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Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis means “porous bones,” causes bones to become weak and brittle – so brittle that even mild stresses like bending over, small injuries can cause a fracture.

In most cases, bones weaken when there are low levels of calcium, phosphorus, and other minerals in the bones and results as low bone density.  

A common result of osteoporosis is fractures of the spine, hip or wrist

Most commonly affects women esp  but can also affect men

What keeps bones healthy?

Regular exercise, Adequate amounts of calcium, Adequate amounts of vitamin D, which is very essential for absorbing calcium

Symptoms:

Generalised body pains  esp back pain

Fragility fractures: Fractures occurs with minimal trauma or stress like sudden bending, trivial trauma

Risk factors:

Sex: Fractures from osteoporosis are about twice more in women than in men. The risk in women at menopause (45 yrs) that accelerates bone loss. The risk in men is greater than age 75.

Age: The older, the higher risk of osteoporosis. Bones become weaker as ages.

Family history: Osteoporosis runs in families. Parent or sibling with osteoporosis puts at greater risk, especially if having a family history of fractures.  

Frame size: Men and women who are exceptionally thin or have small body frames tend to have a higher risk because they may have less bone mass to draw from as they age.

Corticosteroid medications: Long-term use like prednisone, cortisone, prednisolone, and dexamethasone, is damaging to bone. Common treatments for chronic conditions – asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriasis.

Low calcium intake: A lifelong lack of calcium plays a major role in the development of osteoporosis.

Sedentary lifestyle: Bone health begins in childhood. Children who are physically active and consume adequate amounts of calcium-containing foods have the greatest bone density. Exercise throughout life is important but can increase bone density at any age.

Excess soda consumption: The link between osteoporosis and caffeinated sodas isn’t clear, but caffeine may interfere with calcium absorption and its diuretic effect may increase mineral loss. In addition, the phosphoric acid in soda may contribute to bone loss by changing the acid balance in the blood.

Chronic alcoholism: For men, alcoholism is one of the leading risk factors for osteoporosis. Excess consumption of alcohol reduces bone formation and interferes with the body’s ability to absorb calcium.

Depression. People who experience serious depression have increased rates of bone loss

COMPLICATIONS

Fractures are the most frequent and serious complication of osteoporosis.

Often occurs in spine or hips – bones that directly support your weight.

Hip fractures and wrist fractures from falls are common.

Spine  Compression fractures can cause severe pain and require a long recovery. If many such fractures, can lose several inches of height and the posture becomes stooped.

DIAGNOSIS:

Physical examination to check for any osteoporotic fractures

Blood tests for calcium, phosphorous and Vit D 3 levels

Xray,ct scan and MRI to rule out fractures and associated injuries to nerves

BMD scan measures the density of bones in the spine, hip, and wrist and it’s used to accurately follow changes in these bones over time.

TREATMENT:

Your doctor will prescribe medications to improve your bone mineral density so as to decrease the osteoporosis

Fractures due to osteoporosis require immediate and definitive treatment option depending on the site of fracture

Dietary modifications to improve your bone mineral content.

PREVENTION

Do exercise such as walking, running, skipping rope, jogging regularly.

Calcium and VitaminD3 supplementation

Dietary modifications

Avoid smoking, it can reduce the levels of estrogen and increase bones Loss.

Avoid excessive alcohol.

Avoid caffeine, which is very harmful.

Consider hormone therapy.

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