Synovial fluid lubricates joints in the human body. It is a straw-colored and thick substance.
The synovial fluid reduces the friction in joints like the oil in a car reduces its friction.
It helps the bones glide with each other helping in bending, extending, and rotating.
300 joints in the human body can move smoothly because of synovial fluids.
The fluid is thick like the egg-white and thickens under pressure for shock absorption. Synovial fluid helps in supplying nutrients to the joints and extracts the waste products which get while regenerating bone cells.
How aging affects flexibility and movement of joints?
With age, joint movement becomes less flexible and stiffer as the amount of lubricating synovial fluid inside the joints decreases and the cartilage becomes thinner. Ligaments tend to lose some flexibility and shorten with age which makes the joints feel stiffer.
The movement stops when the fluid is low.
The movement becomes more painful also when the synovial fluid is low. If the synovial fluid becomes too thin or too thick, it will not provide the optimum lubrication required for the joints, which may lead to osteoarthritis and cartilage damage.
Change of Synovial fluid level causes joint pain for all age groups.
Synovial osteochondromatosis is a rare condition that typically affects the knees. Also called synovial Chondromatosis, it can cause abnormal and non-cancerous growth of cartilages. When nodules grow, they float and break off in and around the bones, which causes intense pain in the joint’s movement.
People suffering from rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis often experience abnormalities in synovial fluid.
Muscle and bone conditions in older age
Most half of the Indians over the age of 60years experience some sort of disability. Some of the common conditions which affect the skeleton and muscles skeleton, or the musculoskeletal system, in higher age mostly include
Osteoarthritis:- The cartilage of the joint breaks down and causes stiffness and pain.
Osteomalacia:- Due to problems with metabolism of vitamin D, the bones become soft.
Osteoporosis:- The bones become brittle and lose mass. Fractures become more frequent.
Rheumatoid arthritis:- Inflammation of the joints
Muscle weakness:- Any of the above conditions can affect the proper functioning of the associated muscles.
Eating healthy foods helps in maintaining the right fluid levels.
Whether people are old or young, a balanced diet full of antioxidants can help in maintaining and increasing levels of synovial fluid.
Eating leafy greens, bright-colored vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts, and foods high in omega-3 fatty acids help in nourishing the joints and keeping the synovial fluid healthy.
Adding fermented foods like yogurt and kefir and foods high in allicin like garlic and onions to the daily diet maintains the fluid balance of the joints.
Age-related changes in bone
Bones are living tissues. With age, there is a loss of bone tissue as the structure of bone changes. Low bone mass indicates weaker bones and gives a pre indication of the risk of sudden bump or fall.
With age, our bones become less dense for many reasons
- Bone wastage is caused by inactive lifestyle.
- Changes in hormonal balance in women, and with menopause there is loss of minerals in tissue of bones.
- The gradual decline of sex hormones in men leads to development of osteoporosis in later stage.
- Bones lose many minerals and calcium gradually.
Age-related changes in joints
Bones mostly don’t directly contact each other in joints. They are cushioned by cartilage which lines the joints or articular cartilage, lubricating synovial fluid inside the joints and synovial membranes around the joint. With age, the movement in joints becomes less flexible and stiffer as the lubricating fluid of the joints reduces and the cartilage becomes thinner.
The age-related changes of joints are mostly due to inactivity and lack of exercise. Regular joint movement helps keep the fluid moving and being inactive results in the cartilage stiffening and shrinking, which reduces joint mobility in older age.
So, if you are looking for the best orthopedics doctors near you, then the experts of the Department of Orthopaedics of SUN Hospital provide you with proper guidance and treatment for joint pains and muscle weakness, Osteoarthritis, Osteomalacia, Osteoporosis, Rheumatoid arthritis, and many more problems.