Aging has a direct impact on the bones, muscles, and joints, leading to changes in gait and posture, along with other degenerative problems. Aging results in a decrease in bone density, especially in post-menopausal women. This is caused by a decrease in the level of calcium and other minerals in the body. Another major degenerative change in the musculoskeletal system is a decrease in the fluid in joints, which causes the cartilage to rub together and erode, causing complications like osteoarthritis. A problem commonly experienced in the shoulder is the deposition of minerals around the joint, leading to restricted movement.
Bones are more prone to breaks and fractures in the elderly, which can lead to a loss of mobility. The fragility of the bones, combined with gait changes, loss of balance, reduced reflexes, and instability lead to an increased risk of injury in the elderly. It is also common for people to experience activity intolerance with age, owing to the increase in muscle weakness and fatigue. The elderly also commonly experience complications like fasciculations (involuntary movements) and paresthesias (abnormal sensations). The doctors at OrthoTexas, Denton TX provide state-of-art treatment options for degenerative joint and bone disorders.
The diagnosis of these disorders is carried out by various techniques depending on the symptoms being experienced. The first step in the diagnosis is assessing the clinical history of the patient, including the family history and any other medical problems the patient might have. The doctor then assesses the patient’s reflexes and general health through a physical examination. Diagnostic techniques like X-rays, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, and a possible joint aspiration are then carried out to determine the disorder, the extent of damage caused, and the possible treatment options.
Most successful treatment programs for degenerative joint and bone disorders include a combination of medication, physical therapy, lifestyle modifications, pain relief techniques, and rest. In some cases, it might be necessary to perform surgery.
Degenerative disorders of the bones and joints can be prevented by adopting a moderate exercise program to maintain strength, flexibility, and balance. Women should be especially careful to include sufficient amounts of Calcium and Vitamin D in their diets as they age.