As time passes by, the connective tissue which helps our joints function properly starts wearing away. The wear and tear of this tissue which develops over the years eventually leads to inflammation and stiff joints in the knees, lower back, hips, neck, and the joins in hands and feet.
What Causes Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is extremely common joints disease, currently affecting nearly 27 million Americans. While everyone is prone to this disease, those over 65 years old are most vulnerable. The reason is probably the fact that it takes many years for the tissue to break down, which is quite promising as it gives enough time for people to try to treat the condition.
In most cases, this condition affects the cartilage, or the connective tissue, which lubricates the ends of the bones in joints in order to promote painless movement. It also acts as absorber between the bones, which is particularly helpful for those who bend their knees for most of the day.
The cartilage consists of a few layers, which can eventually wear away. Although it takes a lot of time for this breakdown to happen, the bones in time are left with no cartilage between them. Pieces of the cartilage and bone can break down, causing inflammation and pain.
Causes of Osteoarthritis
- Improperly formed joints
- Genetic defects in cartilage
- Joint stress from work and play
- Joint injury
Unfortunately, most of these things are out of your control, and you aren’t doing them on purpose. The only thing you can do is to try anything to maintain good cartilage health and prevent these problems from happening.
Rebuilding Cartilage Can Ease Your Pain
In a study published in The Journal of Arthroscopic and Related Surgery, the researchers tried to re-grow knee cartilage with the help of an arthroscopy, a less aggressive alternative to knee replacement. Dr. Kevin Stone was the lead researchers of the study involving 125 subjects in their late 40s.
The researchers took cartilage from another part of their knees and created a paste that would be later placed over the damaged area. It was noted that after 12 years, most patients felt less pain and got back their ability to move up and down stairs much easily. 42 out of 66 checked individuals exhibited signs on regrown cartilage.
In other studies, Dr. Riley Williams at the Hospital for Special Surgery did cartilage restoration surgery by utilizing both synthetic and real cartilage on patients in their 50s. The both studies involved patients with damaged cartilage either under their kneecaps or at the end of the femur bone.
The doctor did the surgeries using a different material to fill the holes in the cartilage. After three years, the patients reported less pain and ability to be more physically active. In each study, the doctors noted that these surgeries had the ability to improve quality of life and delay the need for full joint replacement.
Eating Gelatin Can Help Build Cartilage
Gelatin is a flavorless food product obtained from hydrolyzed collagen, an essential protein found in the skin and other connective tissues. A group of researchers discussed a study investigating the effects of gelatin on people with osteoarthritis.
The study involved 175 subjects with mild osteoarthritis who were given either a placebo or daily gelatin supplement. The supplement contained 10 grams of gelatin, calcium, and vitamin C.
Before they started taking the supplements, they had their levels of flexibility, mobility, stiffness, joint strength, and knee pain evaluated. While both groups exhibited improvement in all aspects within 8-14 weeks, the group consuming gelatin showed notable improvement in specific strength and work performance tests.
Alternatives for Improving Cartilage Health
Silicea gel and Hyaluronic acid are other two effective alternatives that improve cartilage health.
Silicea gel is a water-based gel containing materials that absorb and retain moisture. Researchers believe that this substance absorbs toxins, which in turn promotes skin health and accelerates the body`s healing process, particularly when it comes to bone-related issues.
Hyaluronic acid is a lubricant produced by the body. It is most concentrated in the skin, joints, and eye sockets. It can be used to nourish the skin, lubricate painful joints, and reduce eye discomfort.
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