Essential Tips for Taking Care of Aging Joints

Essential Tips for Taking Care of Aging Joints 

12 June 2024

Bones, like every part of the body, deteriorate as we age. The impact of bone aging is most profound when it starts affecting body structure, influencing every other physical component. Bones are like the gates of Hades, protecting the body and its internal organs. However, as we grow older, they become brittle and fragile.

From walking to running, bones and joints are crucial. All movement relies on the proper functioning of joints. Unfortunately, aging causes wear and tear on our joints, resulting in pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility. The good news is that there are several steps we can take to maintain joint health and minimize the risk of joint problems.

This blog will explore tips and strategies to keep your joints healthy and strong through diet, exercise, supplements, and other lifestyle modifications. Join us on this journey to learn how to care for your aging joints and enjoy a more active and fulfilling life.

Conquering the Common Challenges of Aging

After a certain age, everything becomes a hassle and a challenge. Day-to-day basic chores start feeling like a steep mountain to climb. Activities such as doing daily tasks and errands, taking the stairs, crossing the street, and going to the park all become a significant struggle.

We have ever wondered why everything becomes a challenge. Our bones and joints, which provide strength and hold everything together, weaken with age. As we grow older, we lose strength in our bones and muscles, flexibility diminishes, and balance becomes more precarious.

We take these things for granted in our youth, only realizing their value in the later stages of life. The next segment will explain how age impacts our bones and joints.

How Aging Affects Your Bones

As we age, the structure of our bones changes, leading to a loss of bone tissue. Low bone mass, which indicates weak bones, increases the risk of fractures from minor impacts or falls. Over time, bones lose calcium and other minerals, with mandibular bones losing about 20% of their strength over a typical lifespan.

Factors Behind Age-Related Bone Density Loss:

    • An inactive lifestyle contributes to bone loss.
    • Hormonal changes, such as those experienced during menopause, cause mineral loss in bone tissue for women. In men, the gradual decline in sex hormones contributes to the development of osteoporosis later in life.
    • Calcium and other minerals are progressively lost from the bones.

Changes in Joints Due to Aging

Joints are where bones meet, cushioned by cartilage (articular cartilage), surrounded by synovial membranes, and lubricated by synovial fluid. As we age, lubricating fluid in our joints decreases, and the cartilage thins, making joint movement stiffer and less flexible. Ligaments also shrink and lose flexibility, making joints feel tighter.

Many of these age-related changes in joints are due to inactivity. When inactive, cartilage shrinks and hardens, reducing joint mobility.

You’ve likely heard about the prevalence of bone and joint diseases in the elderly, but do you know the exact statistics? Let’s delve into the next segment to find out!

Bone and Joint Disease Frequency in Older Adults

By retirement age, 80% of the population has some form of rheumatic complaint, making rheumatic diseases almost synonymous with human aging.

    • 4 out of 10 elderly individuals require treatment for rheumatic disorders.
    • Around 80% of Indians with osteoarthritis experience movement limitations, and 25% cannot perform their major daily activities.
    • Pain, a key characteristic of osteoarthritis, partly explains the increased risk of falling, which is about 2.5 times higher in older adults with arthritis.
    • There is a 28% higher likelihood of falling among older adults with bone and joint diseases.
    • The odds of having bone and joint diseases are 21% higher among older adults who are employed compared to those who are not.

Bone and Joint Disease Rates in the Aging Population

  1. Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis, recognized as the most prevalent bone disorder globally, is characterized by low bone mass, deterioration of bone tissue microarchitecture, and reduced bone strength. It is estimated that 50% of women and 20% of men over 50 will experience an osteoporosis-related fracture.

  1. Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition affecting joint linings. Immune cells, inappropriately gathered in the joints, induce inflammation, ultimately damaging cartilage and bone.

  1. Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis among older adults. It occurs when the cushioning tissues between bones break down over time, leading to stiffness and pain, particularly during movement.

  1. Scoliosis

A 68% scoliosis rate is observed in individuals with an average age of 70.5 years. Scoliosis is an abnormal sideways curvature of the spine, unlike its natural, front-to-back curvature.

We won’t leave you hanging with a list of problems. Head over to the next section for relief. Let’s explore ways to prevent bone and joint issues.

Preventing Bone and Joint Problems

  1. Physical Activity

Weight-bearing, strength, and balance exercises prevent bone and joint injuries or disorders at any age. Physically inactive elderly individuals face a higher risk of bone diseases than their active counterparts. Exercise can help increase or maintain bone mass, reduce the risk of falls, improve balance and coordination, strengthen bones, and slow the rate of bone loss. Stretching can also help maintain joint flexibility. Biking, weight training, walking, jogging, or swimming are beneficial.

  1. Healthy Diet

Diet plays a crucial role in bone health. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, grains, and healthy fats is beneficial for osteoarthritis. The Mediterranean diet, in particular, is associated with a lower risk of worsening knee pain from osteoarthritis. Adequate hydration is also essential, as dehydration can lead to joint pain by reducing cartilage lubrication.

  1. Healthy Lifestyle

Avoid smoking and tobacco products, as they are strongly linked to decreased bone density and impaired bone healing after fracture. Smoking is also associated with an increased risk of fractures, periodontitis, alveolar bone loss, increased joint disease activity, poor functional outcomes, and poor therapeutic response. Limit alcohol consumption, as alcohol can increase the risk of falling.

To prevent bone disorders and maintain bone health, thirty minutes of moderately intense physical activity per week, such as brisk walking, is recommended.

Practical Approaches to Bone and Joint Disorder Management

    • Utilization of supportive devices like knee caps, braces, shoe lifts, canes, or walkers.
    • Application of hot and cold therapies intermittently for temporary pain relief.
    • Exploration of complementary therapies such as massage and acupuncture.
    • Maintenance of good posture.
    • Consistent use of prescribed medications.
    • Regular visits to the doctor for check-ups.


As we age, our joints and bones undergo changes that can lead to weakness, discomfort, limited mobility, and increased risk of injury or disorder. By following the guidelines outlined above, staying vigilant, and taking care of your aging joints and bones, you can maintain structural stability and mobility, allowing you to lead an active life outdoors. Stay healthy, and remember to take care of yourself.