Joints can handle some heavy pressure. For example, knees handle a force of three to four times a person’s total body weight on average just talking a walk. The force of a deep knee bend during a squat can increase to nine times the body weight. So just imagine multiplying weight of more than 150 pounds times a minimum of three or four, and then even more. That can sure add up to a lot of heavy work on knee joints over time.
Now for the science of this scenario. Where two bones meet (the joint), the bone ends are covered with cartilage (also known as gristle). This cartilage is sturdy, elastic, and spongy (or compressible). It keeps the bones from moving against each other at the joint. The cells of this cartilage, called chondrocytes, are thought to be the longest living cells of the body.
Surrounding the bones and cartilage is strong, fibrous capsule lined with synovium, a thin membrane that lubricates the joint area with fluid. The end result is less friction or smoother rubbing together of the bones. This fluid also feds the cartilage cells, keeping them healthy. It's “pumped” into them during joint movement. Thus, lack of movement (activity / exercise) can be unhealthy for the joint because of the resultant lack of lubrication.
Other parts of the body features involved with this arthritic scenario include muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bursea. Mental activity also plays a role.
Muscles, attached to bones with tendons and ligaments, move bones by contracting. They also cushion movement, absorbing impact or shock. Throughout the muscle and tendon areas are bursae (small sacks) filled with fluid. These also help cushion movement. And throughout all the coordination of these parts during movement, the brain is a part. The brain communicates via nerves throughout the body, in particular the muscles for this scenario, to prepare joints for activity.
The exact science of what actually causes arthritis is still being researched. For most of the 100-plus forms of arthritis, the causes are unknown. Injury, overuse of joints and mechanical issues with joints (like skeletal abnormalities, worn out joint muscles) can lead to arthritis.
Many point to issues relating to bacteria and germs as some of the problem. Heredity, stress, drugs, food allergies and viruses have also been linked to some forms of arthritis. So have diet, poor circulation, and lack of movement.
Arthritic joints can be affected with inflammation when bacteria or a virus (or other undesirable element) enters the joint area or when an injury occurs. What happens is when foreign matter enters this area or the area sustains injury, white blood cells, antibodies and other natural “fighting” mechanisms automatically kick in internally to help. These fighters cause swelling, redness and heat as the body fluid moves around.
Symptoms of inflammation, one of the uncomfortable issues associated with arthritis, are redness, swelling, and tender joints.
Other Main Types of Arthritis
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Where an article is not bylined with a specific author's name, it was written by Mark Lamendola (see photos on home page and elsewhere on this site). Mark is a 4th degree blackbelt, has not been sick since 1971, and has not missed a workout since 1977. Just an example of how Mark knows what he's talking about: In his early 50s, Mark demonstrated a biceps curl using half his body weight. That's a Jack LaLanne level stunt. Few people can even come close. If you want to know how to build a strong, beautiful body, read the articles here.
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