Skeletal system diseases can cause pain and movement difficulties, along with a variety of other symptoms. Common types include arthritis, osteoporosis, and bursitis. Other diseases include rickets, poliomyelitis, and spina bifida. Some of these diseases are present at birth, while others may develop due to injury, illness, or as a natural part of aging.
Arthritis is among the most common skeletal diseases. This term is used to describe a variety of medical conditions that cause pain and swelling in the joints of the body. Treatment often involves the use of over-the-counter or prescription medications to relieve pain, as well as gentle exercises and dietary changes.
Osteoporosis and bursitis are other skeletal system diseases. People with osteoporosis have bones that are brittle and break easily, most likely due to inadequate amounts of calcium and phosphorous. Bursitis is an inflammation of the bursa, the protective fluid-filled sacs located between tendons and bones or between tendons and skin. Treatment may include a combination of dietary and lifestyle changes as well as medications and exercise therapy.
Rickets is a nutritional disorder caused by a deficiency in calcium, phosphate, or vitamin D. Common symptoms include bone pain, dental deformities, and weakened bones, which may increase the risks of fracture. Dietary changes are usually sufficient to treat this condition, although supportive devices, such as braces, may sometimes be used to prevent deformities, especially in children.
Poliomyelitis, commonly referred to as polio, is caused by a virus and may lead to partial or complete paralysis. Symptoms may include fatigue, fever, or muscle stiffness. Some patients may experience a painful skin rash or behavioral changes. Although there is a vaccine, there is no cure for polio, so treatment is aimed at the specific symptoms.
Spina bifida is a type of birth defect in which the spinal canal and backbone do not completely close before birth. Symptoms may include a loss of bowel or bladder control, paralysis, and a buildup of fluid on the brain. Treatment may include the use of prescription medications, such as antibiotics, and surgery to repair the defect. Genetic counseling may be recommended for future pregnancies because this condition is a birth defect that may have a genetic component.