Make your own free website on Tripod.com

Young People Get Osteoporosis Too 

Butterfly1b1  OSTEOPOROSIS AND ARTHRITISButterfly1b5

Home • Up • SITE MAP • MY STORY • FAQ'S • DEXA SCANS • DIAGNOSIS • TREATMENT • DIET • EXERCISE • CALCIUM • VITAMIN D • MEDICATIONS • DRUGS IN DEVELOPMENT • RESEARCH • NEWLY DIAGNOSED • ALTERNATIVES • FRACTURES • KYPHOPLASTY • VERTEBROPLASTY • RELATED DISORDERS • ASK A DOCTOR • MYTHS • OSTEOPOROSIS FACTS • GLOSSARY • ARTICLES • LINKS • ADVOCACY • SUPPORT GROUP • AWARDS


Free E Cards • Email

 

 

Osteoporosis and Arthritis:
Two Common but Different Conditions

Many people confuse osteoporosis and some types of arthritis. 

Arthritis. Arthritis is a general term for conditions that affect the joints and surrounding tissues. Joints are places in the body where bones come together, such as the knee, wrist, fingers, toes, and hips. The two most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis: 

 
[] Osteoarthritis (OA) is a painful, degenerative joint disease that often involves the hips, knees, neck, lower back, or the small joints of the hands. OA usually develops in joints that are injured by repeated overuse in the performance of a particular job or a favorite sport or from carrying around excess body weight. Eventually this injury or repeated impact thins or wears away the cartilage that cushions the ends of the bones in the joint so that the bones rub together, causing a grating sensation. Joint flexibility is reduced, bony spurs develop, and the joint swells. Usually, the first symptom a person has with OA is pain that worsens following exercise or immobility. Treatment usually includes analgesics, topical creams, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (known as NSAIDs); appropriate exercises or physical therapy; joint splinting; or joint replacement surgery for seriously damaged larger joints, such as the knee or hip. 
 
[] Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune inflammatory disease that usually involves the hands, wrists, elbows, shoulders, knees, feet, or ankles. An autoimmune disease is one in which the body releases enzymes that attack its own healthy tissues. In RA, these enzymes destroy the linings of joints causing pain, swelling, stiffness, deformity, and reduced movement and function. People with RA also may have systemic symptoms, such as fatigue, fever, weight loss, eye inflammation, anemia, subcutaneous nodules (bumps under the skin), or pleurisy (a lung inflammation). 

While osteoporosis and osteoarthritis are two very different medical conditions with little in common, the similarity of their names causes great confusion. These conditions develop differently, have different symptoms, are diagnosed differently, and are treated differently. While it is possible to have both osteoporosis and arthritis, studies show that people with osteoarthritis are less likely to develop osteoporosis. On the other hand, people with rheumatoid arthritis may be more likely to develop osteoporosis, especially as a secondary condition from medications used to treat RA.

Osteoporosis and arthritis do share many coping strategies. With either or both conditions, people benefit from exercise programs that may include physical therapy and rehabilitation. In general, exercises that emphasize stretching, strengthening, posture, and range of motion are appropriate, such as low impact aerobics, swimming, tai chi, and low stress yoga. However, people with osteoporosis must take care to avoid activities that include bending forward from the waist, twisting the spine, or lifting heavy weights. People with arthritis must compensate for limited movement in arthritic joints. Always check with your physician to determine if a certain exercise or exercise program is safe for your specific medical situation.

Everyone with arthritis will use pain management strategies at some time. This is not always true for people with osteoporosis. Usually, people with osteoporosis need pain relief when they are recovering from a fracture. In cases of severe osteoporosis with multiple spine fractures, pain control also may become part of daily life. Regardless of the cause, pain management strategies are similar for people with osteoporosis, OA, and RA. 

 

 
 

Young People Get Osteoporosis Too Organization
Copyright 2001  All rights reserved.
Revised: 03/11/08.