Senior citizens comprise an age group that is at the highest risk for fractures, falls, and joint injury because aging takes a toll on the skeletal system. With age comes the natural process of degeneration that causes tissues to weaken and become more susceptible to damage. Below is a closer look at the specific changes that take place in both the bones and joints, and how an orthopaedic specialist can help.
- Bones: You may not realize that your bones are made up of living tissue that is constantly regenerating. As you get older, the bones have fewer nutrients available to rebuild, so they lose density. Your posture may change because of this process, as the spinal vertebrae are prone to compression under the weight of your body.
- Joints: The joints in your body are lined with cartilage, which allows the bones to glide smoothly over one another. Age causes the cartilage to become thinner, which means the bones are under a greater amount of pressure from daily movements. Inflammation and pain can result in an age-related form of arthritis called osteoarthritis.
Preventing Damage Caused by Aging
Although you cannot stop yourself from getting older, you can help your body accept the changes that come with age more comfortably. Bone health can be preserved with the use of calcium supplements and a daily multivitamin that will help the body sustain a better balance of valuable nutrients. Women are especially prone to losing bone mass through menopause, so calcium is of great importance to a woman’s diet. Both the joints and the bones can benefit from physical activity, as exercise will help circulation improve and strengthen the muscles that support the skeletal system. Even a simple daily walk can make a significant impact on bone and joint health.
If you want to learn more about helping your skeletal system age gracefully so that you can remain mobile and active, schedule a consultation with MK Orthopaedics. Contact our orthopaedic surgeons in Joliet online or call (815) 741-6900 for more information about our Illinois practice.