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Aging Changes in Bones, Muscles And Joints

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Along with the obvious changes in the skin and hair as we age, changes in posture and how well we walk are also associated with aging. The skeleton provides support and structure to the body, and the joints are areas where the bones connect to allow flexibility for movement.

Bones do not directly contact each other. Instead, they are cushioned by fluid, cartilage and membranes around the joint. Muscles provide the force and strength to move the body, and the coordination between all these is directed by the brain.

Aging affect bones, muscles and joints which cause changes in posture and gait, and lead to weakness and slowed movement. As people age bone mass or density and the bones lose calcium and other minerals is lost, especially in women after menopause.

The spine is made up of bones called. Between vertebrae of the spine a gel-like cushion called the ?intervertebral disk?. Aging causes the disks gradually lose fluid and become thinner and the body becomes slightly shorter as a result. The vertebrae lose some of their mineral content, making each bone thinner and the spinal column curves and compresses. Bone ?spurs? may also form on the vertebrae.

Arms and leg bones become brittle and joints become stiffer and less flexible and cartilage may begin to rub together and erode. Mineral deposits, called calcification, occur in and around joints, and are most common in the shoulder, but can cause loss of cartilage in hip and knee joints as well as the fingers.

Changes in the muscle tissue, combined with normal changes in the nervous system, cause muscles to have less tone may become rigid with age and may lose tone, even with regular exercise. Loss of muscle mass reduces strength. However, endurance may be enhanced somewhat by changes in the muscle fibers. People with healthy hearts and lungs may find that their endurance increases, but lose the ability to run in any but short sprints.

Exercise can help prolong the efficiency of an aging body, and a good regime of a healthy diet and directed exercise, with the help of a professional of home care nurse can help reduce the effects of aging and prolong an active lifestyle.

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