Cartilage & Joint:
Cartilage is a tough, gel-like material that covers the ends of bones where they meet to form a joint. Cartilage allows bones to glide smoothly across each other during movement, and acts as a shock absorber for the joints. Cartilage can undergo degradation due to various reasons including aging that can cause difficultly with mobility in many adults.
Cartilage damage is the main cause of many degenerative joint diseases including osteoarthritis, degenerative arthritis. However, is important to maintain healthy cartilage and joints for a physically active and agile life.
How restricted mobility could hamper healthy aging
Mobility is essential for general independence as well as ensuring good health and quality of life at any age. A physically active life with increasing age is a major indicator of healthy aging.
With age, the major joints and associated cartilage undergo degradation due to continuous wear and tear which causes the cartilage to crack and break away from joints. As this protective coating wears away the bones start to grind against each other. This results in swelling and inflammation of the joints, reduced mobility and muscle spasm. One of the most familiar problems faced by elderly people is joint pain. There are of course several types of problems that cause normal joint pain in ‘old’ people and ‘normal’ people alike. Bursitis, tendinitis, various types of arthritis, and other complaints, can also cause joint ache. Excess of body weight places added pressure into these joints causing pain and restricts overall mobility and flexibility of the joints.
Mobility restriction due to degradation of cartilage and joints has also been linked to feelings of social isolation, depression, chronic illnesses, weight issues, loss of bone density and ultimately has been found to be a predictor of mortality.
Why we need glucosamine as we age to support Joint health
Glucosamine, a chemical found in the human body produces a variety of other chemicals that are involved in building tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and the thick synovial fluid that surrounds joints and acts as a cushion to the surrounding joint. .
As we age synovial fluid that lubricates the joints and cartilage can diminish. Also, a lifetime of walking, exercising, and moving leads to degeneration of cartilage causing chronic inflammation and swelling of the joint. This inflammation can further break down the cartilage over time. The cartilage may wear away completely if it is left untreated.
Glucosamine supplementation can provide the building blocks of collagen, which is the foundation of cartilage. This also helps control inflammation and supports healthy joint.