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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Are You at Risk for Osteopenia? Symptoms May Not Tell the Story

Are You at Risk for Osteopenia? Symptoms May Not 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

Are NSAIDs Safe? New Findings Address Risk Factors

Are NSAIDs Safe? New Findings Address Risk Factors

· · Bones & Joints

Are NSAIDs safe? After the drug rofecoxib (Vioxx) was pulled from the market due to concerns about its cardiovascular safety, experts turned their attention to celecoxib (Celebrex), another pain reliever in the same drug class. But a landmark study has found that celecoxib poses no greater risks to heart health  … Read More

What Is a DEXA Scan?

What Is a DEXA Scan?

· · Bones & Joints

A DEXA scan (also written as DXA scan) is what health professionals call dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. A test that measures the strength of your bones as you age, a DEXA scan is necessary for certain individuals because the body manufactures bone less efficiently as we get older.

Research suggests that not  … Read More

What Causes Osteoporosis? Environmental Pollutants Play a Role: 5 Steps to Reduce Your Risk

What Causes Osteoporosis? Environmental Pollutants Play a Role: 5 Steps to Reduce Your Risk

According to the World Health Organization, osteoporosis poses a greater disease threat than that of hypertension (high blood pressure) and breast cancer. Yet, the factors behind what causes osteoporosis rarely get the attention they deserve.

Nonetheless, deterioration of the bones and increased risk of fractures is a huge health threat in the Western  … Read More

Can Osteoporosis Be Reversed Without Drugs?

Can Osteoporosis Be Reversed Without Drugs?

· · Bones & Joints

Many women and men diagnosed with osteoporosis are immediately prescribed prescription drugs which, they discover sooner or later, can have difficult-to-tolerate side effects as well as frightening long-term risks. Can osteoporosis be reversed? This realization leads many individuals with osteoporosis to ask, “Can osteoporosis be reversed without drugs?” Unfortunately, there  … Read More



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