or not you will ever have joint pain, the issue is really when.

Many of you go about your athletic activities and endure the pain rather than taking positive steps to put an end to it. After all, it is very easy to take a trip to the drugstore and pick up an over-the-counter painkiller and for nearly all of you, it is the avenue you elect to follow.

Learning about your options

Since we all understand pain goes hand in hand with being athletic, the most common approach is the one we just mentioned. You take aspirin, Tylenol, Ibuprofen or one of that family of “drugs” and let it go at that. What you may not realize is that the use of this class of drugs (called NSAID’s), is that they carry a high price. Over time, they all have dangerous and in some instances it can actually be life threatening. That may sound pretty extreme but if you take the time to discuss this with your family doctor he will be the first to agree.

The human body: how joints protect us

There are 143 joints in the human body. Unfortunately, all of them are subject to the ravages of deteriorating cartilage. (Most commonly called “osteoarthritis.”) And as athletes you are not in a unique club. There are over 70 million Americans who suffer the debilitating pain of osteoarthritis. So what makes this such a significant issue if you are an athlete? As an athlete you increase your risk of developing secondary osteoarthritis as a result of trauma.

Secondary Arthritis

Osteoarthritis is generally a naturally occurring condition. The cartilage that protects our bony structures from coming into contact with one another usually just begins to lose its resiliency or “sponge-like” qualities. And without that protective cushion, the trouble begins. Unfortunately, if we do not address it correctly it can lead us down the road from dull aches to excruciating pain. In many instances, it may even require surgery.The question is, does this really have to happen? The answer is that it does not.

Glucosamine: A chondroprotective agent

What role does glucosamine play in this picture? Is it really a “painkiller” and can it halt and even reverse the effects of osteoarthritis? This may come as a real shock to many of you but it can do both and accomplish the job very rapidly.

Click here for information on how to combat joint deterioration.

Still have questions about creatine? You'll probably find the answers in my ebook!

Creatine: a practical guide will teach you how to use creatine safely and effectively for greatest muscle growth. You'll learn: how to design your own personalized dosing protocol, what to eat (and what not to eat) and other methods to make the greatest muscle gains, at the lowest price. Also, find out whether expensive creatine formulations are really worth the money!

All for less than the cost of your monthly creatine!

More information