Bone And Joint Health

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is thinning of your bones making them weaker. You can’t see or feel your bones thinning you may only become aware of it if you break your bones, usually wrist, hip or back. There are certain things that increase your risk of getting osteoporosis including being female, poor diet, long-term immobility, certain medication and certain diseases.

By making some changes to your lifestyle you could help to reduce your risk of developing osteoporosis. A healthy diet and regular exercise can increase bone mass, especially in younger people whose bones are still growing. Stop smoking and make sure you get enough calcium and vitamin D. Once you have osteoporosis you will always have it, so make sure you do what you can to prevent it.

For more information on osteoporosis visit NHS Choices.

Vitamin D Deficiency

Vitamin D is essential for healthy bones. Without it you can get conditions such as rickets, osteomalacia and osteoporosis. It can result from inadequate nutritional intake of vitamin D coupled with inadequate sunlight exposure (in particular sunlight with adequate ultraviolet B rays) and disorders that limit vitamin D absorption.

Prevent Vitamin D Deficiency by:

  • Having a balanced diet. Minor sources of vitamin D3 are fatty fish, eggs, meat and fortified foods.
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Ensure you get adequate suncexposure but also take care not to over expose your skin to the sun.

For more information on Vitamin D see visit NHS Choices.

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is degradation of your joint usually with time due to mechanical wear of your joints (primary osteoarthritis). It causes joint pain, stiffness, locking and sometimes swelling. There are some disease which can also cause osteoarthritis including diabetes, MSK injuries, obesity and inflammatory conditions.

If you have osteoarthritis there are many things you can do to reduce the pain and stiffness in your joints, and to make day to day life easier.

For more information on Osteoarthitis, prevention and self help visit NHS Choices.

Gout

Gout is a type of arthritis, which causes inflammation of your joints due to high levels of uric acid in your blood. It causes pain and swelling, usually in one joint in your body – commonly your big toe. However, it can affect any of your joints.

You can prevent Gout by:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight – gout is more common in people who are overweight
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Limit your alcohol consumption – Alcohol inhibits the processing of uric acid in your liver.
  • Limit your intake of foods rich in purines, which later break down into uric acid during digestion. These foods include red meat, shellfish, tofu, peas, organ meat, anchovies, herring, asparagus and mushrooms.

If you have a flare up of Gout you can reduce the pain and swelling by:

  • Rest and elevate your affected joint
  • Keep the joint cool
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Take some anti-inflammatory or pain relief.

For more information on gout visit NHS Choices.

If you have an undiagnosed joint pain or swelling, please consult with your doctor.