The Aging Musculoskeletal System

As we age we deal with many unpleasant side effects. Some side effects and diseases come with the territory while others are preventable. In this paper we have a closer look at the causes of osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, and muscular atrophy. We shall also discuss the effects these diseases would have on the everyday life of a small boned white female who is 84-years-old.Osteoporosis is a bone disease that can get worse with time.

Your bones become fragile due to losing bone mineral density and bone mass. People do not realize this disease is occurring because they cannot feel their bones becoming weaker (“What is osteoporosis,” 2011). Osteoporosis is most likely caused by three imbalances in the human body.

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Cause number one is a low magnesium/high calcium ratio. Cause number two is your female/male hormone is low. Cause number three is a low thyroid function (“The causes of osteoporosis,”).Osteoporosis in an elderly woman is very likely if she has not been taking precautions against it. Especially with the Western diet she is possibly not consuming enough minerals to keep her bones from losing density and mass. If she ever falls she is more than likely to attain a fracture and her changes of falling again and receiving another fracture with osteoporosis only increase.Primary osteoarthritis is most likely related to aging.

Repeatedly using the joint over the years damages the cartilage and leads to joint pain and swelling. Eventually the cartilage is lost and the cushion between the bones and joints is gone. This causes friction, leading to pain and limited joint mobility. Damage can also cause the bone to grow and create spurs around the joint. Osteoarthritis can primarily be found in the members of the same family (“Causes of osteoarthritis,” 2013).The probability of this elderly woman dealing with osteoarthritis is if another family member also has this disease. The effects on her everyday life would be great, causing constant pain and limiting her physical mobility.

Although osteoarthritis is primarily related to aging, this woman does not necessarily have the disease if she has maintained her joints and cartilage.Muscular atrophy results from lack of muscle movement and use. Causes include a sedentary lifestyle, being bedridden, injuries, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Some serious or life threatening causes of muscular atrophy include Guillian-Barre syndrome, neck or spinal cord injury, and stroke. Questions to ask yourself related to muscular atrophy include: Do you have any other symptoms? What medication are you taking? When did you first notice muscular atrophy? Which of your muscles are affected? (“Muscle atrophy: Causes,” 2013).If this elderly woman leads a sedentary lifestyle or is bedridden she will, more than likely, be dealing with muscular atrophy. Also, her chances of developing muscular atrophy increase if she is also dealing with osteoarthritis. The majority of the elderly population takes a large amount of medication.

Due to this, some of her meds could be deteriorating her muscle mass.In conclusion, all of these diseases would have a grave impact for our elderly woman. While these issues can be prevented, it is more than likely in our Western culture with our poor diet and lazy lifestyle, that this woman has not been so lucky. If fact, it would not be uncommon to see her suffering from all three diseases at once.