What are the Different Types of Skeletal System Diseases?

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  • Written By: Meshell Powell
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 15 October 2019
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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.


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Post 3

@ceilingcat - A lot of the diseases mentioned in this article are pretty common. Luckily, at least in the United States, polio isn't that common anymore. I'm glad, because polio sounds like one of the worst ones. It can cause paralysis and there is no cure for it.

Post 2

@strawCake - I think skeletal system diseases are pretty common in general. My dad actually has arthritis pretty badly. I know he takes medication for it that is somewhat helpful but it still bothers him sometimes.

Post 1

I know osteoporosis is a disease of the skeletal system that is most common in women. In fact, my grandmother has osteoporosis!

The last time I went to my doctor for my yearly physical she recommended that I start taking calcium supplements. Apparently now experts suggest that women start taking calcium even in their mid-twenties to prevent osteoporosis.

I added a chocolate flavored calcium chew to my daily supplement regimen. Hopefully this will help prevent me from getting osteoporosis later on in life!

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