Different Conditions, Different Treatments: All About Osteoarthritis vs. Osteoporosis

Different Conditions, Different Treatments: All About Osteoarthritis vs. Osteoporosis

Approximately 10 million Americans have osteoporosis. Half of all adults over 50 are at a significant risk of bone loss. Osteoarthritis affects about 27 million Americans and nearly all adults over 60.

Both of these conditions are very common. That’s why it’s important to understand their similarities and differences. After all, treatment options aren’t the same for every disease. 

Osteoarthritis vs osteoporosis: Read on to discover more!

What is Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a disease the affects the density of a person’s bones. When osteoporosis takes hold, bones become brittle and break. A significant life-long lack of calcium can cause osteoporosis. This condition occurs when the body cannot replace bone cells quickly enough.

Osteoporosis tends to affect women, especially older women who have already experienced menopause. With proper exercise, nutrition, and self-care, most people can avoid osteoporosis altogether. Yet, genetic factors may contribute to the development of osteoporosis.

Even the healthiest, most cautious individuals can develop it. Several factors influence the onset of osteoporosis. So, it’s essential to practice as many preventative measures as possible.

What Causes Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis has several potential causes. Some of the most common include:

  • Poor nutrition
  • Unchangeable genetic factors, such as sex and ethnicity
  • Aging
  • Thyroid problems, and other hormonal issues
  • Drinking a lot of alcohol
  • Using corticosteroid medications
  • Long-term tobacco use

These are some of the most common causes. Osteoporosis can also affect anyone suffering from kidney or liver disease. Lupus, cancer, celiac disease, or rheumatoid arthritis are also factors.

Early preventative care and treatment can lessen the damage that the disease causes. Understanding and recognizing the common characteristics of osteoporosis is crucial. You may have a better chance of early diagnosis and overcoming osteoporosis.

Characteristics of Osteoporosis

Identifying osteoporosis requires a professional physical examination and x-rays. But, there are specific symptoms and signs of osteoporosis, as well as features to watch out for. They include:

  • Backache
  • Easily broken bones
  • Stooped posture

Osteoporosis tends to be symptomless until it’s caused a significant amount of damage. The difference between healthy bone vs osteoporotic bone is obvious. When viewed with a microscope or via x-ray, you can see sponge-like holes within the structure of the bones.

Those most at risk of developed osteoporosis can benefit from bi-annual bone density scans. Once diagnosed, there are several potential treatments for osteoporosis. These treatments vary from weight-bearing exercises to helpful pharmaceuticals. 

Common Treatments for Osteoporosis

There are several ways to treat osteoporosis. Some treatments may be more effective than others. Consult with your physician to determine the best medications for treatment.

Hormonal Therapy

Estrogen supplements and injections can help prevent and treat osteoporosis. This is especially true when it is administered during or directly after menopause. 

Raloxifene (Evista) is a synthetic form of estrogen. It doesn’t carry the same depth of potential side-effects. Also, it is a popular option for those seeking hormone-related treatment and therapy. 

Monoclonal Antibodies

Denosumab (Prolia, Xgeva) can slow the rate of bone loss. It also helps protect the skeletal system from fractures. But, once this treatment method starts, patients will need to continue it for as long as they have osteoporosis.

Bisphosphonates

These medications help to slow down the rate of bone loss. Common examples include:

  • risedronic acid (Actonel, Atelva)
  • alendronate (Binosto, Fosamax)
  • zoledronic acid (Reclast, Zometa)
  • ibandronate (Boniva)

What is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is the most common joint-related condition. It is a natural lack of cartilage between joints which often results in joint pain and stiffness. Osteoarthritis tends to only occur during the later years of life.

What Causes Osteoarthritis?

There are several potential causes of osteoarthritis. Yet, age seems to be the most critical factor. As we age, our joints and bones receive normal wear and tear, especially if we lead active lives.

Cartilage is a spongy, squishy substance that cushions joints. It degrades and disappears, resulting in arthritis. Previous injuries such as torn ligaments can also contribute to osteoarthritis.

Obesity, genetics, and poor nutrition are other factors to consider. Yet, the older you are, the more likely you are to develop this condition. Regardless of fitness, nutrition, or lifestyle choices, you could develop osteoarthritis.

Symptoms and Characteristics of Osteoarthritis 

Osteoarthritis isn’t as sneaky as osteoporosis. The signs and symptoms present themselves far sooner. And, they can be difficult to ignore. Some of the most common symptoms of osteoarthritis include arthritis in the:

  • Spine
  • Fingers
  • Knees
  • Hands
  • Hips
  • Lower Back

Sensations of tenderness, pain, swelling, or stiffness are familiar in those with osteoarthritis. If left untreated, the symptoms of osteoarthritis are likely to worsen. They can even lead to more serious joint issues.

Common Treatments for Osteoarthritis

There are quite a few medications and treatment methods for osteoarthritis. To save time on ordering these essential medicines, you could choose to order online! You could also choose to invest in over-the-counter NSAIDs.

Analgesics

These medications help to relieve pain associated with osteoarthritis. Acetaminophen is a common example of this type of drug. 

Corticosteroids

You can inject or consume these drugs, and they act to reduce inflammation in the joints. Corticosteroids are typically only available by prescription. 

Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

These drugs help to relieve pain and inflammation, often by thinning the blood. Aspirin and ibuprofen are two of the most common over-the-counter NSAIDs.

Osteoporosis Vs Osteoarthritis

While they do sound very similar, osteoporosis and osteoarthritis are very different. They have different causes, symptoms, and treatment methods!

Bone loss causes osteoporosis and leaves bones looking like swiss cheese. A loss of natural cartilage between the bones causes osteoarthritis. It results in achy, stiff, and painful joints.

Osteoporosis treatments tend to rely on hormonal therapy, bisphosphonates, and monoclonal antibodies. Osteoarthritis treatments include NSAIDs, analgesics, corticosteroids, and many other medications!

Seek Treatment and Feel Better!

In the battle of osteoporosis vs osteoarthritis, there’s only one group of winners. Those with calcium-rich bones and bodies, of course! Yet, even proper diet and exercise may not always be enough to prevent these conditions.

You can order drugs online to save time and money on necessary medications. If you have any questions, please contact us today!