BONE AND JOINT INFORMATION

Dozens of conditions are specifically related to the bones and joints of your body. And tendons, the rubber-band like structures that reinforce the joints, can also be affected by these conditions and the injuries that sometimes cause them.

Types of Bone, Joint and Tendon Problems

A joint problem that can affect almost any part of the body is arthritis, a disease that specifically targets the joints and tendons, causing pain, stiffness and inflammation. The most common type is osteoarthritis, which is usually caused by aging, injuries or general wear and tear, but arthritis can stem from other causes as well.

When the tendon specifically is injured, it's often called tendinitis. With tendinitis, the tendon stretches past the point of comfort, and pain ensues. This can occur in the knee, shoulder or elsewhere in the body.

Bone fractures are another problem that can occur almost anywhere in the body. More commonly known as a broken bone, the fracture can be partial or total and the result of injury or overuse.

Of course, there are also many problems that are specific to certain bones and joints in the body. Chondromalacia, for example, refers to the softening of the cartilage in the knee cap. Dislocations occur more often in the shoulder joint than elsewhere in the body. And the back presents all kinds of unique issues at the joints between discs, such as sciatica or a bulging disc.

Treatment

Treatments for bone, joint and tendon problems vary widely, but mild problems may involve physical therapy, applications of cold and hot pads and over-the-counter pain relievers. The most extreme conditions or injuries may require surgery to correct.

SOURCES: U.S. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases; U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

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