- There are numerous conditions that can affect the spine and joints,
- Doctors and physical therapists perform assessments to determine spine and joint health.
- There are tests you can do at home to assess your own mobility.
- Lifestyle interventions can help you maintain a healthy spine and joints.
As you age, bone density, muscle mass, and strength decrease naturally, and reduction of cartilage thickness can lead to stiffer, less flexible joints. Lifestyle interventions such as regular weight-lifting, cardio, and stretching exercises can help protect mobility. However, there are also a number of medical disorders that affect the spine, joints, and bones.
Without assessment and treatment, these diseases can lead to disability and chronic pain. Spine, joint, and bone conditions are closely linked — the spine is made up of bones, muscles, joints, and ligaments, and joints are the intersection of two bones. The more you know about conditions affecting the spine and joints, the easier it is to get the correct diagnosis and maximize your quality of life.
Conditions Affecting Joint Health
Arthritis is the most common spine and joint condition, and one of the leading causes of disability in the United States. According to the CDC, 26% of U.S. adults over the age of 18 are projected to have a diagnosis of arthritis by 2040. There are many types of arthritis, in addition to other common joint conditions, such as:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Juvenile idiopathic arthritis