Joint Venture
Amazing Wellness|Early Summer 2019

If you’re like most people, you don’t think about your joints until they get stiff and achy. But you should give them some attention before they cause you discomfort in order to keep them healthy and guard against injury for years to come.

Maureen Farrar

What Are Joints?

Joints are the tissues that connect bones and help support movements throughout the body. They are what help you bend your elbows and knees, and flex your fingers and feet. Most of the joints designed for movement are called synovial joints because they have a small, fluid-filled space between the surfaces called a synovial cavity. This fluid acts as a lubricant, cushioning the joints so the bones don’t rub together. Cartilage, the spongy tissue on the end of each bone, reduces friction and acts as a cushion between joints and helps support our weight when we move. Cartilage is a tough but flexible tissue that has two components: water and matrix. About 85 percent of cartilage is water, but it decreases to about 70 percent in older people. The matrix is comprised of collagens, proteoglycans, and noncollagenous proteins. Cartilage lacks a blood supply, making it slow to heal.

Common Causes of Joint Pain Joint pain affects millions of people every single day and is a symptom tied to dozens of different disorders. One of the most common causes of joint pain is osteoarthritis (OA). According to the American College of Rheumatology, OA is most common in adults over the age of 40. Joint pain from OA results from the breakdown of cartilage that cushions joints. Aging, carrying too much weight, and other factors can cause wear and tear on your joints, and lead to arthritis.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the second most common form, and it causes pain, inflammation, and fluid build-up as the body’s immune system attacks the membrane that lines the joints. RA can deform the joints over time.

Pain relievers such as acetaminophen or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are usually the first choice for pain relief, but they can cause gastrointestinal upset, high blood pressure, and liver or kidney problems. However, there are other options available.

Glucosamine & Chondroitin

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