With age, various changes naturally occur in our body. We have more wrinkles, grey hair appears. All of these are external changes. However, many of us are not aware that ageing also affects our skeletal system. Our bones and joints also change with age. Here we talk about what happens to our skeletal system, and what needs to be done to maintain the health of our bones and joints.
HOW DO OUR BONES CHANGE?
Throughout life, our bones are constantly changing. The body naturally gets rid of the “aged” bone tissue and replaces it with a new one. While we are young, bone tissue is replaced much faster than lost. Therefore, bones at a young age are much denser and stronger. Peak bone mass in most people is about 30 years old.
When the bone mass reaches its peak value for some time, approximately as much new bone tissue is formed in the body as it is lost, however, after about 40 years, bone formation processes begin to lag behind. Bones as a result of this become thinner and weaker, gradually increasing the risk of osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis is a disease characterized by progressive bone loss. Osteoporotic bones are structurally different from normal. In women after menopause, bone loss accelerates.
HOW DO OUR JOINTS CHANGE?
Our joints are also living and active structures that change with age. The decrease in water content, as well as natural wear and tear, gradually leads to the destruction of articular cartilage – one of the most important components necessary for the normal functioning of the joint.
The articular cartilage covers the articular surfaces of the bones and ensures their free sliding relative to each other, absorbing some of the loads on the joint. A disease characterized by wear of the articular cartilage is called osteoarthrosis.
Some problems associated with age-related changes in the joints can be avoided. One of the problems that often accompany ageing, but which is not its natural component, is low physical activity. As we get older, we move less. It must be understood that the less we move, the less mobile our joints become. Along with joints, muscles also suffer – they become weaker. People leading an active lifestyle despite old age have healthier bones and joints.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO TURN BACK THE CLOCK?
Everyone is ageing, but there are many things you can do to keep your bones and joints in good condition, delaying the appearance of problems or even preventing them. Try these tips:
- Ask your rheumatologist in Delhi what medications may affect your bones. There are many drugs that enhance bone loss, such as long-term use of anticonvulsants, some drugs used to treat cancer, anti-inflammatory drugs from the corticosteroid group used to treat arthritis and many other diseases, such as bronchial asthma, Crohn’s disease, lupus.
- Exercise regularly. Physical activity not only allows you to maintain the mobility of your joints, it minimizes bone loss, and also supports muscle tone and strength, thereby helping to prevent falls.
- Eat enough calcium and vitamin D with food. These nutritional supplements are essential for normal bone function. The doctor will tell you how many they need. If you are not sure that you are getting enough of them with food, ask your arthritis specialist in Delhi to give them to you.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight is a cause of joint overload and leads to accelerated wear of bones and joints, increasing the risk of osteoarthritis.