By the time you turn 30, your bone density starts to decline irrespective of your gender. However, in women specially, the loss of bone density accelerates after menopause. As a result, your bones become brittle and fragile. As you age, your bones tend to break easily when you face a traumatic injury.30608
What effects does ageing have on your joints and the spine?
In old age, most of the people experience aching or mild soreness when they climb stairs or stand for a long time. Any changes in the connective tissues or the cartilage affect your joints. The cartilage becomes thinner and the proteoglycans become altered. Consequently, the joints lose their flexibility and become more susceptible to damage. This condition leads to osteoarthritis in many people.
Osteoarthritis- It is a degenerative disorder and the second most common type of arthritis. Osteoarthritis is more common in women than in men. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that nearly 45% of women are affected by osteoarthritis by the age of 55-60.
Normally, the cartilage acts as a cushion to the joints while the synovial fluid lubricates your synovial joints and helps them move more smoothly. Wear and tear of the cartilage lead to inflammation and swelling of the synovium. Moreover, your body reacts to the inflammation by discharging enzymes. These errantly destroy the bone and cartilage, leading to severe joint pain. The most commonly affected areas are the joints of your knees, shoulders, elbows and ankles.
Your spine also gets affected due to a number of factors- everyday stress, constant wear and tear of its structure. As you age, the discs acting as cushions between the vertebrae start to shrink and the moisture content gradually erodes away. As a result of this, the vertebral bones rub against each other, potentially causing stiffness and back pain. The most common form of spinal injury in the elderly is spondylolisthesis.
Spondylolisthesis- This refers to the condition which affects your spinal bones and lower vertebrae. Due to this condition, one of the lower vertebrae slips forward onto the bone directly beneath it. Older people with spondylolisthesis find it difficult to perform routine activities and often encounter symptoms like persistent pain in the lower back and pelvic region, muscle stiffness, etc.
What effects does poor lifestyle have on your spine and joints?
Musculoskeletal disorders in elderly also result from various lifestyle issues. Some of them being-
Role of Ayurveda in treating musculoskeletal disorders-
Ayurveda plays a significant role in treating musculoskeletal pain in old age. Ayurvedic Panchakarma is an Ayurvedic treatment program that is used to boost your immune system, detoxify your body and restore balance. Panchakarma uses particular techniques to heal spinal and joint pain effectively in older people- Abhyanga, Upanaha, Kati Vasti, Pindasweda etc.
Ayurveda uses natural herbs and spices to prepare medicinal oil for therapy. Ayurvedic therapies are safe and a preferred choice of treatment, especially for older people. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!