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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Is There Such Thing as an Arthritis Diet?

Is There Such Thing as an Arthritis Diet?

Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reveal that approximately 52.5 million Americans suffer from some form of arthritis, including osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and gout. Arthritic diseases may be mild in some people but can be debilitating in others. Symptoms characterized by joint pain, swelling, and stiffness  … 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

Common Causes of Elbow Pain

Common Causes of Elbow Pain

Experiencing elbow pain? To get to the bottom of it, consider the elbow’s structure.

The elbow is a complex part of the arm formed by three bones: the humerus (upper arm bone), the radius (the lower arm bone on the thumb side), and the ulna (the lower arm bone on the  … Read More

Common Causes of Ankle Pain

Common Causes of Ankle Pain

Our ankles are complex structures composed of four bones, the tibia and fibula (bones of the lower leg), the calcaneus (heel bone), and the talus (a small bone between the tibia, fibula and calcaneus), along with multiple tendons and ligaments.

Cushioning between the bones in the ankle is provided by  … Read More

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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