The function of articular cartilage

Ledbroskets funktion

The function of articular cartilage

To understand the function of articular cartilage, we first need to understand what a joint is. A joint is like a connection between two bone parts. It acts much like a hinge and enables us to move. The ends of the bones that make up the joint are in turn covered with a protective cartilage. The cartilage is in practice like a very thin sponge whose function is to act as a shock absorber. Together with the synovial fluid, the cartilage protects the bones that move in the joint. In other words, joint fluid and joint cartilage are very important components for the joint to function normally. We therefore usually call them joint plasters. They allow the bone parts to move friction-free without going against and damaging each other.

Cartilage consists of cartilage cells that are embedded in different types of fibers. The collagen fibers act protectively for the cartilage. The aggrecans attract water so that the cartilage can maintain its spongy and shock-absorbing character. The cartilage cells are like small building blocks. They maintain and build up the cartilage as the older cartilage naturally breaks down. It is a constant ongoing process at all levels.

Cartilage is sensitive because it has no blood vessels. It receives nutrients via the synovial fluid and waste products from the cartilage are transported along the same route. It is important to move regularly so that the cartilage is maintained and gets circulation. It then maintains its elastic and shock-absorbing properties, which favors the rebuilding of new cartilage.

How is articular cartilage affected by getting older?

Regardless of whether we are humans, horses or dogs, a change occurs in the articular cartilage as we get older. The protective collagen fibers become stiffer and less elastic and the moisture-binding aggrecans become fewer and fewer. The cartilage becomes less shock-absorbing and it also becomes more fragile. The load on the joint often becomes more uneven. The result is that the cartilage can break down and eventually disappear completely. This course can also occur in younger people and animals if the joint has been exposed to an injury. Therefore, it is important to maintain and support the joint with the addition of hyaluronic acid, preferably together with glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, in order to maintain a healthy joint.

The products below for horses and dogs contain hyaluronic acid in combination with glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin sulfate. These three components are found naturally in the cartilage and act synergistically for the joint to function normally.

For horse
Chondrogen 100 Pro is a feed supplement for horses. Recommended for the exercising and older horse to promote optimal joint function.

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