The Musculoskeletal System And The Senior Citizen
The Geriatric Patient and the Musculoskeletal System Aging has an effect on the musculoskeletal system with most of the devastating damage being done to the bone and joints of the system.
The resultant damage creates pain and problems with mobility. Musculoskeletal disease is usually the culprit when the elderly are unable to function due to a decrease in mobility. Did you know that throughout your life your bones are replaced and remodeled? New cells replace old bone cells.
This is your body's way of adjusting to the stress you place on it over time. At least until around age 35 at which time bones cells tend to wear out faster than new ones can replace them. When this occurs we can experience a gradual bone loss. When the bone "mass" loss reaches a density of 2.5 standard deviations or more below the mean value for young adults the condition is referred to as "osteoporosis" according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
The result of which is fragility of the bone with a greater risk for fracture upon even the mildest of trauma. Osteoporosis - What increases Your Risk For It: Loss of estrogen production such as that in menopausal women Age itself due to the loss of bone mass that happens naturally with advanced age
A diet poor in calcium Those who are inactive because it is through activity that bone is remodeled in response to the stresses we put on it through activity Using a high dose of corticosteroids over a period of 3 months or longer. Alcohol abuse and smoking.
Amenorrhea (lack of menstrual period in women) due to over-exercise. Family history of osteoporosis.
More information regarding Osteoporosis:
Fractures can also occur when one has osteoporosis without any obvious sign of trauma or pain. This can occur in the bones of the spine where the bones crush or collapse into each other which results in a height loss of up to several centimeters.
This will show itself in a hunched back posture, sometimes called humpback or dowager's hump. Other common fractures occur in the wrist or hip areas. The two forms of arthritis (osteoarthritis and rheumatoid) are common ailments in advanced age.
Rheumatoid is more common in women than it is in men. Osteoarthritis is the more common of the two. Affected areas of osteoarthritis most often affected are the knees and hips.
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Research needs to be done to find causes of Alzheimer's disease, psychiatric disorders, Parkinson's disease, and other common ailments suffered by aging adults. Scientists and researches are looking for ways to prevent or reduce risk causes or delay the onset of serious age related conditions.
Physical exercise is an important part of preventing early signs of aging and chronic illness.
Another musculoskeletal condition is known as "osteomalacia". It is when bone does not properly calcify and becomes soft and weak. The cause seems to be a problem with the metabolism of Vitamin D and can occur when there is gastrointestinal problems or kidney failure.
Gardening can be a great way to stay busy, as well as give us some exercise. If you don't have room for a garden of your own, could volunteer to help with someone elses garden. You could find some indoor plants for your home, and they will add a pleasant aroma to the air.
The condition can be exacerbated by lack of sun exposure because sunlight is needed to allow Vitamin D to be absorbed by the skin. Poor diet in vitamin D, renal disease and even anticonvulsants can contribute to the occurrence of osteomalacia.
Symptoms can be bone pain, weakness and tenderness as well as a "waddling gait" and some difficulty being able to get in and out of chairs as well as difficulty going up and down stairs.
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