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What is the difference between Osteoporosis and Osteoarthritis

Posted Aug 07 2009 11:53am

In my chiropractic practice, the senior population are always asking me the difference between osteoporosis and arthritis.  The word “osteo” means bone so in both osteoarthritis and osteoporosis we are concerned with the condition of the bones. The word “porosis” is like porous, having pores or holes, like a sponge. Bones, which are living, actively growing tissue have two kind of cells in them. One are the cells which make the bones grow. These cells are very active during childhood when we are growing. The other cells break down old bone and make the material available to the bone building cells. As adults, these two cells should be in balance so the bones stay the same density. When that balance breaks down, or the material the bones need to build are not available, the bones will develop pores. Bones that have pores in them are not strong and tiny, microscopic breaks can occur causing pain. Eventually, larger breaks can occur causing the hump seen in elderly ladies, or broken hips etc. It is critically important to strengthen the bones to prevent these problems.

Osteoarthritis also deals with the bones but the word arthritis can be broken down into “arthr” which means joint and “itis” which means inflammation. Osteoarthritis is an inflammation of the joints of the bones. It can be caused by previous trauma, years of overuse or aging and involves the deterioration of the cartilage of the joint causing more friction and wear.  Both conditions are treatable and while Chiropractic care isn’t going to “cure”  them it will make you more comfortable.  Call our office at 860-620-9523 for more information or click on our link in the next colum to go to our website.

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