The Golden Age : The Care , The Preemptive Measures & Happy Smiles

As you enter into the golden years of your life, with experience and grey hair, there increases a chance of undergoing bone and muscle pain as the body becomes too weak, fragile and vulnerable. This further increases the probability of facing severe orthopedic disorders.

What really is an Orthopedic disorder?

Though, not as complex as it sounds, it’s a condition where a person faces difficulty in moving and performing normal daily activities due to pain in joints, bones and tissues, thus hampering the ability to live a normal lifestyle.

So, what leads to orthopedic problems in old age?

Orthopedic disorder has many causes like genetics, injury, birth trauma but aging is so far the most common one. As we age, our bones, joints and tissues become weak, affecting us not only physically but also, psychologically.

There are various types of bone-muscle disorders that could hit us as we age:

1.     Musculoskeletal disorder

Musculoskeletal disorder includes pain, weakness, stiffness, joint noises and decreased range of motion. Lack of mobility due to weakening of musculoskeletal tissues, bones, reduction in ligament elasticity, loss of cartilage resilience and distribution of fat leads to this disability of tissues to function normally. This disorder can be diagnosed through physical examination by a doctor by running tests like x-rays and MRI.

Here, are some key facts of musculoskeletal disorder-

  • Musculoskeletal conditions contribute in disability worldwide, and the single leading cause is lower back pain.
  • Early retirement from work, decrease in accumulated wealth and participation in social roles are caused because of musculoskeletal disorder.
  • This condition is widespread among elder people and is often linked with depression.

2.     Osteoporosis

Human bones become fragile over a period of time with continual process of making of new bones and breaking of old bone tissues. When formation of new bone and bone loss are not able to synchronize then it can increase chances of bone injuries as the bones become too vulnerable and mineral deficient. This condition is curable by giving you treatment to slowdown the process of bone loss and thus injuries can be avoided.

Here are some key facts of osteoporosis-

  • At about 30 years of age, bone mass rises and starts decreasing as we age.
  • Symptoms of osteoporosis are unidentified at early stage and doctors usually suggest regular bone density checkup.
  • Osteoporosis cannot be cured but it can be prevented and the process of new bone formation and loss of old bone tissue can be slowed down.
  • If you have low bone density it does not mean you have osteoporosis it can be osteopenia which means border line osteoporosis.


3.     Osteoporotic fractures

Osteoporotic fractures or fractures are result of osteoporosis. Bones become more fragile because of osteoporosis, due to which chances of any fracture increases. It can happen even by a slight fall, sprain and routine activities. Here are some key facts of osteoporotic fractures-

  • Over their lifespan, at least 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men will suffer an osteoporotic fracture.
  • Within one year, one in three patients with hip fracture will re-fracture.
  • Both women and men in their mid- 30s begin to lose their bone.
  • Over 80 percent of all fractures in people 50 plus are caused by osteoporosis.


4.     Osteoarthritis

More than 10 million cases per year in India are diagnosed with Osteoarthritis, a chronic joint condition.  This condition cannot be cured but treatment can help to reduce the pain. Osteoarthritis is a common orthopedic problem in old age, although it may occur in any age group adults. The cause of osteoarthritis is joint damage, torn cartilage, dislocated joints and ligament injuries. As you age, cartilage which aids in protecting end of bones within a joint, gets damaged. Alarmingly, a damaged cartilage cannot be repaired as it does not contain any blood vessel.

Areas affected by Osteoarthritis include-

  • Hands
  • Fingertips
  • Knees
  • Hips
  • Spine

And, most common symptoms of osteoarthritis include

  • Pain
  • Tenderness
  • Stiffness
  • Inflammation

Having an understanding of these common orthopedic problems will aid in preventing the same. If experiencing any kind of consistent pain in any part of the body, the patient should see a doctor immediately to undergo a medical check-up or orthopedic surgery. With the right diagnosis of the condition the medical treatment can begin, and the damage can be controlled. As the adage goes, prevention is better than cure.