Joints are anatomical structures that bring two or more bones into contact, and it is thanks to these structures that it is possible to make large movements and coordinate limbs and different parts of the body. They are essentially to be considered the junction point between the bones of the skeleton.
The connection between the different bones is ensured by various elements: fibrous tissue, cartilage tissue, capsules, ligaments and membranes.
Articular cartilage in particular is the membrane that lines the articular surfaces; has the task of reducing the friction between the bones that form the joint, in order to preserve its functionality and reduce wear due to stress and microtraumas. It consists of connective tissue, rich in collagen, proteoglycans and chondrocytes.
Joints and sports
The joints of those who practice sports in an intense way, for example, are continuously subjected to stress ; furthermore, the lack of adequate warm-up, workouts that are too long and heavy, exercises done incorrectly and insufficient recovery times make the joints more exposed to trauma . This causes constant pain that the athlete gets used to or settles down regularly using pain medication.
Furthermore, by continuing to train even in these conditions, athletes worsen their situation. In addition to pain , the joints often have swelling (due to fluid retention) and an appearance that denotes a clear inflammatory state.
In some sports practices that require extreme efforts and involve the development of an important muscle mass, hypertrophic training in the long run can be harmful to the joints: the muscles grow, strengthen and get used to the efforts (succeeding, within the limits, to bear more) but the joints do not and may be affected. While bone and muscle are tissues endowed with a certain regenerative capacity , this is not true for cartilage : the cartilage "endowment" is given at birth and remains unchanged until the end. This is why it must be carefully preserved.
Cartilage, by reducing the friction between the bones and protecting them, is therefore very important for the health of the bones themselves. When the body does not have healthy cartilage, it becomes very difficult to carry out physical work and severe pain in the joints is felt.
The joints as we age
Joints undergo a lot of strain throughout life and can wear out over time , which can lead to chronic pain due to inflammatory processes , such as arthritis . All of this is heightened with advancing age; furthermore, the regeneration of this tissue is increasingly complicated and the dietary integration of the nutrients that form the cartilages takes on strategic importance.
First, it is important to understand how joints change with aging : connective tissue and cartilage can thin over time.
In a healthy joint, the bones do not touch directly, but are cushioned by joint cartilage, synovial membranes around the joint, and a lubricating fluid within the joints (synovial fluid). With age, the thinning of the cartilage and the reduction of fluid tend to make the joints stiff.
Many of these age-related joint changes are caused by a lack of exercise - movement helps circulate fluid better. Being inactive causes the cartilage to shrink and stiffen, reducing joint mobility
Arthritis and osteoarthritis: the differences
Osteoarthritis is a chronic rheumatic disease characterized by degenerative lesions of the articular cartilage (thinning of the cartilage) and its incidence increases significantly with age.
When clinically evident, osteoarthritis is characterized by pain, stiffness and functional limitation of the involved joints. The districts most affected are those most subject to small traumas (small joints of the hands and feet), hips, knees and lumbar spine (often in those who are overweight).
Causes and risk factors include age, sex, genetic factors, overweight, and hormonal or metabolic dysfunctions, as well as repeated trauma (due to particular occupational activities or competitive sports).
Arthritis , on the other hand, is due to inflammation of the joints, it can affect people of any age due to trauma or overexertion and manifests itself with pain, redness, swelling, stiffness, and generally an increase in the temperature of the affected joints.
Preserve the health of cartilage and joints
It is advisable to take preventive measures early on to protect the joints and prevent joint pain later in life.
Among the most useful tips to preserve your joints are the suggestion to follow a correct diet, to maintain an adequate body weight, to pay attention to light and constant physical activity and to hydrate, as well as to eliminate bad habits such as smoking and alcohol, which promote inflammation.
Tackling joint inflammation and pain: natural friends
In addition to this, it is possible to resort to substances with an anti-inflammatory action in order to reduce the inflammatory process at the base of joint disorders and related symptoms, such as stiffness, pain and swelling.
These include substances such as Devil's Claw and Turmeric , with a well-known anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving and antioxidant action. Turmeric, available in officinal tincture , for those who prefer liquid formulations, or in highly bioavailable capsules in CurcuMaxima , is a spice known to support joint function. When combined with black pepper, as in Powdered Turmeric or in Tablets , it shows an enhanced action as piperine increases its assimilation.
Another totally natural remedy for the joints is represented by Boswellia , commonly known as incense: a plant long used in folk medicine against osteoarthritis and rheumatism, it is a real cure-all for the joints, as it relieves joint pain and swelling and inflammation. Associates.
Minerals such as magnesium can also help relieve rheumatism and localized pain; Magnesium Dermal Spray for example, gives quick relief when applied directly to the affected area, as it helps restore tone and elasticity to both muscles and joints.
Finally , MSM or methysfulonylmethane (the natural form of organic sulfur) is useful for counteracting chronic pain, as it promotes the elimination of toxins that accumulate in the tissues and cause pain and swelling; therefore it helps the recovery of mobility by supporting the cartilages.