Osteoporosis causes bones to become weak and brittle, to the point that even minor stressor like trivial fall can result in a fracture. The hip, and spine are the most prevalent or common sites for osteoporosis-related fractures.
Bone is a collection of cells that constantly breaks down and replaces itself. Osteoporosis develops when the development of new bone does not keep up with the loss of existing bone.
Osteoporosis is a disease that affects both men and women. White and Asian women, particularly those beyond the age of menopause, are at the risk factors. Medications and weight-bearing exercise can all help prevent or strengthen bone loss.
Osteoporosis might worsen if not treated properly. Fractures become more likely when bones get thinner and weaker.
A fracture from a trivial fall may be a sign of severe osteoporosis. Back or neck pain, as well as a loss of height, are examples.
A compression fracture can result in back or neck discomfort as well as a loss of height. This is a break in one of your neck or back vertebrae that is so weak that it breaks with normal spinal pressure
In the early phases of bone loss, there are usually no symptoms. However, if your are suffering from osteoporosis, you may experience the following indications and symptoms:
- A cracked or compressed vertebra causes back pain.
- Height loss over time
- a stooping position
- A bone that is significantly more easily broken than expected
When a healthy bone is compared to one that has become porous due to osteoporosis,
Your bones are constantly being renewed, with new bone being formed and old bone being broken down. When you’re young, your body makes new bones quicker than it breaks down old bones, so your bone mass grows. After the early twenties, the process slows, and most people attain their maximal bone mass by the age of thirty. As people become older, they lose bone mass quicker than they gain it.
How likely you are to develop osteoporosis is largely determined by how much bone mass you had as a child. Peak bone mass varies by ethnic group and is largely hereditary.
Your age, race, lifestyle choices, medical problems, and medications are all variables that can raise your risk of developing osteoporosis.
Some Osteoporosis risk factors are beyond your control, such as:
- Women are much more prone than men to acquire osteoporosis.
- Age. The risk of osteoporosis increases as you get older.
- Race. If you’re white or Asian, you’re more likely to have osteoporosis.
- History of the family. You’re more likely to get osteoporosis if you have a parent who has it, especially if your mother or father has had a hip fracture.
- Size of the body frame. Men and women with small physical frames are at a higher risk because they may have less bone mass to draw on as they get older.
The most significant effects of osteoporosis are bone fractures, particularly in the spine or hip. A fall is the most common cause of spine and hip fractures, which can result in disability.
Even if you haven’t fallen, you may have a spinal fracture. Back pain, height loss, and a leaned forward posture can all arise from the bones that make up your spine (vertebrae) weakening to the point of collapse.
Maintaining the health of your bones throughout your life requires good nutrition and regular activity.
Between the ages of around 19 and 50, men and women require 1,000 mg of calcium each day. When women reach the age of 50 and males reach the age of 70, the daily dose climbs to 1,200 milligrams.
Calcium is found in the following foods:
Dairy products with low fat
Vegetables with dark green leaves
Cereals supplemented with calcium and orange juice
Vitamin D is an important nutrient.
Vitamin D helps bone health by increasing the body’s ability to absorb calcium. Sunlight can provide some vitamin D, but it may not be a useful source if you live at a high latitude, are housebound, or habitually use sunscreen or avoid the sun because of skin cancer.
Cod liver oil and salmon are all good sources of vitamin D in the diet. Vitamin D has been added to a variety of milks and cereals.
Exercise can aid in the development of strong bones and the prevention of bone loss. Exercise will assist your bones regardless of when you begin, but you will get the greatest benefits if you begin routinely exercising.
Combine weight-bearing and balancing exercises with strength training. Muscles and bones in your arms and upper spine are strengthened through strength training. Walking, jogging, running, stair climbing, skipping rope, skiing, and other impact-producing sports mostly affect the bones in your legs, hips, and lower spine. Tai chi and other balance activities can help you avoid falling, especially as you get older.
How Do You Know If You Have Osteoporosis?
Except when bone loss results in a fracture, osteoporosis has no symptoms. As a result, the only way to determine if you have osteoporosis or osteopenia is to have a bone density examination. A dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) scan is routinely used to assess bone density in the spine, hips, and wrists. The DEXA test generates a score (called a T-score), with the lower the score, the higher the risk of bone fracture.
Whether you have osteoporosis or osteopenia is determined by the degree of bone thinning. If you think of bone loss as a spectrum, osteopenia means you’re starting to lose bone density, whereas osteoporosis means your bone thinning.
Osteoporosis is a disease with devastating consequences. Fractures can result, which are painful, take a long time to heal, and can lead to other issues.
The good news is that you can do a lot to prevent and treat osteoporosis, from eating well and exercising regularly to taking the right medication..
Consult our experts at Neurowellness brain and spine care center if you believe you’re at risk for osteoporosis or have been diagnosed with it. We can help you develop a prevention or treatment strategy that will help you improve your bone health and lower your risk of issues
M.B.B.S., DNB – Neurosurgery FINR – Fellow Interventional Neuroradiology, Switzerland Consultant Neurosurgeon – Brain and Spine Neuroendovascular Surgeon.
I’m Dr Ganesh Veerabhadraiah a renowned Neurosurgeon in Bangalore – Brain and Spine and Interventional Neuroradiology/Neuroendovascular specialist, currently heading Fortis Hospital, Cunningham Road, Bengaluru. After completing his MBBS, Dr Ganesh went ahead with DNB in super speciality post-graduation degree Neurosurgery at the prestigious Manipal Hospital.