October is Bone and Joint Health Awareness Month— a health campaign intended to increase public awareness of the importance of prevention, management, and treatment of bone and joint conditions.
At Advanced Orthopedic Center, we believe that one of the secrets to living life with no physical limits is to take care of your bone and joint health. In light of this month’s health observance, we have prepared a shortlist of the common bone and joint conditions along with some information to help keep your bones and joints healthy and minimize your risk of developing such problems.
Arthritis is an umbrella term encompassing more than a hundred conditions that cause joint inflammation, pain, swelling, and stiffness.
The following are the most common types of arthritis:
- Osteoarthritis (OA)- Also known as wear-and-tear arthritis, OA is characterized by the gradual breakdown of the cartilage, which causes increased friction between the bones, thus the pain, swelling, stiffness, among other symptoms.
Osteoarthritis commonly occurs in the weight-bearing joints, such as the knee and the hip, and it typically affects older people.
- Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)- This is an autoimmune type of arthritis. It occurs when the body attacks the healthy tissues lining the joints and launches an immune response (inflammation) as though they were harmful stimuli.
Some healthy habits you can adopt to reduce your risk of developing arthritis include maintaining a healthy weight, exercising, limiting consumption of processed and sugary foods, and eating anti-inflammatory foods (e.g., tomatoes, leafy greens, whole grains, fatty fish, etc.).
Osteoporosis is a condition in which the bones become weak and brittle—so much so that even mild stresses can cause them to break. It occurs when the rate of new bone being made doesn’t keep up with the rate of old bone being lost. Osteoporosis often goes undetected until a fall or sudden impact leads to a bone fracture.
Things you can do to help prevent osteoporosis include eating foods rich in calcium and vitamin D, staying active, not smoking, and limiting alcohol consumption.
Degenerative Disc Disease
Degenerative disc disease (DDD) is an age-related condition in which the discs—the spongy structures between the vertebrae that act as shock absorbers and help your backstay flexible— deteriorate and lose their cushioning effect.
While you can’t prevent DDD any more than you can prevent aging, there are strategies you can employ to help slow down its onset. These include staying adequately hydrated (to keep your discs working properly), maintaining a healthy weight, and engaging in regular physical activity.
Comprehensive Bone and Joint Care in Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda, FL
At Advanced Orthopedic Center, our highly credentialed orthopedic doctors are committed to delivering comprehensive care and unmatched treatment outcomes for the entire range of bone and joint problems. We also delight in providing our patients with useful information that will guide them along the path to optimal musculoskeletal health.
To see one of our orthopedic doctors, please call our office at (941) 629-6262. You may also use this convenient appointment request form.