How to Protect and Strengthen Cartilage

strengthen cartilage

strengthen cartilageWhat if I told you that to keep your joint cartilage strong you need to put load on your joints – Not bike and swim?

Your articular cartilage forms the smooth covering inside your joints and often when someone has degenerated cartilage they are told to decrease loading and get into non-weight-bearing exercise – such as swimming and cycling.

strengthen cartilageIn a way this makes sense in that if you want to preserve and strengthen your cartilage, you wouldn’t run and jump and lift weights, would you? But our body doesn’t work like that, it responds positively to the force we put through it and really lives by the use it or lose it motto.

Recent research shows that:

Through putting load (body weight) on our cartilage we actually promote Transforming growth factor beta (TGFbeta) gene expression which helps to maintain our articular cartilage strength – That is pretty awesome.(1)

So without going into boring detail – By doing exercise which loads and compresses your cartilage, you actually help to strengthen cartilage and maintain homeostasis.

So get out there and walk, run or lift to keep your joints healthy – whether it is your knees, hips, back or any other weight-bearing joint.

2 thoughts on “How to Protect and Strengthen Cartilage”

  1. What if the cartilage is already worn out? Osteoarthritis as the doc calls it. The bones are already grinding together causing the pain. The doc advised to take Genacol.

    Is it possible that the cartilage has totally worn out?
    Will loaded or bodyweight exercise help? I’m thinking of strengthening the legs to compensate some of the load to release some of the burdens on the knees.

    1. PhysioPrescription

      Hi Mar – Degeneration is a common occurance in the knee and yes also it is the same thing as osteoarthritis. It is prevalent in the population and happens as you age (some more than others) and importantly lot of people have it and are painfree.

      Helping strengthen the muscles around the knee will help support the joint, as well as doign some body weight exercises to help maintain what cartilage is there 🙂

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