Orthopedic Problems to Watch For as You Get Older

May 28th, 2018 Becki Andrus
Orthopedic Problems to Watch For

As you grow older, orthopedic problems are a natural thing. However, that doesn’t make them any easier to deal with. If you take care of your health, you can prevent some of them, though. If you are concerned, these are some orthopedic problems to watch for as you age.

Orthopedic Problems to Watch For as You Get Older

Orthopedic problems don’t simply appear. Instead, they slowly develop over time. Because of this, it’s common for them to start appearing as people age. A few are lucky and dodge any serious issues, but those cases are certainly rare. Whether it’s osteoporosis or osteoarthritis, nearly everyone deals with something.

If you are concerned, it’s important to account for these problems now. Learning about your risk and what can compound issues can prevent serious injury down the road. Of course, orthopedic problems aren’t like the rest. Very few are the result of genetics, but instead actions that you take every day. Whether it’s long hours at the computer or running in harsh conditions, the things you do are what put you at risk. Taking action now is the best way to deal with these conditions, as prevention is often more effective than treatment.


Orthopedic Problems to Watch ForIt would be impossible to write this list and not include osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis affects more than 31 million Americans, making it one of the most common orthopedic conditions in the world.

Osteoarthritis is, of course, a form of arthritis that is characterized by pain and tenderness of a joint. It occurs when the cartilage in and surrounding a joint is worn down. This occurs for a variety of reasons but is mostly due to overuse of a joint. It’s common for osteoarthritis to develop in people who work in labor-intensive jobs, such as auto mechanics.

This is one of the few orthopedic conditions that are genetic, though it isn’t the most important risk factor at all. Women are more likely to develop osteoarthritis, though no one is sure why. Obesity is another risk factor, as well as joint injury.

In any case, the risk of osteoarthritis increases with age. Cartilage naturally gets worn down through activity, and there is little to do to prevent that. If you begin to see symptoms of arthritis, the best thing you can do is talk to a doctor immediately. The earlier treatment begins, the more effective it will be.

Heavy Purse Syndrome

“Heavy purse syndrome” is a blanket term for a series of orthopedic conditions that surround shoulder pain. Typically characterized by an aching shoulder pain, poor posture, and muscle spasms, “heavy purse syndrome” occurs in people who regularly carry heavy loads. Of course, it got its name because it is popular with people who have carried a heavy purse throughout their life.

While it begins to develop early, “heavy purse syndrome” isn’t likely to show itself until later in life. If you are concerned about it, you likely know what to do: try to lighten the load of your purse. If everything that you’re carrying is absolutely necessary, then make sure that you regularly switch what side you carry your purse on. This should help to offset the effects of the weight and help to keep muscles developing evenly.

Shopping can absolutely be an exercise, so it’s best to treat it like one.

Bone Fractures

As you age, the likelihood that you will break or fracture a bone increases. The first reason for this, especially in women, is because of a natural decrease in bone strength. A decrease in estrogen can make bones brittle and weak, leaving them more susceptible to fracture.

Similarly, it’s no secret that age can take a toll on muscles and tendons. As you grow older, it’s likely that you’ll become weaker. You might not be weak, but you won’t be as strong as you once were. This is a common cause of accidents, which of course lend themselves to bone fractures.

Unfortunately, age also makes it much more difficult for people to deal with bone fractures. The mending process becomes extended and less effective. You can’t just “not get into accidents,” though it would be the best way to prevent fractures. What you can do, however, is remember your bone health when making dietary decisions. Drink a glass of milk. Eat a banana. You might not feel the effects for some time but they will one day come in handy.

If you are looking for orthopedic problems to watch out for, you should look to people who have similar lives to you, especially similar jobs. Orthopedic problems develop diffferently in everyone, so your familt and your colleagues are the best place to look for guidance. Generally, maintaing good health and a good diet is the best thing you can do to prevent orthopedic conditions later in life.

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