How Moving Keeps Your Joints Healthy

August 16, 2015

 

Hello everyone,

How does moving keeps your joints healthy?  It is really very simple.  First, let’s make sure everyone knows that a joint in the body is where two bones meet, the most common or well known joints being the most moveable ones, such as elbow, ankle, shoulder, knee, etc.  Now everyone knows that joints are lined with cartilage, and it is cartilage that keeps the bones from rubbing on each other.  Cartilage also produces its own lubricating fluid that allows the joints ends to move across one another very smoothly.  This fluid is also help to keep joint cartilage healthy by delivering nutritious materials to it.  The more a joint moves, the more that it produces the fluid and the more the joint cartilage is bathed with this fluid and nutritious materials.  Movement also helps to keep the ligaments and tendons around that joint fully mobile and stretched out, allowing a full range of motion for that joint. 

Pressure on a joint can affect it as well.  And joint cartilage has a property that makes is sort of like a sponge, in the fact that it can be squished to push out old fluid, and then released to bring in new joint fluid, with new nutritious materials, which then keeps that joint very healthy.  Hence, simple movement keeps a joint healthy.  If there is too much pressure on a joint, then the “sponge property” of joint cartilage will become compromised, and the joint fluid cannot be moved in and out of the cartilage, therefore not delivering nutritious materials and the joint cartilage will suffer, usually by a small portion of it degenerating, and now the joint has less cartilage and less ability to protect the ends of the bone.  Excess body weight is the most common reason for excess pressure on a joint, and the reason for most of the degenerative joint disease that occurs.  Injury can also cause chronic joint injury, but is not quite as common.

Therefore, it is easy to see how simply movement and keeping your weight down can promote long, and healthy joint life.  And keep you pain free and moving around well into your later years.  So get moving!!!

Thanks for reading and have a great day.             

Dr. Mckim

 

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