Bones & Joints

Bones & Joints

Bones and joints become vulnerable to wear and tear as we age. Treatments range from pain relievers and physical therapy to joint replacement.

More than 52 million adults, many of them over 65, live with arthritis. About half of them are limited in their activities. Arthritis is a degenerative condition in which the joints—the cushioning surfaces between bones—wear away. Typical arthritis symptoms include pain, stiffness, swelling, and reduced range of motion.

Arthritis comes in many forms, including degenerative osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis (an autoimmune disease), and psoriatic arthritis. In psoriatic arthritis, not only do the joints swell up, but red, scaly patches called plaques also form on the skin. Gout is another type of arthritis that’s caused by a buildup of uric acid in the blood. The excess uric acid forms into crystals that congregate in the joints—most often in the big toe—causing pain and swelling. A number of medications are available to treat arthritis pain and inflammation.

With time, bones become weaker, more brittle, and could fracture. The early stage of bone loss is called osteopenia, and it affects about half of Americans over age 50. Doctors can determine the amount of bone loss with a bone mineral density (BMD) test. Results are expressed as a T-score, which is based on a comparison with the bones of a healthy 30-year old. People with normal bone density have a T-score that is within 1 standard deviation (SD) of a 30-year old’s score. A score 1 to 2.5 SD below a young adult’s (-1 to -2.5 SD) is considered low bone mass, or osteopenia. Osteoporosis is diagnosed in anyone with a score of -2.5 SD or lower. People with osteoporosis need to take medicines such as bisphosphonates to strengthen their bones and prevent fractures.

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How to Relieve the Pain of Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms

How to Relieve the Pain of Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms

· · Bones & Joints

Old sports injuries. Repetitive stress. Swollen joints from “rheumatism.” Whatever the osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis symptoms you may be experiencing, the next strategy is to come up with ways to beat it. Options for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA) treatment range from prescribed medications to simple over-the-counter pain relievers  … Read More

What Is Gout?

What Is Gout?

· · Bones & Joints

Gout, a form of arthritis, occurs when uric acid crystals are deposited in the joints. Uric acid forms when the body metabolizes substances called purines, which are found in a variety of foods. In further answering the question “What is gout?” we should describe the impact food can have.

Gout is  … Read More

Scoliosis Pain Can Strike Older Adults

Scoliosis Pain Can Strike Older Adults

· · Bones & Joints

Scoliosis—a condition that causes the spine to form an unnatural curve and/or twist—is most common in childhood, tending to develop just before puberty. But the condition also can be a problem for adults, who can suffer from troublesome scoliosis pain and stiffness in the lower back.
Adults with scoliosis may  … Read More

Are You at Risk for Osteopenia? Symptoms Don’t Tell the Story

Are You at Risk for Osteopenia? Symptoms Don’t Tell the Story

· · Bones & Joints

Osteopenia isn’t as serious as osteoporosis—see our posts defining bone loss test scores of osteoporosis -2.5 or osteoporosis -3.0. But it’s also not easy to detect; there aren’t any obvious osteopenia symptoms.

Certain factors, however, can make you vulnerable to osteopenia, meaning that it’s important to preserve your bone density. Specifically,  … Read More

Psoriatic Arthritis Causes and Symptoms

Psoriatic Arthritis Causes and Symptoms

In the vast majority of people with psoriasis, the skin disease precedes the arthritis, but 10 to 15 percent of people will have both skin and joint symptoms. Having the skin disease does not guarantee that you’ll develop psoriatic arthritis; in fact, only 15 percent of people with psoriasis are  … Read More

Polyarthritis: What It Is and How to Live with It

Polyarthritis: What It Is and How to Live with It

· · Bones & Joints

If you have pain in four or more joints, you’ve likely experienced what’s called polyarthritis. It isn’t a specific condition per se; polyarthritis typically is underpinned by another form of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, or gout. In some cases, polyarthritis can be traced back to an immune system  … Read More

FreeGuide_cover_BonesJoints_wShield_300

Don't Live With Aches and Pain!

Get a FREE Special Report from the editors of University Health News, Bone and Joint Conditions: Gout symptoms, osteoarthritis treatments, rheumatoid arthritis pain relief, and more.

Learn the best ways to relieve your arthritis and osteoporosis pain and gout symptoms.



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