According to the World Health Organization report, musculoskeletal conditions are the primary cause of disability worldwide. These conditions include several arthritis types, bone and joint disorders.
Joints of your wrists, shoulders, knees, ankles, and fingers help in the smooth movement of your body. Bones, including the femur (thighbone) and humerus (upper arm), also allow your body to move with ease.
Bones are also responsible for protecting organs. They provide storage for minerals like calcium. Also, bones release a hormone that helps control blood sugar levels.
Healthy bones and joints play a crucial role in maintaining good health. On the other hand, joint and bone diseases can disturb your entire body.
What Are the Most Common Bone Diseases?
Common bone disorders that occur in adults and children include:
One of the most common bone conditions is osteoporosis. It causes bones to become weak and brittle. This disease usually occurs without any prevalent symptoms. It is often not diagnosed until the weakened bones cause painful fractures.
- Metabolic Bone Disease
Metabolic bone diseases are disorders of bone strength. They are usually caused by mineral or vitamin deficiencies, resulting in abnormal bone mass or structure. Osteomalacia, hyperparathyroidism, and Paget disease of bone are some of the most common types of metabolic bone diseases.
Scoliosis is abnormal and side-to-side curvature of the spine. It results in S- or C-shaped appearance when seen from behind. It usually appears when you are a child or teenager.
- Stress Fracture
This condition is also commonly known as overuse fractures. It is a small crack in the bone. Stress injuries usually develop in the shin bone, foot, heel, hip, and lower back. It occurs due to repetitive trauma. This disease is more common in athletes.
What Are the Most Common Joint Diseases?
Some of the common joint conditions include:
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a common condition affecting the joints of the body adversely. Cartilage within a joint starts to break down, leading to stiffness and pain. The risk of the development of this disease increases with age. It usually appears in the hands, hips, and knees.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease affecting the lining of the joints. The joint damage from this condition usually affects both sides of the body.
- Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis
This disease is also referred to as Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (JIA). It occurs most frequently in children. In this autoimmune disease, the child’s immune system attacks the healthy tissues of the body. JIA causes inflammation that affects the muscles, joints, ligaments, and internal organs.
Bursitis involves the inflammation of a bursa. A bursa is tiny, fluid-filled sacs that cushion the joints and surrounding tendons, muscles, and bones. Overuse or sudden injury of joints increases the risk of the development of bursitis. In some cases, bacterial infections can also cause this disease.
Lupus is an autoimmune condition that affects various body parts. This disease is more common in women. It can cause joint pain, inflammation, skin rashes, and organ damage.
What Are the Common Signs and Symptoms of Bone and Joint Disease?
Common symptoms that a person experience includes:
- Joint stiffness and decreased range of motion and function (arthritis)
- Joint tenderness (osteoarthritis)
- Bone and joint pain with movement and popping or clicking sensation (overuse injury).
- Weight loss, fatigue, and persistent joint stiffness on both sides of the body (rheumatoid arthritis)
- A noticeable lump over a bone (bone cancer)
- A stooped posture and chronic back pain (osteoporosis).
- Uneven shoulders, waist, or hips (scoliosis)
The doctor will ask about your medical history and perform a physical examination. Your healthcare provider will look for muscle imbalance or weakness. Following tests will help your doctor to make the right diagnosis:
- Imaging tests such as X-rays, MIR, and ultrasound help determine the severity of the condition.
- A bone density scan known as the DEXA scan is used to evaluate osteoporosis.
- Other blood tests help to indicate inflammatory processes.
Depending on your medical exam findings and test results, your doctor may suggest the treatment option that best suits you.
What Is the Best Treatment for Bone and Joint Diseases?
The treatment plan depends on the type of bone and joint that you are experiencing. In some cases, most patients eventually respond to the medicines. On the other hand, when pain is intractable, and function is compromised, your healthcare provider will suggest you undergo surgery.
Physical activity plays a vital role in treating and managing bone and joint disorders. Exercises like resistance training help improve strength around the joints. With some conditions like osteoporosis, weight-bearing exercise plays a crucial role in providing you relief.