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Distinguishing Osteoarthritis and Paget’s Disease

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Joint and bone aches may coincide with seasonal shifts. Osteoarthritis (OA) and Paget’s disease (PD) of bone are just two of the illnesses that can cause both types of pain. Understanding these ailments’ similarities and differences will help you get the right diagnosis and treatment.

Exploring Osteoarthritis

This progressive condition changes your cartilage or elastic tissues cushioning your joints, notes arthritis expert . It also involves your underlying bones, joint linings, and ligaments. When your cartilage was healthy, your bones slid across each other easily while absorbing movement-generated energy. But OA makes your cartilage’s surface break down and wear away.

While any joints can be vulnerable, the most common areas include neck, lower thumbs, finger joints, hips, knees, lower back, and big toes. Elbows and ankles also are susceptible. When bones beneath your cartilage rub together, you may experience:

  • Swelling
  • Weakness
  • Reduced joint mobility
  • Stiffness
  • Pain
  • Decreased range of motion

These symptoms may inhibit your ability to handle routine tasks. You might need assistance rising from seats, walking, climbing stairs, grasping or lifting objects, and opening jars.


  • Advancing age and female gender (mostly occurs in women over age 55)
  • Obesity
  • Overusing joints
  • Repetitive occupational or sports-related joint stress
  • Joint injuries
  • Genetics
  • Malformed joints
  • Other illness like diabetes and gout

Understanding Paget’s Disease of Bone

A chronic disorder, Paget’s disease disturbs your normal bone breakdown and remodeling processes, enlarging and deforming bones. After destroying up to a few healthy bones, it reconstructs replacements with extreme abnormal bone amounts and less calcium so they’re weak and fragile. Symptoms include:

  • Pain
  • Misshapen bones like enlarged skull, curved backbone, extended hips, and bowed legs
  • Fractures
  • Dizziness and headaches
  • Hearing and vision defects
  • Warm skin above affected bones
  • Weakness
  • Numbness
  • Shrunken height
  • Additional joint and bone conditions including OA


  • Middle age and male gender (usually affects men over age 40)
  • People with Anglo-Saxon ancestors
  • Residents of northern states
  • PD family history

Combined Disorders

Some patients have osteoarthritis and Paget’s disease simultaneously. In others, PD causes OA. When Paget’s disease changes bones, it might influence nearby joints’ functioning. These effects cause osteoarthritis frequently:

  • Misshapen bones under joint cartilage
  • Long thigh or calf bones that arc and bend, overstressing joints
  • Altered spine curvature
  • Softened pelvis that affects hip joints

Diagnostic Methods

Imaging can reveal bone changes that help doctors diagnose either malady. Tests that detect osteoarthritis if you have Paget’s disease include:

  • X-rays
  • Blood tests
  • Joint fluid examination

When OA and PD coexist, joint aches and bone pains may affect the same bodily areas. That might complicate diagnosing your illness correctly. To rule out something besides Paget’s disease triggering osteoarthritis, your doctor may order:

  • Other blood tests
  • Urinalysis

sep30-2Treatment Approaches

The same medications help both conditions. Actonel (Risedronate) is a multipurpose prescription drug for osteoarthritis prevention and Paget’s disease treatment. Coated Aspirin Tablets can help ease bone pain. But these ailments’ supplementary strategies differ, so identifying your pain source accurately is vital to choosing the appropriate remedies.

To control OA swelling and discomfort while improving joint function, therapeutic tactics include:

  • Weight control to decrease stress on your weight-bearing bones and joints
  • Regular exercise to enhance strength and flexibility
  • Nutritional supplements
  • Proper joint care
  • Pain-alleviating techniques
  • Healthy, well-balanced diet
  • Relaxation and rest
  • Stress management
  • Heat packs to ease discomfort and stiffness
  • Cold packs to alleviate muscle pain and spasms
  • Alternative therapies like acupuncture
  • Cautiousness to avoid joint injuries
  • Physical activity modifications as necessary to minimize symptoms
  • Assistance with difficult tasks
  • Surgery on problematic joints sometimes

Treatment strategies to relieve PD pain while controlling the disorder’s progression include:

  • Exercise
  • Operation on bothersome joints or bones sometimes

Other Bone Pain Reasons

An injury, the most common culprit of bone pain, can occur during exercise, athletic competitions, repetitive use, overuse, accidents, and falls. Diagnosis and treatment for these cases are relatively easy. A tender area without a fracture following an injury may be a bone bruise. Although you may suffer several weeks, this condition should heal on its own without complications. Compound fractures with broken bones protruding through your skin will hurt. Various back injuries can affect your spine and generate agony. Consult a doctor or get urgent care for any severe injury or unbearable pain.

But tenderness, aching, or pain in at least one bone can signal a range of . For cancers, primary malignancies can develop in the bones while metastases spread to bones from other body parts. Leukemia can affect the bone marrow. Swelling, tenderness, or pain will arise in cancerous areas. An infection that begins somewhere else in your body can spread to a bone, causing osteomyelitis. Typical causes include injuries, diabetes, poor blood supply, IV drug abuse, and hemodialysis.

Bone pain may accompany a disrupted or restricted blood supply. An insufficient mineral supply can make brittle bones hurt. A vitamin D deficiency or physical inability to break down that nutrient and use it properly can cause osteomalacia. Softened bones become painful and more susceptible to injuries. Seek immediate med

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