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How to Keep Cartilage Healthy

Everyone knows about bones and how important bone health is not only for kids as they grow, but also for anyone who gets older. As we age, bone health becomes increasingly more important. But one aspect about bone health that not many people often discuss is cartilage. In fact, many people might not even be aware of what cartilage is and the importance it holds for our overall health, particularly the health of our bones. 

It is important to take care of your cartilage in order to maintain bone health and joint mobility. Luckily, with his background in medicine and sports, Dr. Emil has the tips you need to know to keep your cartilage healthy so you can be your healthiest self. And part of being your healthiest self includes taking care of your cartilage. 

Without properly healthy cartilage, our joints can’t move as smoothly and function properly. In this article we’ll look at the different kinds of cartilage, the function it holds, and how you can keep your cartilage healthy. We’ll also look at what good cartilage health can do for your overall health. 

Here’s a quick look at what you can expect to learn in this article:

  • What cartilage is and what it does
  • Why cartilage health is important 
  • Tips for how to keep your cartilage healthy 

What is Cartilage and What Does it Do in Our Bodies? 

The first step to knowing how to keep your cartilage healthy is understanding what cartilage is

Keeping your cartilage healthy is important: let’s talk about why.

Cartilage is a connective tissue that protects both your bones and your joints. Cartilage can be found at the ends of your bones and reduces friction between your bones in order to stop them from rubbing together when you use your joints. There are many different things that your cartilage does including acting as a shock absorbent within your body. By cushioning your bones when you use your joints, cartilage reduces the stress impact can have on your bones.

Cartilage is an avascular tissue that is made up of special cartilage cells. These cells then make dense extracellular matrices composed of proteoglycans, collagen, and other non-collagenous proteins. These different components that make up cartilage are essential for its overall health, keeping its shape, and allowing the cartilage to function properly. 

Cartilage can also act as the main tissue in your body, giving some body parts their shape and structure. Some of these body parts can include your ears and nose. Cartilage also helps your joints keep their shape when you use them and allows you to use your joints more smoothly and without issues. Knowing the different kinds of cartilage can help you understand how to take care of it.

There are three main types of cartilage in your body, each with their own function and purpose. The three types of cartilage include:

1. Hyaline Cartilage 

Hyaline cartilage is the main form of cartilage that is most commonly referred to when discussing cartilage in general. This is the cartilage that is found at the ends of your bones and lines your joints, but it is not strong enough to give structure. This type of cartilage is also found in your nasal passages and between your ribs. 

2. Elastic Cartilage 

As its name would suggest, elastic cartilage is the most flexible cartilage in our bodies. This cartilage is found in places in your body that need extra support but still need to be able to move and bend. This specific type of cartilage can bend and move, but still maintain its shape even after it is impacted with force. The outside of your ear is one place this cartilage can be found.

3. Fibrocartilage 

Fibrocartilage is the thickest and most durable form of cartilage. Found between the vertebrae in your spine, this type of cartilage is strong enough to help keep structure and support parts of your body and can protect your body from impact and stress. 

Why is Having Healthy Cartilage Important for Our Health?

Let’s look at why we need to keep our cartilage healthy

Healthy cartilage is essential for our bodies to perform the way they need to.

Over time our cartilage can wear down for a variety of reasons. Reasons such as age, excess activity, being overweight, or injury are just a few of the factors that can affect the health of your cartilage. As the cartilage wears down, a person can experience pain and other symptoms as the cushion between the bones decreases and your bones begin to rub against each other. If you're looking for a complementary approach to managing cartilage health, considering an acupuncture program may provide potential benefits. Acupuncture has been studied for its potential to help alleviate pain, reduce inflammation, and improve joint function. By targeting specific acupuncture points, this ancient practice may contribute to the overall well-being of your musculoskeletal system, offering a holistic approach to support cartilage health.

The damage to Hyaline Cartilage is most commonly seen in people who battle arthritis and is one of the common forms of cartilage degeneration. Arthritis can cause stiffness, pain, and limited mobility over time. There are medications to deal with symptoms of cartilage loss, but the prevention and proper care of your cartilage is a person’s best defense against the consequences of poor cartilage health. 

The loss or deterioration of cartilage in certain parts of your body can be a painful process, can cause a person to have limited mobility overtime, and can affect your overall health and well-being. This is why cartilage health is so important, because preventing stress and loss of cartilage is the strongest way to prevent complications later on in life. 

4 Tips for Keeping Your Cartilage Healthy 

There are many ways to keep your cartilage healthy, let’s discuss them 

There are several ways a person can take care of their cartilage. 

There are many different ways that a person can take care of their cartilage, and the path you choose will depend mainly on your lifestyle choices and which tips fit best into your daily routine. Whether you have time to exercise regularly or you can only get one in a week, the important thing to remember with cartilage health is that just doing something to support healthy cartilage is better than doing nothing at all. So let’s take a look at 4 tips to help keep your cartilage healthy. 

