- Nourishment to the joints
The cartilage on both sides of the joint serves as the point of contact between moving bones. Blood vessels would get in the way here, so this tissue necessarily does not have a good supply of blood to bring in joint nourishment and to carry away metabolic wastes. For this reason, cartilage repair is a very slow process. The nourishment that cartilage does receive is delivered by the fluid that naturally occurs within the joint. That fluid is produced by the joint capsule which does have a good blood supply, but the effective delivery of that nourishing joint fluid depends on joint range of motion. Studies have demonstrated that restricting a joint from moving normally results in damage to the articular cartilage. Discs in the spine also depend on normal motion to bring in nutrients and flush out wastes. As we get older, it remains critical to keep everything moving normally in order to maintain joint and spinal health and function.