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Osteoporosis and Osteoarthritis Explained

Osteoporosis and osteoarthritis (OA) are more different than you might think. The similar names are confusing. The “osteo” means BONE. And “porosis” means POROUS.

Arthritis means joint inflammation.

Osteoporosis is a silent disease in so many ways, making you lose bone tissue, which leaves your bones weaker and prone to breaking. Left untreated, it can cause severe back pain, affect your ability to walk, alter your posture — and even cause you to be shorter in height.

A typical diagnostic for osteoporosis is Bone Mineral Density (BMD) test.

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease, often affecting Hips, Knees, Neck, Lower Back, and/or the Small Joints of the Hands.

OA, as it’s called, generally develops in joints that have seen heavy use and/or frequent injuries due to physical jobs or sports. And carrying excess body weight can contribute to its development.

OA can wear away the cartilage inside joints that provides cushioning for your bones. With the cushion gone, your bones will grind against each other when you move.

Osteoporosis involves bone loss that can lead to fractures, while Osteoarthritis causes joint inflammation, pain, and stiffness.

If you might expect you have either or (less common) both of these conditions, or have been alerted by your primary care or other doctor, it’s smart to see a Rheumatologist soonest.

With every rheumatic (joint/tissue pain) disease, a swift TTD (Time to Diagnosis) can make a difference regarding moving you into remission.