Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Joint agony and maturing: Tips to keep up with bone wellbeing as you age

Formation of bones gradually declines with age though removal of bone continues at the same pace leading to weak bones. Here are tips to maintain bone health while ageing to avoid joint pain

Our bones consist of living tissues that are continuously being dissolved and replaced and for the uninitiated, it is a dynamic organ where new bone is formed and old bone is removed just like our skin. Our bones help us move around and protect different organs from damage but formation of bones gradually declines with age though removal of bone continues at the same pace leading to weak bones.

Joint pain basically means arthritis and it can be divided into primary and secondary where primary arthritis is caused due to ageing whereas secondary arthritis is due to other factors (inflammatory disease or traumatic cause). Primary arthritis or osteoarthritis is the wear and tear of the cartilage that covers the joint or that protects the joint and due to this wear and tear, the bones start getting exposed and it starts causing pain in the patient.

The most common arthritis in Indian populations is knee arthritis and according to statistics, about 90% of the patients develop arthritis after the age of 45. Caucasians are more prone to hip arthritis and Indian and Asians are more prone to knee arthritis and the reason why arthritis occurs after the age of 40 is due to change in the proportion of protein and water in the cartilage.

After the age of 40, the proportion of protein and water hydration starts altering which leads to the wear and tear. In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Samarth Arya, Consultant Orthopaedics, Joint Replacement and Robotic Surgery at SPARSH Hospital, highlighted the causes and said, “The cause of Arthritis could be genetic i.e pre-existing conditions in the family. Or sometimes the causes can be idiopathic, which means there could be several causes for arthritis.”

He added, “The wear and tear of the cartilage is similar to what happens with a car tyre. Once it is worn out, it is gone forever and it wont grow back. So that is the biggest problem in arthritis. Unlike the case of skin, if damaged or torn, it will heal because it has a bloody supply. In the case of cartilage, it is Avascular, which means there is no blood supply. What we can do is reduce the progression of arthritis but it is very difficult for us to bring back the cartilage. The treatment for arthritis has a wide spectrum that ranges from conservative to surgical.”

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