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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Pseudogout May Be Linked to Dehydration

Pseudogout May Be Linked to Dehydration

· · Bones & Joints

Despite its name, pseudogout is real. It’s not gout, but there’s good reason it’s called “false gout.” Like gout, pseudogout is inflammatory arthritis caused by an excess of crystals in the joint fluid.  And, like gout, it hurts, leaving your joint swollen and red.  While gout is often triggered by  … Read More

Joint Inflammation Is Easy to Recognize, But Difficult to Treat

Joint Inflammation Is Easy to Recognize, But Difficult to Treat

· · Bones & Joints

Joint inflammation is easily recognizable—it’s a condition that affects 80 percent of the world’s population. You’ll know inflammation by its symptoms: pain, warmth, redness, swelling, and perhaps loss of joint function. The symptoms are uncomfortable but manageable with rest, ice, compression, elevation—the classic “RICE” treatment—and a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug like  … Read More

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

Heel Pain: 8 Common Causes

Heel Pain: 8 Common Causes

The heel of the foot is sometimes called the “hindfoot,” and people understandably think of it first as a bone, also called the calcaneus. But there are actually many different types of tissue that make up the heel. Disorders of any of these tissues and the structures they form can  … Read More

Ankle Pain: 6 Common Causes

Ankle Pain: 6 Common Causes

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



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