Cartilage is the “sponge-like” tissue that allows your joints to move painlessly with very little effort. It also provides shock absorption and flexibility to your spinal column, as well as you body joints, such as your ankle, knee, and hip. Every movement you make throughout your day relies on healthy cartilage. Taking care of your cartilage means freedom to physically enjoy your favorite sport or recreational activity like golf, gardening, walking, or traveling. It ensures that you maintain the ability to climb stairs, get in and out of your vehicle, walk through a grocery store – all basic, fundamental activities that can turn into excruciatingly painful experiences that you dread if you don’t have healthy cartilage.
So, how do you take care of cartilage and make sure it stays healthy? Patients here at the Back and Neck Care Center are educated on what they need to know on this important subject. The basics include:
1. BIOMECHANICAL EXAM: This is the essential FIRST step. Your joints must be able to work efficiently when the muscles pull. This is how the cartilage breathes and gets fed.
2. CHIROPRACTIC ADJUSTMENTS: Restore normal joint function – stiff, painful joints mean that they are not working properly. Our “Biomechanical Examination” detects joint dysfunction, and appropriate, specific chiropractic adjustments are the only way to restore normal joint motion.
3. SPECIFIC, APPROPRIATE EXERCISE: Regular exercise insures that muscles stay strong and balanced so that they can continue to make your body’s joints efficiently and protect them. Consistent exercise maintains proper body weight and squeezes irritating pain-producing waste products out of the muscles so that your body can eliminate them. Excessive body weight breaks down your cartilage.
4. HEALTH-PROMOTING DIET AND SPECIFIC NUTRITION SUPPLEMENTS: Make sure your body has regular, appropriate nutrients to maintain cartilage, muscle, nerve, and joint health. Learn which supplements you need to take and what are necessary doses.
5. CUSTOM FOOT ORTHOTICS: Orthotics provide a balanced foundation for your body that reduces stress on your ankles, knees, hips, and spine, while you walk and move through your day. This is a very important, but is often neglected element that significantly reduces the risk of knee injury from trauma – both acute as well as constant, repetitive stress to your knees. Healthy knees allow you to move, lift, work, and play without pain.
6. WATER: Cartilage is 65-85% water. Drinking 8-12 glasses of water daily is an important component in keeping your cartilage healthy.
Following these simple steps will help keep your cartilage healthy and happy, and keep you pain free!