Seven Things to Know about Bone & Joint Health

Bone and joint conditions are extremely common. According to the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, in the United States, 10 million people have osteoporosis alone, and 43 million have low bone mass, putting them at risk of developing osteoporosis as they age.

David F. Wiener, MD“Falling is the greatest risk to my more mature population. It happens so fast! You can be careful 99.9% of the time and just have one mishap. The more healthy you and your bones are now, the less likely you are to meet me in the emergency room in the future.” says David F. Wiener, MD, Orthopedic Surgeon at Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus.

In recognition of Bone and Joint Health Awareness Month, Dr. Wiener shares seven things you should know about bone and joint health.

1. How lifestyle impacts bone and joint health -There are several lifestyle and behavioral changes that will keep bones and joints healthy. This includes regular exercise – 300 minutes per week, maintaining an appropriate weight and BMI (Body Mass Index), participating in weight bearing activities – walking/hiking/jogging, and working on your balance – yoga/Pilates/balance class or just using a cane. In addition, eating a diet rich in calcium and Vitamin D is a great way to keep bones and joints healthy.

2. Prevention strategies -Drinking excessive alcohol and using tobacco products harms your bones. If you smoke/vape/chew, ask your primary care physician for a referral to a cessation program. Every emergency room physician knows there is a strong relationship between alcohol consumption and falls resulting in fractures that require surgery. If you need to drink you need to ask yourself and your primary care physician if you have an issue.

3. Common bone and joint issues – There are a wide variety of bone and joint conditions including:

  • Arthritis is the inflammation and deterioration of joints
  • Osteopenia is a decrease in bone density. It is the stage before osteoporosis, and without treatment, it can progress to osteoporosis. Osteoporosis happens when density decreases even further to the point that there are structural changes to bone. This is when fractures become more likely from a minor fall.

4. The impact of age and gender – Bones stop growing in our teens. Peak bone strength occurs by age 30. As we age our bodies lose more bone mass than is replaced. Past age 50 this accelerates and can lead to osteoporosis. Slender, older, fair skinned females are at particular risk. Women account for 80% of cases of osteoporosis. Women, develop osteoporosis during and after menopause as levels of estrogen drop.

5. Treatment options for those struggling with poor bone or joint health – Most bone and joint issues can be treated without surgery. Medication and exercise can make a huge difference. See your primary care physician sooner rather than later. Surgeons have a role in both operative and nonoperative treatment of these problems.

6. Dr. Wiener always says “Water aerobics helps more people than I do.” Find a water aerobics program at a community pool and go regularly. You will love it and you don’t need to know how to swim.

7. Medical Conditions that can affect bone and joint health

  • Eating disorders like anorexia, which can lead to weaker bones due to malnutrition
  • Celiac disease, which can negatively impact a person’s ability to absorb calcium or Vitamin D, both necessary for strong and healthy bones
  • And Lupus which occurs when a person’s immune system attacks rather than protects the body. This can lead to inflammation and the bone’s inability to absorb necessary minerals like calcium and Vitamin D.

If you are experiencing joint pain, swelling, stiffness, inflammation, grinding, or stiffness it may be prudent to schedule an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon.

To connect with a top orthopedist at RWJBarnabas Health, call 1-888-724-7123 or visit