Osteoporosis and Arthritis are two different types of medical conditions that are often confused – due to the family of pathology they belong to. Osteoporosis is a condition in which the bones become very porous, less dense and more likely cause fractures. This means that the bones are more brittle and prone to breakage. It is a common medical condition for the elderly, especially amongst women.
On the other hand, Arthritis is a joint inflammation that involves the immune system and various internal body organs. The symptoms can develop gradually over time, involving stiffness, swelling and pain. These are dangerous medical conditions, but do not worry as there are available treatment options. Read on to find out more about the conditions and learn how to manage it.
The main cause of Osteoporosis is aging. Bone strength is at its peak between 25 to 30 years old. When more bone tissues are formed and less tissues are reabsorbed, the bones are denser and stronger. When we get older, our body starts to deteriorate, less new bone tissues are developed, and more tissues are reabsorbed. When these conditions start to develop, affected individuals will experience weaker and more fragile bones, or even fractures – this is known as Osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a silent disease because it can develop without being detected for many years without any symptoms, until fractures occur. It can be identified via a safe and painless method, which is the bone mineral density test.
As mentioned earlier, there are no obvious symptoms for Osteoporosis. You might feel some bone and back pain as your bones are becoming more fragile to support the body weight. Over time, you might become shorter (loss of height) and experience hunchback issues due to vertebral compression. An affected individual can also experience severe back pain and significant change in posture. However, the most serious symptom is getting more fractures. As the bones are more porous, it is likely to break easily and even small falls can lead to serious injuries. These fractures are so major that it can impair a person’s ability to walk and result in long term or permanent disability.
Who Is More Prone To It
There are many factors that can increase your risk of Osteoporosis include:
- Aging – the risk of getting the disease increases with age.
- Family history – some people inherit their family genes of developing Osteoporosis.
- Obesity – having extra weight will contribute (and worsen) to the conditions of Osteoporosis.
- Gender – women are more likely to develop the disease, though it is unclear why. This happens especially when one is experiencing postmenopausal or early menopause.
- Joint injuries – the risk increases when one experiences sports or accidental injuries.
- Smoking – many health problems arise from tobacco use (because of the nicotines and toxins), which increases the risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures.
- Excessive alcohol intake – alcohol affects almost every body organs and increases the risks of one’s bone health.
Arthritis is a joint inflammation that often involves the hips, knees, neck, lower back, or small joints of the hands. It usually develops due to repetitive overuse of movements from performing a particular task. Eventually, the repeated movements will cause this injury and affect the cartilage in the joint. As a result, joint flexibility is minimised and it tend to worsen over time, causing immobility and discomfort.
The most common symptoms of Arthritis usually involve the joints. Depending on the severity of your condition, possible signs might include pain, swelling, stiffness and immobility.
Who Is More Prone To Arthritis
There are many factors that can increase your risk of Arthritis include:
- Age – the risk of getting the disease increases with age.
- Family history – you might develop arthritis if your parents or siblings have the same disorder.
- Gender – women are more likely than men to develop Arthritis.
Treatments for Osteoporosis and Arthritis
To find out whether you are experiencing osteoporosis or arthritis, it is important to undergo bone screening in a professional clinic. The symptoms are usually not obvious, but if sudden fractures were to happen, one should check their bone health soon. Seek a consultation with a certified Orthopaedic Surgeon by the Ministry of Health of Singapore. An orthopaedic is a bone doctor is someone who is well equipped to handle bone related conditions. Most orthopaedic clinics provide a comprehensive package for screening of osteoporosis and arthritis, bone health products and professional treatments. While you are unsure about the procedures of orthopaedic surgery, do consult your doctor and resolve your enquiries – he/she will be willing to help and cure your pain with the right treatment.