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The Role of Cartilage in Your Joint Function

The Role of Cartilage in Your Joint Function

Cartilage is essential to joint health. It’s the primary type of connective tissue found throughout your body that serves a range of structural and functional purposes. Damage to your joints is a common cause of chronic pain.

When you’re dealing with pain, you can count on the providers at Lynx Healthcare to diagnose the cause and provide an effective solution to get you the relief you need. 

Interventional pain management physician Michael Plyman, MD, and our team of pain management specialists provide top-quality care using the latest advances in pain medicine. We see patients with common, as well as complex, pain conditions.

Here, we break down the basics of cartilage and its importance to joint health.

What is cartilage?

Cartilage is a tough connective tissue. It is unique in that it doesn’t have blood vessels or nerves. Specialized cartilage cells form a gel-like material that makes it strong, yet flexible. There are three types of cartilage.

More flexible than bone, but stiffer than muscle, each type of cartilage serves an important purpose in the body.

Why is cartilage important to joints?

Hyaline cartilage provides cushion at the ends of bones so that bones don’t rub against each other. Healthy cartilage helps to lubricate joints and keep them moving smoothly without any stress. If the cartilage wears down from damage or degeneration, the joint loses some of that cushion, and you experience bone-on-bone friction, which can cause significant pain, among other symptoms.

What causes joint damage?

Age-related wear and tear and arthritis are the most common causes of joint damage. Other causes include:

When cartilage becomes damaged, the joint tends to become stiff and painful. You may notice that you can’t bend or extend the joint as far as you used to. Left untreated, cartilage can deteriorate significantly, causing the bones to rub against each other. It can affect your mobility and your overall quality of life.

Treating joint pain

 The Lynx Healthcare team provides individualized treatment to help you feel and function better. We offer a range of treatment options to relieve your joint pain, including breakthrough regenerative medicine, such as platelet-rich plasma therapy (PRP).

PRP uses your own blood to make a concentrated source of powerful platelets and growth factors that we can inject into your damaged joint. PRP therapy uses the body’s natural healing ability to ease inflammation and regenerate new tissue.

We offer cutting-edge treatments for joint pain so you can get back to doing the things you enjoy. To learn more, call our office at 505-356-4295 to schedule a visit with one of our providers or request an appointment online today. 

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