An Introduction To Cartilage

FitnessOne common injury faced by many athletes is torn cartilage. Not all injuries can be prevented, but knowing more about how your body works can help you keep it healthy. Keep reading to learn more about cartilage.

What is cartilage?

Cartilage is flexible connective tissue that contains no blood vessels or nerves. It is not as hard or rigid as bones but it is less flexible than muscles.

Cartilage plays a few different roles in the body—it helps your body bear and distribute weight, it provides a cushioning layer between bones, and it provides shape and structural support for the ears and nose

Where can it be found?

Cartilage is found in between bones where a bone meets another bone to form a joint. It can be found throughout the body around the ribs, between vertebrae in the spine, and at joints in the elbows, knees, and ankles. It can also be found in the bronchial tubes, ears, and nose.

How can you keep cartilage healthy?

Cartilage provides protection for your body, especially when you are moving, but because it doesn’t contain blood vessels, cartilage doesn’t heal itself as well as other parts of the body. If you want to keep moving it is important to do your best to protect the cartilage in your body.

There are a few things you can do avoid injuries to the cartilage in your body.

  • Warm up before exercising—particularly before high impact exercises like running. This prepares your joints and may prevent torn cartilage.
  • Seek treatment for injuries as quickly as possible so that they don’t escalate.
  • Follow the instructions of your physical therapist and o the exercise that are assigned.
  • Work to reach or maintain a healthy weight. Excess weight puts more strain on your joints and leaves you at risk for other serious health problems. The best way to maintain a healthy weight is to exercise regularly and eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables.

To learn more about protecting your bones, joints and cartilage, contact Dr. William Murrell and schedule an appointment.