From a traumatic leg fracture to gradually worsening arthritis of the hands, disorders affecting the bones and joints come in many forms. Without proper treatment, bone care and joint conditons can lead to chronic pain and disability.
Healthy joints such as wrists, shoulders, knees, ankles and finger joints allow your body to move with ease. Bones such as the femur (thighbone) and humerus (upper arm) also contribute to movement.
Bones have several other vital functions, as well. They protect your organs, like your skull shielding the brain. Bone marrow produces blood cells. Bones provide storage for minerals like calcium and release a hormone that helps control blood sugar levels. With all the ways bone care contribute to good health, bone diseases can disrupt your entire body.
Since the joints are made up of two bones coming together, or articulating, there’s a lot of overlap between their diseases. “Bones can get damaged or react to joint disease to exacerbate the problem a patient has,” says Dr. David Fox, a professor of internal medicine and co-director of the University of Michigan Clinical Autoimmunity Center of Excellence. “Bones are affected by arthritis, even though arthritis starts in the joints.”
Learn more so you can recognize possible symptoms, get the right diagnosis and treatment, and manage bone care and joint disorders for the best possible quality of life.
Even among bone diseases, symptoms you experience, specialists you see and treatment you receive are quite varied – for example, depending on whether you have osteoporosis or bone care cancer. Common bone diseases in adults and children include the following:
- Osteoporosis. One of the most prevalent bone conditions, osteoporosis involves bone care loss, leading to weakened bones that are more likely to break. Osteoporosis is an invisible condition, often doing its damage without people realizing they have it. More than 53 million people in the U.S. either have osteoporosis or are at high risk for developing it, according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.
- Metabolic bone diseases. Osteoporosis is one of several metabolic bone diseases. These are disorders of bone strength caused by mineral or vitamin deficiencies (such as vitamin D, calcium or phosphorus) that result inabnormal bone mass or structure. Osteomalacia (softening of the bones), hyperparathyroidism (overactive gland leading to bone calcium loss), Paget disease of bone (abnormally large, weakened bones) and developmental bone disorders affecting children are all different types of metabolic bone diseases.
- Fracture. Acute fractures are usually due to trauma, although they can be related to bone cancer. “Fractures are very dependent on patient demographics,” says Dr. Gerardo Miranda-Comas, director of the sports medicine fellowship in the Department of Rehabilitation and Human Performance at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, in New York City. For instance, children’s bones are more flexible and resilient, and fractures heal more quickly. Kids are more likely to have wrist fractures while breaking a fall during sports or at play. Older adults are more vulnerable to falls and hip injuries because of balance issues, and as their bone care may be more fragile, are likelier to break their hips.
- Stress fracture. Also called overuse fractures, stress fractures are more common in active people like runners.
- Bone cancer. Cancer that originates in the bone, called primary bone cancer, is rare, accounting for less than 1% of all new cancers diagnosed, according to the National Cancer Institute. Cancer that spreads to the bones from other parts of the body is more common, such as metastatic tumors from prostate or breast cancer. Multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer, interferes with bone marrow function and new bone production in the hips, pelvis, ribs, shoulders and spine, increasing the risk of fracture.
- Scoliosis. Abnormal, side-to-side curvature of the spine, resulting in an S- or C-shaped appearance when seen from behind, is called scoliosis. It’s commonly diagnosed in infants or children, but can persist into adulthood.
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Deepa is a writer and a passionate blogger. She has years of experience in writing articles, blogs and press releases after a deep research. At http://healthcaretipstoday.com she writes interesting topics on all health, beauty, fitness and healthy life. She loves exploring, researching and providing the best information to readers. In her free times, she loves to read books.
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