Bone and Joint Awareness

Patiend looking at bone xrays

Bone and joint conditions are the most common cause of severe long-term pain and physical disability worldwide affecting hundreds of millions of people. More than half the American population (over 18) is affected by bone and joint conditions; a third of them require medical care for these conditions. Bone and joint conditions include back pain, arthritis, traumatic injuries, osteoporosis, and spinal deformity. These conditions lead to significant disability plus diminished productivity and quality of life. Treatment is expensive and since Baby Boomers became beneficiaries of Medicare, the economic and societal cost of bone and joint health has escalated and is expected to continue for decades.

What Can You Do?

Be active! Get some exercise! Physical activity helps your bones and joints and can postpone or prevent bone/joint disorders. WebMD recommends doing strengthening, aerobic, and flexibility (range-of-motion) exercises. In fact, scientific evidence recommends regular lifelong physical activity to improve bone/joint health.

Eat right! Good nutrition is always an important part of maintaining your overall health, and your bones/joints will benefit from a healthy diet, too! Bones need lots of calcium and vitamin D. Doctors suggest up to 1,500 mg of calcium daily. Try to get your calcium via your meals (e.g., milk, yogurt) and make up the difference with a calcium supplement (e.g., vitamin pill). Did you know that vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium? But, always check with your doctor first to see how much calcium you need.

Go to the doctor! Always see your health care provider if you start to experience pain or discomfort in your bones or joints. Many conditions can be treated without surgery—using heat, ice, exercise, muscle relaxants, anti-inflammatory medications, pain relievers, physical therapy, activity modification, or joint injections.

Source: Kentuckiana Regional Planning & Development Agency (KIPDA)