You know it’s in your ears and nose and sharks are made almost entirely of it — but there’s a lot about cartilage that most people don’t know. The flexible, yet tough connective tissue can be found throughout the body, and though it’s true that it’s slow to repair itself once damaged, science knows more than ever before how to best promote healthy cartilage. Here are the top things you never knew about the tissue that allows you to do all the things you love.
Hyaline cartilage is the cartilage in your nose and ear canal, and it’s the form found most often in the human body. It also has a high concentration of collagen, which allows it to give structure to body parts while providing some elasticity as well. It is smooth and allows bones in the joints throughout the body to glide during movement. This type of cartilage is also found at the end of each of the ribs, various bone surfaces at the joints, and in the trachea and larynx. It’s known as being like a shock absorber and provides cushioning in the joints.