Your bones bear the weight of your body and make movement possible, so it’s important to keep them strong and healthy. Skeletal system diseases weaken the bones and make it difficult to do the things you enjoy, so get regular physical examinations and let your primary care provider know if you have any joint pain or stiffness.
What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is one of the most well-known skeletal system diseases. If you have osteoporosis, your body is removing your old bone tissue faster than it can produce new bone. Experts define osteoporosis as a disease that makes your bones brittle and weak, increasing your risk of fractures. If you are a woman, you have an increased risk of developing this disease. Osteoporosis is especially common in women who have gone through menopause. It is important to know the symptoms of osteoporosis and take steps to prevent the disease.
If you recently developed osteoporosis, you may not have any symptoms. As the disease advances, you might experience back pain, bone fractures, stooped posture, and a loss of height. If you take corticosteroids for another medical condition, you may have an increased risk of developing osteoporosis. Your primary care doctor may recommend that you have a bone density scan to determine if your bones are healthy.
You need calcium to build strong bones, so a calcium deficiency can lead to skeletal system diseases. If you do not have enough calcium, you also have a higher risk of seizures, heart problems, and other serious complications. The symptoms of calcium deficiency include low blood pressure, sweating, dry skin, muscle pain, and muscle spasms. If you experience any of these symptoms, tell your primary care provider. Your doctor can order a blood test to determine if your calcium level is lower than it should be.
As you age, you may experience joint pain and stiffness. These symptoms sometimes occur as the result of arthritis, or inflammation of the joints. The inflammation can affect a pivot joint, making it difficult to rotate your arm or leg. If arthritis pain makes it difficult to walk or perform other activities, tell your doctor about your symptoms.
There are several other problems that can affect your skeletal system at any point. Bursitis usually affects the hip and shoulder joints. This condition is caused by an inflammation of the sacs that reduce friction between the bones and muscles. Sprains, strains, breaks, and fractures are also a possibility, especially if you participate in contact sports or have a physically demanding job. If you sustain one of these injuries, it is important to seek medical attention. An untreated break or sprain can lead to serious complications in the future.
If you have scoliosis or kyphosis, your doctor can refer you to a specialist for evaluation. Scoliosis is a condition that causes the spine to curve abnormally. The spine normally has some degree of curvature so that you can walk and balance yourself. Scoliosis causes the spine to curve in the shape of an S, which can cause discomfort and affect the joints, heart, and lungs. Kyphosis causes the spine to bend forward, which is what causes a hunchbacked appearance. if you have rheumatoid arthritis, you may have a higher risk of developing kyphosis.
Primary Care Team
If you have any symptoms of skeletal system diseases, let your primary care provider know right away. One of the experienced professionals at Chapel Hill Primary Care will conduct a thorough examination and order tests to determine what could be causing your symptoms.