Information for Patients
Your bones help you move, give you shape and support your body. They are living tissues that rebuild constantly throughout your life. During childhood and your teens, your body adds new bone faster than it removes old bone. After about age 20, you can lose bone faster than you make bone. To have strong bones when you are young, and to prevent bone loss when you are older, you need to get enough calcium, vitamin D, and exercise. You should also avoid smoking and drinking too much alcohol.
Bone diseases can make bones easy to break. Different kinds of bone problems include
- Low bone density and osteoporosis, which make your bones weak and more likely to break
- Osteogenesis imperfecta makes your bones brittle
- Paget's disease of bone makes them weak
- Bones can also develop cancer and infections
- Other bone diseases, which are caused by poor nutrition, genetics, or problems with the rate of bone growth or rebuilding
NIH: National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
Your muscles help you move and help your body work. Different types of muscles have different jobs. There are many problems that can affect muscles. Muscle disorders can cause weakness, pain or even paralysis.
Causes of muscle disorders include
- Injury or overuse, such as sprains or strains, cramps or tendinitis
- A genetic disorder, such as muscular dystrophy
- Some cancers
- Inflammation, such as myositis
- Diseases of nerves that affect muscles
- Certain medicines
Sometimes the cause is not known.
Paralysis is the loss of muscle function in part of your body. It happens when something goes wrong with the way messages pass between your brain and muscles. Paralysis can be complete or partial. It can occur on one or both sides of your body. It can also occur in just one area, or it can be widespread. Paralysis of the lower half of your body, including both legs, is called paraplegia. Paralysis of the arms and legs is quadriplegia.
Most paralysis is due to strokes or injuries such as spinal cord injury or a broken neck. Other causes of paralysis include
- Nerve diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
- Autoimmune diseases such as Guillain-Barre syndrome
- Bell's palsy, which affects muscles in the face
Polio used to be a cause of paralysis, but polio no longer occurs in the U.S.