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Osteoporosis vs Osteoarthritis: Difference, Causes & Treatment

01 March, 2021 Rishika Chawla

Osteoporosis and Osteoarthritis both looks similar but are different. The similarity arises with the word 'Osteo'. The word Osteo is related to joints and knees, which mean both of the problems, arise in the knees. On the other hand when one goes for pain management in osteoarthritis pain relief is searched for in osteoporosis. Trial of compensation of limited movement is done in arthritis whereas activities like walking, bending are avoided in osteoporosis.

Osteoarthritis is a problem in joint and cartilage which occurs when flexible tissues at the end of the bones wear down. This is also known as degenerative arthritis which occurs gradually and get worsen over time. This problem can have many causes like:

  • Old age: Growing age increases the risk of osteoarthritis as people tend to be non flexible and loose their bone strength day by day. Mostly this can be seen in about the age of 50.
  • Sex: This problem can be seem to have differentiated between gender. Out of male and female, female suffer the most from osteoarthritis.
  • Obesity: Increase in weight may lead to increase in the burden on the feet. This may cause knees to bend and put stress on it which can have an ever lasting impact.
  • Genetic: If someone in your family has already suffered from this problem, there may be chances of you be suffering more from the problem.
  • Bone deformities: People suffering from bone deformities and bone problems like rickets and others may have problems. Joint injuries are also common cause of osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis can show various signs and symptoms like pain in joint areas, stiffness and sensation in the bones of knees, tenderness, slow loss of flexibility, swellings in the legs area and overgrowth or lump in the finger of feet. Many of the symptoms can be felt with the ongoing time but one can realise them and consult a doctor immediately.

Osteoporosis on the other hand is a problem in bones which makes it weak and brittle. In this disease absorption and replacement of bone tissue is done. Mostly people develop fractures in hip, wrist and spine areas. However both of them are recorded to be having 10 million patients every year which is a gradual increase. It is noted by doctors that treatment of both osteoporosis and osteoarthritis is possible but its cure can’t be done. Symptoms of the disease are less seen but matches sometimes with the former. It can be bone fracture, loss of height, back pain, stooped posture. Causes can be as follows:

  • Steroids: Steroids are a chemical hormone already present in the human body. These hormones can cause osteoporosis in the body.
  • Poor Diet: Poor diet can be a result of osteoporosis. This includes unhealthy food habits like smoking, drinking, consumption of fast food and much more.
  • Genetic: One who has this problem before in the family can have chances of gaining it more than others. This is the common cause for both the osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.

Many other causes like lack of oestrogen, lack of exercise can cause problems.

Diagnosis of Osteoporosis & Osteoarthritis:

Diagnosis of both of the conditions is done with techniques of lab tests or imaging. Both of them being chronic require a proper medical diagnosis. Diagnosis methods:

  • X rays: X rays show the space between the bones and cartilage which makes easier to diagnose the defect and treat it by a doctor.
  • MRI: MRI stands for magnetic resonance imaging. It uses magnetic radio waves to find the detailed image of bone and its tissues.

There are other tests like blood test and joint fluid analysis , but most commonly x rays and MRI are done for the diagnose.

Treatment and Medications:

Treatment of osteoporosis varies with the treatment of osteoarthritis. But one finds that both of them are chronic or can be for lifetime that does not have any cure. However relief methods can be tried of.

Treatment of Osteoporosis can be done with various methods like bisphosphonates, monoclonal antibody medicine, and hormone related therapy and born building medication. All these methods can be used for the treatment but takes time and money.

Treatment of Osteoarthritis can have various methods but can not be cured properly. Methods like duloxetine, nonsteroidal anti inflammatory drugs, physical therapy, occupation therapy, realigning the bones and joint replacement can be done for betterment.

Similarities and difference both are possible but it is to be take care that if someone faces both of these together medical consult must be taken immediately. He / she should do exercise regularly and try to make his joint mobile. A physiotherapist can be recalled in the case. Time to time medication is necessary as there is no proper cure. Medicines can be ordered online from pharmacy stores or could be bought from nearby stores.


#osteoporosis #osteoarthritis #3meds