The 7 most common bone diseases

The most advisable thing is to prevent the most common diseases in the bones. This is achieved with an adequate diet from an early age and with moderate but frequent physical activity.

Last update: September 20, 2021

The most common bone diseases affect millions of people in the world. The most prevalent condition is back pain and, specifically, the so-called «lumbago» which is considered the first cause of disability in around 160 countries, but it is not a disease as such, but a symptom.

The human being has 206 bones that, together, make up the skeleton and provide protection and support to the body. Together with the muscles, they are responsible for making movement possible. Like all living tissue, they can become ill, especially during old age.

Although the bones are completely renewed every 10 years, the truth is that bone diseases are very common. Are have great potential to deteriorate a person's quality of life. What are the most common bone diseases? We will see it right away.

1. Osteoporosis, one of the most common bone diseases

Osteoporosis is a common disease, especially in older women.

Osteoporosis is a very common disease that occurs when bone mass is lost faster than it is regenerated. This causes the bones to lose density and therefore makes them weaker and vulnerable to injury.

This disease is more common in the elderly, especially in postmenopausal women. Symptoms include fractures that occur with minimal trauma, back pain, loss of height, and a stooped posture.

Hip or spine fractures are the most common complications of osteoporosis. It is best to prevent its appearance with good consumption of calcium, vitamin D and exercise.. If the disease develops, treatment is carried out with medications and preventive measures against possible falls.

2. Osteomyelitis

Osteomyelitis is another of the most common bone diseases. It is caused by the infection of some pathogen, almost always of the genus Staphylococcus. This can reach the bones through the blood or from the external environment, when there is an open injury that leaves the bone exposed.

The usual thing is that there is previously an infectious disease such as pneumonia, cystitis, etc. The pathogen reaches the bone and colonizes it. Redness and inflammation occur in the affected area, as well as fever, pain, weakness and fatigue. If the disease progresses, it can cause necrosis and put a person's life at risk.

The initial treatment of osteomyelitis is carried out by the administration of antibiotics. However, in some cases surgery to remove the mass of dead cells is necessary if necrosis has occurred.

3. Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is also one of the most common bone diseases. It affects the tendons and joints and is considered the most common joint pathology. It is estimated that almost the entire world population has some symptom of this pathology, after the age of 70.

In osteoarthritis there is wear and tear of the joint tissue, caused by aging. This disease causes pain, tenderness, loss of flexibility, stiffness, and other symptoms in compromised joints.

In general, is treated with commonly used pain relievers, cortisone injections, physical therapy, and occupational therapy. Severe cases may require joint replacement surgery. The main complications are fracture, chondrolysis, impingement of a nerve, rupture of tendons and ligaments, and bone death.

4. Paget's disease

Paget's disease is a pathology in which the replacement of old bone tissue by a new one is interrupted. It is one of the most common bone diseases among the elderly in northern Europe. It is more common in those who have relatives with the same disease.

Paget's disease is believed to have genetic causes. It is a chronic disorder that causes enlargement and weakening of the bones. This makes a person more prone to injury and can also lead to neurological, cardiovascular, and orthopedic complications.

It is almost always treated with bisphosphonates, some medicines that can stop or slow down the progression of the disease and help fight pain. Sometimes surgery is necessary, if complications such as fractures, misalignments, etc. occur.

5. Osteomalacia

Another of the most common bone diseases is oseomalacia. The main effect of this pathology is the softening of the bones. If it occurs in children or young adults, it could cause deformation, especially in the bones of the legs. In older adults it makes them more prone to fractures.

The main cause of this disease is vitamin D deficiency. Without it, the bones cannot absorb calcium and consequently lose their strength. The vitamin deficiency is caused by poor diet, low sun exposure or metabolic disorders of genetic origin.

Treatment for osteomalacia consists of providing sufficient amounts of vitamin D and calcium. to strengthen bones. Likewise, it is aimed at alleviating the disorders caused by this disease, such as fractures, deviations, etc.

6. Osteogenesis imperfecta

Excessive bone brittleness may be indicative of osteogenesis imperfecta.

Osteogenesis imperfecta is a disease in which the bones become excessively brittle. This disease is present from birth and is almost always caused by a defect in the gene that produces collagen. The most common is that it is inherited from the parents.

People with this pathology are more prone to fractures and tend to be shorter on average. They also have symptoms such as a blue tint to the whites of the eyes, early hearing loss, and frequent fractures.

The disorder can also cause bones to become deformed. For now there is no cure for this condition, but there are treatments to reduce pain and prevent complications. Sometimes it may require surgery.

7. Bone tumor

It is not a very frequent condition and, therefore, it is not always classified among the most common diseases in the bones. Osteosarcoma occurs in less than one patient in 100,000 people and it is the most common form of bone cancer.

In most cases, what develops is a metastatic tumor. This is formed when cells from another tumor travel to the bones and settle in them. A cell mass is then formed that has uncontrolled growth.

Usually the origin is breast cancer, prostate cancer or multiple myeloma. Treatment includes management of the tumor of origin, as well as radiation therapy or chemotherapy, if the cancer status and health conditions allow.

How to take care of bone health?

Although the most common bone diseases almost always occur in older adults, they can also appear at any age. The most effective measure to prevent these pathologies is to have a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D from an early age.

It is also very important that nutrients that contain magnesium, phosphorus, copper, boron, manganese, zinc, folic acid and vitamins B6, C and K. are included. The indicated is a diet rich in cereals, vegetables, dairy products and seeds pumpkin, sesame and sunflower.

The same way, regular physical activity is very important. That said, you need to perform the exercises properly to avoid injuries, such as fractures. The latter are the most common bone problem among young people.

Prevention is better than cure

We have talked about seven of the most common bone diseases. However, it is evident that those with the highest prevalence are osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. Both conditions are very common in the elderly.

In addition to good prevention, currently there are medical treatments considered effective to stop the progress of these pathologies. However, this is only possible if they are detected and addressed in time.