What Are Calcium Deposits?

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Calcium deposits are areas in which calcium salts have built up in the body. These deposits can occur anywhere in the bones and soft tissues of the body. Many areas that have calcium deposits require medical attention, while others reabsorb into the body. Calcium deposits can also be called calcifications or calcinosis. There are no known causes for calcium deposits.

Victims

  • Women are more likely to be affected by calcinosis than men. In particular, women between the ages of 35 and 65 are more at risk for calcium deposits. Women of this age are also at a higher risk for osteoporosis.

Areas Affected

  • Although calcium deposits can occur in any area of the body, the hips, shoulders, pelvis, calves and thighs are the most usual places to acquire a deposit buildup. The shoulder rotator cuff in particular is prone to calcium deposit buildup. Having calcium deposit buildup in these areas can acutely limit the ability of a person to move.

Problems

  • Pain is often a problem for people with calcium deposits in their body. Calcium deposit spots may become inflamed and cause calcium salts to leak onto the soft tissue that surrounds the area. Calcium deposits can also damage joints and tendons in the body. They can occasionally cause pain, swelling and redness that can be mistaken for an infection. This reaction is a result to the calcium build-up in the body. Anti-inflammatory medicines are often prescribed to help control the inflammation.

Texture

  • Initially, calcium deposits are soft with the consistency of toothpaste. As times goes by, the deposit gets bigger and dries up to become chalky in texture.

Finding Calcium Deposits

  • Lumps that appear around the shoulders, elbows, shins and fingers of a person could be a sign of calcification. These should be checked by a doctor. If lumps cannot be seen by the naked eye, X-rays can be used to find signs of calcification.

Treatment

  • Place an ice pack on the area that is inflamed because of calcification. Limit the amount of movement of the affected area. Place your arm in a sling or prop your leg up to relieve some of the pressure. Ask your doctor about cortisone injections to help with the pain caused from calcification. Inquire into the removal of the calcium deposits through surgery. Calcium deposits do not usually come back after removal. Discuss the best method of treatment with your doctor based on the level of your level of pain.

References

  • Photo Credit "looking deeper" is Copyrighted by Flickr user: 416style (sookie) under the Creative Commons Attribution license.
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