Management of Orthopedic Conditions in Aging Population

As the global population ages, concerns regarding managing orthopedic conditions in the elderly also increase. These conditions refer to various disorders related to the human musculoskeletal system. The elderly are more susceptible to orthopedic ailments. It means that their chances of developing conditions, such as osteoarthritis and osteoporosis, are high.

Aging causes physiological changes in the body. These contribute to the development of orthopedic conditions. Factors such as decreased bone density and diminished muscle mass and strength cause the vulnerability of the aging population to orthopedic disorders. If not managed properly, these conditions can significantly impact the person’s life. They can lead to pain, mobility limitations, and a higher risk of falls. The primary goal of managing orthopedic conditions in older people is to alleviate pain, improve functionality and maintain independence. This article will explore various aspects of the effective management of orthopedic conditions among older patients, including how to find the right orthopedic doctor for you.

Orthopedic Conditions Prevalent Among the Elderly

  1. Osteoporosis 

Osteoporosis causes the bones to become weak and prone to breakage. Older people have less muscle mass. So,  their bones lose calcium over the years. That’s why it is necessary to engage in weight-bearing exercises to strengthen the muscles around the hips and legs. 

These exercises also help prevent falls due to decreased balance as you age. Osteoporosis patients should wear protective gear when participating in activities with a high injury risk. It will prevent them from falling onto hard ground surfaces.

  1. Osteoarthritis 

Osteoarthritis is another common condition that causes gradual cartilage degeneration. Cartilage is a smooth tissue that protects bones at joints. It reduces friction between your bones during movement. Cartilage also provides a shock-absorbing effect while allowing movement.

In osteoarthritis, the articular (joint) cartilage loses its cushioning function. So, bones rub together instead of gliding smoothly over each other. This causes pain and stiffness in affected joints. 

  1. Fractures 

Fractures can be serious for the elderly. With age, bone mineral density decreases. It is common in post-menopausal women. Low mineral levels make the bones weak and brittle. The risk of fractures increases more among older people because they have unsteady balance and vision problems. To combat it, strength training exercises can help. They increase bone strength, minimizing the likelihood of fracturing a bone.

  1. Dislocations 

Dislocation also severely impacts the joints of older people. They occur when joints are forced out of their normal position. It can be either by a blow to the body or twisting the joint. Dislocations lead to severe pain and swelling, and sometimes even bone damage. Although surgery may not be needed to treat them, they should still be seen in an emergency room.

Ways to Minimize the Likelihood of Orthopedic Problems

  1. Maintain a healthy body weight

For every extra 10 lbs. of weight, there is more than a 20% increase in your risk of developing osteoarthritis. Obesity also puts more pressure on your joints. It, in turn, weakens your muscles. Thus, you become more prone to injuries.

  1. Walk more

Regular walking is one of the best things to maintain healthy bones and joints. Even thirty minutes of walking every day is enough to keep your bones strong and flexible.

Include activities like stretching, walking, swimming, and biking in your day. Avoid those physical activities that stress your joints too much. However, take steps to increase muscle mass with weight-bearing activities.

  1. Get yourself checked regularly

Annual visits to the doctor help you stay on top of your orthopedic health. It is especially so for older adults who can easily develop arthritis and suffer injuries. Regular checkups will enable you to learn and implement preventive measures to protect your overall health.

Through the checkups, your doctor will be able to monitor any changes in your bone health over time. They will recommend any additional steps you may need to take for optimal bone health.

Summing Up

The treatment of orthopedic problems in the elderly is a challenging area for healthcare professionals. Along with the prevalence of these conditions among older people is the fact that they may have additional comorbidities. It can complicate the treatment. If you are tired of bearing the constant pain due to an orthopedic condition and are searching for effective treatment, contact Advanced Pain Care. Every one of the center’s orthopedic doctors is an expert in a specific area. It means that you always receive individualized care and specialized treatment. If you are searching for an Orthopedic Doctor Near Me in Texas, schedule an appointment at Advanced Pain Care today.