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CARTILAGE HEALTH: TAKING CARE OF YOUR WHEELS
Most of us think of our joints like tires. After so many miles, they wear out. Best to keep the mileage low or plan on replacing them. I mean, how many of us stop running for fear of wearing out our knees or hips?
But your cartilage is not like your tires. Throughout life, it undergoes continual remodeling; it degrades and is replaced by newly made cells. Healthy cartilage makes a very smooth, friction-free surface that disburses forces evenly from one bone to the next.
So, in that respect I guess, cartilage does act like a bike tire; when a tire is full of air, it keeps the rim from bending because it transfers load evenly from the road to the wheel. Brilliant.
How Cartilage is Different: The surprising thing about cartilage is that is has no blood supply. It gets nutrition from the pumping action when you move. Pressure on and pressure off moves nutrients through the cartilage and makes it healthier. That’s why people with cartilage damage often feel stiff after sitting still; without movement, the joint isn’t lubricated.
When something goes wrong: We hear about cartilage tears from sports injuries, but they can also occur because of training errors. The Bolder Boulder is great for business. So are New Year’s Resolutions. In an attempt to turn over a new leaf, many people go from zero to 60 and wind up hurt. They load their joints without getting them ready first.
Healthy cartilage can absorb compressive forces several times body weight. With injury or lack of activity, load tolerance goes down. The key to getting better/fitter is finding the optimal starting load and knowing how to progress. You can’t just go full steam ahead. Studies have shown that osteoarthritis symptoms of stiffness and pain respond very well to gradually increasing exercise.
As you work to improve cartilage health and tolerance, you need a precise exercise prescription. A bike might be a good starting place; you can control the amount of resistance. This is where low load and long duration works magic. But then what? How do you get back to doing the Bolder Boulder in 2022?
Our Anti-Gravity Treadmill empowers people to move in new ways and without pain.
That’s where we come in. ALTA therapists feel your pain, and we know how to help you recover. With the Alter G, the total gym and “loads” of experience loading joints, we can get you back on track. Give us a call!