What causes osteoarthritis?

A layer of tissue, called cartilage, covers the end of the bones at each joint and acts as a shock absorber. Over time, cartilage can wear away, and the joints can become stiff, swollen, and sore. This condition is called arthritis. Arthritis is a leading chronic condition in the US, affecting more than 21 million Americans.

How can I keep my bones healthy and avoid orthopedic problems?

Bone minerals are composed heavily of calcium. Therefore, during periods of bone growth, between 10 and 20 years of age, calcium should be a regular dietary component. In addition, individuals begin to lose bone minerals past age 35.

Calcium supplements can help minimize this loss. Staying active with regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and eating a healthy diet is also very important for keeping bones and joints healthy.

Should I apply ice or heat to an injury?

Ice is a good rule of thumb in the first stage of an injury (within the first 24-48 hours) or when swelling occurs. Ice helps to reduce inflammation by decreasing blood flow to the area to which cold is applied. Heat increases blood flow and may promote pain relief after swelling subsides. Heat may also warm up muscles before exercise or physical therapy.

What is a tendon, a ligament, or a cartilage?
  • A tendon is a tissue band connecting your muscles to your bones.
  • A ligament is a band of tissue that connects bone to bone and provides stability to your joints.
  • Cartilage is gel-like padding between your bones that protects joints and allows for movement.
What are the most common orthopedic conditions?

Osteoarthritis affects more than 21 million Americans and is responsible for thousands of yearly hip, knee, and shoulder replacements. Back and spine problems also account for a large number of complaints. Other common problems are bursitis, tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, rotator cuff tears, ligament and cartilage injuries, and fractures from sports and motor vehicle accidents.

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