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An elderly relative (70 year old woman) has severe osteoporosis and arthritis and suffers from constant pain.
1. What is the best, least harmful way of managing the pain?
2. Can the osteoporosis and arthritis be cured or reversed?
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Osteoporosis and Arthritis are two different conditions.
Osteoporosis is the condition where your bones become weak and can break easily leading to fractures. Usually it affects the hip and occurs more in women
Arthritis is a disease of your joints (where two bones meet) leading to damage of cartilage (cushion around your joints) and causing pain and difficulty everytime you move that joint.
Pain can be managed in both conditions similarly, a combination of pain medicines, exercise, physical therapy and sometimes surgery.
Normally, one would be advised to start with "low-strength", safer medications such as paracetamol and NSAIDs (like diclofenac), before moving on to more "stronger" medications.
Exercise and physical therapy are excellent ways to prevent any complications that occur with these conditions. Simple low-impact aerobics, yoga, swimming etc are all very useful
Lastly, if the condition is very severe that it does not respond to any of the above methods, then a doctor may advise you to go for joint replacement surgery, depending on various other factors too.
Unfortunately, these conditions cannot be reversed, but can be prevented and slowed down by use diet rich in calcium and vitamin D (e.g. milk), exercise and medications.
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