It’s National Osteoporosis month and National Osteoarthritis month, which makes this a great time to talk about these two conditions. Like many people, you may be wondering what the most significant difference is between the two. It is a very common occurrence that patients will come into our office and say they have “osteo-something.” These two terms are often confused among patients, and some think having one means they have the other. Here’s some information that may help to know.
Osteoarthritis, commonly referred to as the “wear and tear” type of arthritis, is when the cartilage of the joint deteriorates from usage. This can affect many joints throughout the body as people use their body every day and sometimes strenuously through sports, manual labor, exercise, etc.
Everyone will develop osteoarthritis, but it may develop at different ages and be silent if it is not aggravated. Osteoarthritis is a very treatable condition if dealt with early and can be managed with physical activity, therapy, medications, injections, and cell therapy.
On the other hand, osteoporosis is when an individual has a low bone mineral density for their age. Having osteoporosis can make you more vulnerable to a fracture that can occur from a simple fall. This can be caused by certain medical conditions, genetics, poor nutrition, or may be a result of the aging process.
It is essential to make sure your dietary needs for calcium and vitamin D3 are being met. Many people take supplements, but your body absorbs these nutrients more efficiently through dairy foods or foods fortified with calcium and/or vitamin D. An individual’s maximum bone mineral density occurs somewhere between the ages of 25-35 years old, so it is important to start a healthy diet at a young age before it’s too late.
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If you feel like you have either of these conditions and would like to visit with one of our specialists about ways to manage your pain, we’d be happy to see you. Schedule an appointment with us today!