Our bones shape us, support our bodies and help us move. Bones rebuild themselves continuously throughout our life. They’re living tissues that add new bones in the childhood and teenage years.
9 Common Bone Diseases
The condition of a bone is measured by bone mass or its density. A physician will use a BMD, or bone mineral density to examine the content of calcium in bones and how strong they are. When we are young, our bone density peaks, but gradually loses it as we age.
Like any other part of the body is prone to get diseased, there are several bone diseases too. To combat them and maintain density, consumption of minerals and vitamins, exercising, strength training and estrogen replacement therapies help.
So which are the most common bone diseases you need to watch out for?
Paget’s disease often has a hereditary component. It is a disease where the natural remodeling process of bones happens very speedily, because of which there are several deformities in bones like enlarged and soft bones in regions like skull, spine, pelvis and long bones in thighs then lower leg. It usually happens to people above 55 years of age.
Osteoporosis is one of the most common bone diseases. In this condition, bone density becomes extremely low, making them weak and brittle and can easily break. It happens when the body produces little tissues or loses high amounts or both. It is usually without any symptoms. Most people get to know they’ve osteoporosis when their bone breaks and their physician diagnoses them. It affects approximately half of American people above the age of 50 years or around 44 million people. It happens more to women than men. Even children are not risk-free. They can develop a condition called juvenile osteoporosis.
It is a condition when bone tissues get infected. Even though it is rare, it is extremely serious. It can develop after a surgery like hip replacement. It can infect other bones of the body too. Its common symptoms are swelling, pain and redness. It is most likely to be treated by antibiotics, but in some cases, surgery becomes necessary to remove the infected area.
These usually happen when the growth of cells becomes uncontrollable in the bones. They can be malignant or benign. Tumors that are noncancerous and do not spread to other tissues are more common.
In this condition, tissues of a bone die in lack of blood. In most cases, it happens because of a bone trauma that prevents the flow of blood to the bone. Situations like hip fracture or continuous steroids of high dosage can help develop cell death in bones. When tissues of bones die, it weakens and then collapses. Symptoms include worsening pain in the area.
Osteoarthritis is a chronic and degenerative disease of joints. More than 3 million people in the US are diagnosed with this condition every year. It happens when cartilage breaks down. These cartilages function as a cushion between bones. When it breaks down, two bones start rubbing against the other. This causes inflammation, pain, and stiffness.
It is a condition of chronic immunodeficiency disorder. Here, the body’s immune system starts attacking tissues of the body most likely joints of feet and hands. Rheumatoid arthritis affects joint linings which lead to swelling. It causes joint deformity and bone erosion.
This is a disorder where excessive uric acid crystals gather between the joints. Joints are severely affected by this disease in people suffering from it. Symptoms usually include redness, abnormal swelling, and pain. The most noticeable is the big toe, but areas like the ankle, knee, and foot can also be affected. It can happen if the kidneys fail to process uric acid or due to a bad diet.
In this disorder, the spine’s bones start curving abnormally. In the US, there are almost 3 million people diagnosed with scoliosis. Most of these cases are usually mild. In many cases, it can worsen. The cause is yet not known, but medical science suspects hereditary components.
There are several ways in which these diseases can be prevented. It is advisable to consume a healthy diet, avoid smoking, limit caffeine intake, practice strength-training exercises, and eat calcium-rich food. Consult your doctor if you notice symptoms without delay.