Cartilage: The tread to our tires
The soles to our shoes. The rubber to our mat.
We have cartilage on the end of every bone that forms a joint. It’s in our knees, hips, shoulders, elbows,wrist bones, fingers, ankles and toes. Cartilage allows the two bones that form a joint to glide smoothly without friction or pain.
We are all born with cartilage. As we age, our bones harden and our joints begin to wear out. The rate at which they wear out is dependent on many factors including age, activity level, injury and genetics.
When our cartilage wears away, the bone becomes more exposed and rubs, causing friction and pain. This is called arthritis. It’s like the tread on tires being worn down. The harder you drive the car, the more wear the tires will see.
Unfortunately, cartilage isn’t as easy to replace as putting a new tire on the car. Once the cartilage is gone or worn away, it’s gone forever.
Just like you shouldn’t peel out of a parking lot with bald tires, its not the best idea to go running, or perform high impact exercises with worn out joints.
A easy way to maintain the cartilage that you have left is to maintain a healthy weight and to avoid impact activities. Good exercises for hip, knee, and ankle arthritis is elliptical, biking or swimming. These activities are good for your heart, bone, and joint health.
By: Stephanie Jones, AT