Calcifications are the accumulation of calcium in any part of the body and are usually detected accidentally when the patient is being examined for a different reason.
Calcium is an indispensable mineral for the body. Under normal conditions, it tends to accumulate in the bones and teeth as part of their proper development and maintenance.
According to a study by the University of Oregon in the United States, when an excess amount of calcium is present, it enters into the bloodstream and is eliminated in the urine. However, sometimes the capacity for it to be excreted is exceeded, or a large amount of free calcium is present. This often causes it to deposit and accumulate in different areas of the body, hardening and causing these calcifications to form.
How does a calcification form?
Normally, calcifications do not show symptoms of a medical condition and are more commonly found after performing diagnostic, radiological or ultrasound tests for other reasons. Depending on their location, they can cause symptoms such as localized pain, muscle weakness, cramps, increased frequency of bone fractures, limited mobility if it affects a joint, and masses or palpable lumps if it is located near the surface of the skin or if it is large in size. In severe cases it can even cause visible deformities.
When they occur in the limbs they can create serious mobility problems. This occurs primarily when calcifications are located in the shoulders or in the calcaneus bone (heel bone), where they manifest as spurs.