*National Bone & Joint Health Action Week*
Maintaining bone and joint health is one of the most important aspects to living a great life
National Action Week for Bone and Joint Health, a global initiative promoting the care of people with bone and joint disorders, is observed October 12-20. This initiative focuses on improving quality of life and advancing the understanding and treatment of musculoskeletal conditions through research, prevention, and education.
Most Common Bone & Joint Conditions
- Osteoporosis - This disease essentially causes the thinning of bones which makes them brittle and prone to fractures. Women aged 50 and over are most at risk.
- Osteoarthritis - Also known as degenerative joint disease. Over time the cartilage in your joints breaks down causing inflammation and pain. Although osteoarthritis can damage any joint in your body, the disorder most commonly affects joints in your hands, knees, hips and spine.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis - An autoimmune disorder occurs when your immune system mistakenly attacks your own body's tissues, causing painful swelling that can eventually result in bone erosion and joint deformity.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, "More than 50 million adults have doctor-diagnosed arthritis. That's 1 in 5 people over the age of 18." One in every five people that you know may have pains due to bone and joint conditions.
Physical Therapy: Bone & Joint Health
Physical therapy can help reduce pain levels by slowing the progression of these conditions. A licensed Physical Therapist can help by developing specific programs which may include:
- Strength training to increase bone mineral density in patients with osteoporosis
- Gait training to reduce risk for falls and prevent fractures
- Strengthening surrounding muscles to help alleviate joint pressure
- Stretching of tight muscles to increase range of motion and reduce joint stiffness
- Home exercises in order to maintain an active lifestyle
- Pain relieving techniques
Tackling the issue early with a Physical Therapist will significantly slow disease progression to overall help improve function.