Healthy Bones

Rheumatic joint diseases - arthritis and osteoporosis treatment

Arthritis is one of the most common diseases that people face after 50-55 years of age. Osteoporosis is also in this list. It is no wonder that they often attack a person at the same time.

People, who are far from medicine, believe that osteoporosis is a disease of the musculoskeletal system. This is partly correct, because this disease reduces bone density; they become brittle, which increases the risk of fractures. However, doctors do not get tired to emphasize: osteoporosis is primarily a metabolic disorder.

Bone tissue is constantly updated: some parts of its cells are destroyed, some pars are formed. The bones remain solid these processes are in equilibrium. However, if the destruction begins to prevail over the formation, they become more porous and brittle.

The mechanism of the development of arthritis is the same. However, the process takes place not in the bones, but in the cartilaginous tissue of the joints and spine. While the decay and synthesis of its cells are balanced, the cartilage is durable and elastic. If the wear is faster than the update, it cracks, becomes thin, and causes the joint problems.

The permanent companions of aging

At first glance, the typical portraits of patients with arthritis and osteoporosis do not coincide. Arthritis usually occurs in obese people, and osteoporosis – in fragile persons. Osteoporosis affects women much more often than men, and arthritis has no such dependence.

However, these diseases have common risk factors. The main one is old age. In the 90-ies of the last century, the national Academy of Sciences of the United States suggested the term "inevitable aging", which included a number of diseases (osteoporosis and osteoarthritis were among them). Over the years, the metabolism slows down in all tissues. Someone feels changes in the cartilage, somebody – in the bones, somebody – in the cartilages and bones. This does not mean that everyone will face severe arthritis or osteoporosis, but the initial changes can be found in most people over 50-55 years of age.

Why do bones become brittle?

Another common risk factor is a sedentary lifestyle. The lack of physical activity slows down the blood circulation. As a result, the cartilage does not receive sufficient food and resources for its timely recovery are reduced. The bone density depends strongly on pressure of the adjacent muscles. If we move a little, this pressure remains minimal and the likelihood of osteoporosis increases.

Arthritis and osteoporosis are serious disorders even individually. If they are combined, one condition worsens the other. When the bones forming the joint become less dense, the load on the articular cartilage increases, and this accelerates its wear. If a person experiences joint pain due to osteoarthritis, they involuntarily begin to move less. This, as we know, helps to reduce bone density.

The vicious circle can be broken only be with the help of well-chosen treatment. The sooner it starts, the better it will be. You should be sure to consult your doctor if you feel even a little discomfort in the joints. The pain appears when the cartilage destruction is already expressed. At an earlier stage you may experience morning stiffness, but this time you need to consult your doctor.

Osteoporosis cannot be detected in the early stages. Therefore, all women after 45 years of age need to carry out densitometry every two years-a study that allows you to estimate bone density.

Complex treatment

If the diseases are combined, it is pointless to treat only one of them. The doctors state that, even if such therapy gives results, the quality of life of the patients won’t almost improve. So the "blow" should be a double.

The correction of osteoporosis is treated with remedies that slow down the destruction of bone tissue, as well as funds with calcium and vitamin D. Women who have just entered the period of menopause, often select hormonal replacement therapy.

The main drugs for the treatment of osteoarthritis are cartilage protectors. These are medications that contain substances such as chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine. They improve the nutrition of cartilage, inhibit enzymes, vitamins and minerals that contribute to its destruction, increase its hydration. Due to this, the wear and tear of cartilage is stopped. It is important that these supplements have an analgesic effect. This allows a person to move more, which is necessary for the prevention of osteoporosis.

Both arthritis and osteoporosis are chronic diseases, so the treatment is long – term. The courses of some drugs for the increase of bone density are 3-5 years. The courses of cartilage protectors and bisphosphonates are at least three months (preferably six months). After that, their effect persists for about the same time, and then the treatment should be repeated.


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