1. Taking Glucosamine Chondroitin Supplements 

Adding supplements to your daily health routine can help keep cartilage healthy 

Among the other components that make up your cartilage and help it to function properly, glucosamine and chondroitin are two of the ones that your body naturally produces. These two compounds are two of the most important in cartilage because they help it maintain its shape and structure, and also help your body in the process of building new cartilage. 

While this doesn’t mean that taking glucosamine and chondroitin supplements can magically heal your cartilage and produce new cartilage quickly. Instead, using glucosamine and chondroitin supplements can help tremendously to prevent the deterioration of healthy cartilage and can slow down the natural decline your cartilage takes as you age. But how do these supplements work?

Though they are two different components that naturally occur in your cartilage, glucosamine and chondroitin often appear together in supplements. This is because they work best together to keep your cartilage healthy. Glucosamine has been reported to reduce inflammation around your joints and, in some cases, might help relieve some of the pain that can come along with diseases like arthritis. Chondroitin works to protect the cartilage by helping your joints absorb water, which then blocks the enzymes that break down cartilage. 

But like most things, not all supplements are the same and not all of them are backed by real doctors and real people. Dr. Emil’s Joint Support supplement is not only backed by a doctor with real life medical experience, but it is safe for all ages. So you can start protecting your joints today. 

2. Exercise Regularly

A regular exercise routine can help your cartilage stay healthier for longer 

Exercise has many benefits on the health of your body.

It is no secret that one of the best ways to stay healthy is to exercise. But when it comes to cartilage health, this is especially true. Not only will exercising help to keep your joints loose and will help you with mobility, especially as you age, but exercising regularly will also help you to maintain a healthy weight, which is essential to cartilage health. 

Excess weight can put a strain on your cartilage, but so can vigorous exercise which can lead to injury. This doesn’t mean if you are an avid runner that you have to give it up, but consider adding in a few low-impact exercises as well. This will reduce the strain and stress on your joints and bones, and will in turn help to keep your cartilage healthier longer. 

Some of the best exercises for joint health can include stretching, flexibility exercises, low-impact exercises, and cross-training which provides a good variety of high and low impact exercises. The important thing is to choose an exercise routine that you enjoy doing. When you enjoy the exercises you are doing, you are more likely to stick with the routine and make it a habit. 

3. Cut Out Smoking and Other Tobacco Products 

Smoking and tobacco use can have a negative effect on your joint health 

While it is a widely known fact that smoking and using other tobacco products has a negative impact on your health, particularly your lungs, it also negatively impacts your joints and bone health. In fact, smoking can actually increase your risk of developing osteoporosis which causes your bones to become weak and fracture easier. 

Not only can smoking reduce blood supply to your bones, but nicotine can also slow down your body’s ability to create bone-forming cells. On top of that, smoking can make exercise harder which can prevent you from doing it regularly and maintaining a healthy weight. So if you are a daily smoker, consider stopping or cutting back your tobacco use to help improve your cartilage health. 

4. Taking Collagen Supplements 

Collagen has many positive effects on the body, including joint health 

Collagen doesn’t just help with skin, it can also improve joint health. 

Collagen is a supplement that is pretty popular and well known, and for good reason. Most commonly recognized as a supplement that helps with anti-aging effects like keeping the elasticity of your skin, improving hair and nail health, and just all-around making you feel good, collagen can also be beneficial to bone and joint health. 

Collagen can help with joint issues by reducing irritation which can then make doing the activities you love easier. This is especially applicable to those who like to run for exercise, as it can help with bone and joint pain during these high-impact exercise routines. Collagen can also be beneficial to improving bone density, which can help with overall bone and joint health. 

Dr. Emil’s Multi Collagen Plus Biotin and Vitamin D not only has a combination of the 5 types of collagen to help support skin and joint health, but it also has biotin and vitamin D which are also beneficial to bone and joint health. 

Taking care of your joints and keeping your cartilage healthy is important for your overall health and longevity. Cartilage health is also essential for your daily lifestyle because it ensures that your daily activities remain easy for you to do. When cartilage health declines, the everyday activities you are used to can become hard to partake in. So use these tips to keep your cartilage healthy; you’ll be happy you did. 

You should consult a licensed health care professional before starting any supplement, dietary, or exercise program, especially if you are pregnant or have any pre-existing injuries or medical conditions.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases.

Author: Dr. Emil Hodzovic

Holding degrees in both medicine and Sports + Exercise Science from renowned research institution Cardiff University, Dr. Emil Hodzovic has the dual distinction of being a practicing clinician and respected authority in nutrition and supplementation.

During his parallel careers as a personal trainer and professional athlete, Dr. Emil recognized a critical flaw in the supplement space: too much emphasis on appearance and performance—and zero concern for making holistic health and happiness accessible to everyone.

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