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Bone and Joint Awareness – Care and Precautions at an Early Age

  • September 12, 2022
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Bone and Joint Awareness – Care and Precautions at an Early Age

An adult human body consists of 206 bones, 360 types of joints, more than 600 muscles, 900 ligaments, and approximately 4,000 tendons depending on a person’s muscle mass and size.

Now, these parts combine to form a path of motion when our body is in movement. That’s a lot of moving parts, and this is why we need to be aware of diseases or health risks that can burden our bone health at an early age.

Have you ever got home from a regular walk feeling tired and felt a tingling pain running down your joints?

Climbing a flight of stairs can sound easy when you’re relatively young. However, have you faced persistent pain in your ankles or knees when you’ve repeated this activity?

The answers to these questions will lean towards the “yes” as and when they are asked to people from various age groups. Let’s look at some statistics to understand how bone and joint issues have affected certain age groups.

According to a recent health study, people in the age range of 35 to 45 years have been diagnosed with early signs of Osteoarthritis, and this rapidly increases when the age range is between 50 to 65 years. A sedentary lifestyle with little or no exercise had become the new normal due to the COVID restrictions during the height of the pandemic, and this has continued even when restrictions have been removed. Earlier, an active lifestyle with balanced nutrition and adequate rest would push forward bone-related health issues to the latter stages of adult life. Let’s take a look at the types of bone and joint issues to understand the problem.

Types of Bone Diseases and Injuries

Common types of bone diseases in adults and children can include the following:

  • Osteoporosis – A prevalent bone condition that usually goes undetected if left unchecked. This disease could lead to bone loss and weakened bones that are susceptible to breaking.
  • Metabolic Bone Diseases – Loss of minerals or vitamin deficiencies is usually the cause of this issue. Resulting in unnatural bone structure or bone mass. Osteomalacia, Hyperparathyroidism, Paget disease, and developmental bone diseases fall under this category.
  • Acute Fracture – This is a type of injury caused due trauma. Children or young adults could have acute fractures due to sports injuries, and older adults would be more vulnerable due to falls related to balance issues.
  • Bone Cancer – A type of cancer that spreads from the other parts of the body to the bone and could eventually lead to bone cancer. Primary bone cancer, where cancer originates from the bones, is observed to be very rare. However, precaution is advised, and a health check-up would determine if this issue exists.
  • Scoliosis – S or C-shaped side-to-side curvature of the spine when observed from behind is called Scoliosis. This is commonly diagnosed at the infant stages. However, this could very well persist into adulthood if left untreated.

Types of Joint Diseases

  • Osteoarthritis – This occurs due to wear and tear and increases with age. The cartilage that acts as a cushion between the joints gets damaged over time and leads to severe stiffness and pain with movement. Hip arthritis and knee arthritis make walking more difficult and greatly reduce flexibility.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis – This is an autoimmune condition that damages the lining of the joints. This can occur when cells in the immune system that don’t belong in the joint multiply and accumulate there in large numbers. This causes aggravated inflammation and eventually leads to the damage of cartilage and bone.
  • Spondyloarthritis – This condition is commonly known as Spondylitis. Axial Spondylitis causes inflammation in the spine and eventually leads to spinal fusion. Enteropathic arthritis occurs due to a complication caused by inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis. A form of arthritis associated with the skin condition Psoriasis is called Psoriatic arthritis. This usually affects the joints of the hands and feet.
  • Juvenile idiopathic arthritis – This condition is also known as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, as it commonly occurs as a chronic joint condition in kids. This autoimmune condition causes the child’s immune system to damage the functioning of the healthy tissue causing severe inflammation. This inflammation affects the internal organs, joints, muscles, and even the eyes. This condition can also alter the child’s growth phase and cause abnormalities.
  • Lupus – This is a type of autoimmune condition that is again caused by inflammation. This condition can cause the onset of arthritis in the hands, shoulders, knees, elbows, and feet.
  • Gout – This condition usually affects the big toe connecting to the rest of the foot. Uric acid, a waste product found in the bloodstream, accumulates to form crystals in the joints and severely affects mobility. This type of disease is largely detected in men. However, women are also susceptible to it after menopause.
  • Bursitis – This disease can also be caused by bacterial infections. Primarily it is caused due to the inflammation of small fluid-filled sacs that cushion the joints, surrounding tendons, muscles, and bones.

Common Risk Factors

Bone diseases are usually caused by various factors such as – Genetics, environmental factors, age, occupation, activity level, and more. Professionals who need to be on their feet all the time or those involved in any form of a profession that requires standing for a long duration of time are usually the most affected among the general population. Low sun exposure leading to low levels of vitamin D in the system, can also contribute to these diseases. Additionally, a sedentary or inactive lifestyle can lead to a lack of mobility in the joints and eventually cause bone injuries or diseases.

Diagnosis

A regular preventive health check-up can cost a few hundred and save you large amounts of money in the long run as you take a preventive course of action to counter the onset of such diseases. A comprehensive musculoskeletal exam can help determine various undetected issues. There are various imaging tests such as X-Ray tests, MRI scans, and ultrasound tests that can check the severity of a person’s bone condition. Most importantly, blood tests can indicate inflammatory conditions that can lead to various bone diseases.

At myhealthmeter, our renowned team of medical professionals can guide you to take the necessary medical check-ups to prevent various health risks. Early identification of serious health risks can protect you from medical emergencies in the future.

Care & Prevention at an Early Age

  • Physical Activity - Being physically active is necessary, as changing your sedentary lifestyle can protect you from conditions like arthritis in the long run. Try and include weight-bearing exercises jogging, walking, and stair climbing to improve your bone health.
  • Vitamin D – This is an essential vitamin that helps your body absorb calcium. Foods such as cereals, milk, eggs, and mushroom are some of the good sources of Vitamin D that can be included in your diet.
  • Substance Abuse – Avoid falling prey to substance abuse, and this will ensure good health as you get older. Stay away from smoking and consuming alcohol, and keep your mind engaged with activities that improve your overall emotional and physical well-being.
  • Calcium – Follow the recommended dietary allowance and include a healthy dose of calcium in your diet. The recommended inclusion of calcium increases for women aged 51 and older and for men aged 60 and older.

As mentioned above, various types of bone diseases can be avoided at an early age by engaging yourself in physical activities and ensuring that your intake of Vitamin D and Calcium is regulated as per the recommended requirement. Always remember that good health will always be your greatest investment, and opting for a preventive annual health check-up will safeguard you from health risks.