Is it Osteoarthritis or Osteoporosis? There is a Difference.

mcherwood By mcherwood, 21st Jun 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Health>Exercise & Fitness

Care of Your Bones is Vital to a Healthy Lifestyle

Is it Osteoarthritis or Osteoporosis? There is a Difference.


The Latin derivative Osteo means bone, and arthritis refers to the joints. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease where the cartilage, or cushioning, at the ends of the bones wears down over time. It usually affects the joints in your hands, hips, knees, neck or lower back. There is no cure for osteoarthritis at this time. A procedure known as arthroscopy is often used to diagnose a joint problem.

I am very familiar with osteoarthritis after having had two hip replacements which relieved the pain I experienced in my hip joints. The scraping of bone on bone is very painful and can eventually cause severe damage to the bones. Hip replacement has a high success rate as an invasive treatment of osteoarthritis. Many sufferers choose to see a chiropractor at the outset, as I did, but I found it to be just a temporary solution.

Osteoarthritis is caused by a combination of factors: (1) the aging e cannot be discounted, (2) heredity is an important contributor, (3) muscle weakness caused by lack of use will have a secondary effect on your bones, (4) past injury to the joint can eventually become problematic, (5) obesity can produce extra stress on the bones.

The disease is often treated through medicines such as acetaminophen and anti-inflammatory drugs. Topical capsaicin is a cream containing the same component found in chili peppers which can give temporary relief from minor aches and pains. Exercise and weight loss are vital for warding off the onset of osteoarthritis. It is extremely important to become well informed about the causes and treatment of the disease as well as new developments in its prevention and cure.


The word osteoporosis means "porous bones." Think swiss cheese. If you have osteoporosis , your bones become fragile, sponge-like, and susceptible to breakage. The fractures that result are often in the hip, the spine or the wrist. Although osteoporosis is often thought of as a woman's disease, it affects men also.

The disease can be present for decades without the victim's knowledge. Indications that you may have osteoporosis are back pain, loss of height over time, a stooped posture and fractures in the wrist, hip or other bones. A Bone Mineral Density test (BMD) is the only way to diagnose osteoporosis and determine your risk for future fractures. It is a test that is painless and non-invasive.

In order to protect yourself from osteoporosis, it is necessary to have the daily recommended amounts of calcium and vitamin D in your diet. (See your pharmacist for this information.) Exercise is vital, especially walking. A sedentary lifestyle subjects a person to the onset of this affliction. Smoking and alcohol consumption are also risk factors.

Medications called bisphosphonates can preserve bone mass and even increase bone density, thus reducing the possibility of fractures. Fosamax, Boniva and Actonel are examples of bisphosphonates.

We do have control over our own health. A wholesome lifestyle goes far in providing a favorable quality of life as well as a long life. Diet, exercise, sufficient sleep, a regular daily schedule, the friendship of others, and a positive outlook will put you on the right track toward improving your mental and physical health.



Acetaminophen, Arthritis, Arthroscopy, Bone, Bone Mineral Density, Bone On Bone, Calcium, Cartilage, Chiropractor, Degenerative Disease, Diet, Exercise, Fosamax, Fragile, Hip Replacement, Invasive, Joint Problem, Obesity, Osteo, Osteoarthritis, Osteoporosis, Porous Bones, Positive Outlook, Swiss Cheese, Vitamin D

Meet the author

author avatar mcherwood
I am a retired teacher/ administrator for the Buffalo School System. I hold a Ph.D. in Educational Administration.
I write book reviews, film reviews plus a large variety of topics.

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