Since childhood we have been taught the importance of calcium in relation to bones and the teeth. The highest amount of calcium in the body is present in bones; it is estimated to be 98 percent. The rest 2 percent circulates in the blood and body tissues. Calcium makes the teeth and bones strong. It is also needed for proper cell functioning, carrying messages across the nerves etc.
However, too much of calcium is also not good, it starts depositing at various places in the body. It may deposit in the wall of the artery initiating the process of atherosclerosis, or in the joints and the bones leading to bony spurs and arthritic changes.
Cause And Symptoms Of Calcium Deposits On Bones
In normal circumstances, calcium gets deposited on the broken bone. It is a normal physiological process by which the body tries to repair the damaged bone. Calcium is sent in the damaged portion of the bone through the blood stream. Initially a thin layer of calcium is formed which later mends the fracture and gets deposited on the damaged bony area.
However, in some instances when the body is not working at its normal, excess amount of calcium starts depositing in the bony area. There is a gradual deposition of calcium on the affected bone.In the beginning the layer is soft, but eventually it hardens. When the deposit becomes too large it may compress the adjacent nerves and tissues which may cause pain.
Arthritis is a common cause for calcification of bone. Calcium gets deposited in the joint space. It sticks to the synovial membrane of the joint. With buildup of calcium on synovial membrane, the joint becomes stiff and leads to pain and inflammation. In some cases there may be so much of calcium deposited in the joint that the bony ends of adjacent bone fuse, restricting movement.
Conradi-hunnerman syndrome is a genetic bone disorder where the calcium gets deposited at the ends of long bones. This disorder is passed on from mother to the daughter since the genes of mother are involved. Besides the bone calcification, the patient is of short stature, has spinal deformity, flattened face, and mental retardation.
Calcium deposition in bones is most likely in the shoulder joint. The tissue which is scared is the prime site for calcium deposition. Mostly the rotator cuff in the shoulder joint is involved. The condition results into frozen shoulder where the patient is unable to rotate his shoulder joint.
Sedentary lifestyle where physical activities are limited can lead to calcium deposition on the bones.
Calcium Deposits On Bones Symptoms
Calcium deposition on bones often produces no symptoms at all, and it is discovered when an X-ray is done. It is only when the deposit becomes too much it starts to produce pain and restriction of movements.
However, many times the small deposit of calcium may also become painful, especially when the tissue becomes inflamed and the calcium salt seeps into it.
Pain in heels is also a symptom when the calcium deposits in the heel bone. It is called as calcaneal spur. Patient finds difficulty in walking.
Treatment For Calcium Deposits On Bones
Once calcium deposits have formed on the bones, the doctor may recommend restricting the intake of calcium. It is in assumption that the body will absorb the extra deposit of calcium from the bone. However, there are many contradictory views regarding this. Some physicians suggest medications, physiotherapy and surgery to reduce pain caused due to calcium deposition on bones.
Often calcium deposition occurs in the shoulder joint giving rise to a condition called frozen shoulder. Anti- inflammatory drugs and physiotherapy exercise for some time helps to relieve the symptoms of restricted movement and pain.
Applying ice fomentation alternating with hot fomentation also effective treatment for bony pains resulting from calcium deposits on bone.