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Progress in the field of science are an ongoing process. So, changes in our approach towards diseases are bound to occur as our understanding improves with these advancements. My area of specialisation, orthopaedics, has also witnessed many such changes over the last few years. They have reversed my approach towards certain bone conditions, replacing quite a few old notions by new ones.
Old Notion: Rest is best
New Thought: Moving around is necessary
The old notion still holds good in acute situations. But in chronic cases, it is better to keep moving around. Rest compounds the muscle loss resulting in decreased strength, stamina and endurance. Reflexes also start getting sluggish making one more prone to falls and fractures.
Old Notion:Calcium supplementation is the magic pill for strong bones
New Thought: Excess of everything is bad
Surplus calcium makes you prone to kidney stones. In the older population, musculoskeletal disability affecting the outdoor movements is a big issue and arthritis and osteoporotic fractures are the main causes. Instead of ingesting supplements, understand the cause and get it rectified for sound bone health.
Old Notion: Osteoporosis is a disease of the elderly
New Thought: It all starts in your childhood
True that osteoporosis manifests itself in old age, but the foundation is laid down in your early childhood. Your bones are made in the formative years and if they are dense and strong, the onset of osteoporosis (and fractures too!) is also delayed. Hence, the treatment for weak bones should start in the growing years only.
Old Notion: Preventing bone loss is key to osteoporosis management
New Thought: Building bones is the way to go
Once osteoporosis sets in, the emphasis is on the bone-building now rather than preventing loss. You cannot guard an empty vault. Synthetic hormones are an option for bone building. But they can be used only once in a lifetime, so, your doctor has to take a judicious decision.
Old Notion:Stem Cells and PRP cells can treat arthritis
New Thought: Healthy eating and regular exercise are the solutions
A lot of trials has been done to reverse the degenerative changes of arthritis with the help of stem and Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) cells. Unfortunately, the ageing process cannot be stopped or reversed by any means except for a healthy diet and regular exercises. PRP cells (collected from the patient's own blood) may give some relief in injuries, but not in degenerative conditions.