The disease Osteoporosis causes your bones to become fragile and porous, which makes your bones weak and more likely to break. Some have called osteoporosis “the silent disease” because it is painless, but it can cause a lot of damage if undetected. Occasionally, the only symptom is a dull pain in your hips, lower back, neck, and wrists.
Between the ages of 25 and 30, your bones will reach their highest level of density. After that period, your bone’s density will slowly decrease. Osteoporosis will be diagnosed after a significant loss in bone density.
Those that are at a greater risk for osteoporosis include:*
- Those with a family history of osteoporosis
- Those with small frames
- Postmenopausal women
- Those with vitamin and nutritional deficiencies
- Those with low calcium diets
- Those who are inactive
- Caucasian or Asian ethnicity
- Those taking corticosteroids or anticonvulsants
- Women with low estrogen
- Men with low testosterone levels
- Those who drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes in excess
* http://www.nof.org/osteoporosis/diseasefacts.htm – February 2006
Testing for Osteoporosis
If you have been diagnosed with osteoporosis, the first step to treating osteoporosis is the prevention of further bone weakening. The next steps will be safely working on increasing bone density while preventing injury.
The first step to treatment is a diagnosis. To see if you have osteoporosis, your physician will perform a simple, painless test called a bone mineral density (BMD)to diagnose the disease and prevent injury. The following are what your doctor will look for during the trial:
- Identify osteoporosis before injury
- Predict future fracture risks
- Determine current bone loss rate
The BMD test includes the patient lying on a padded table beneath a scanning device. The device uses a radiation or sound waves to gather information about bone mass. These results are then compared to normal bone density amounts. If the results show osteoporosis, precautions will be taken to prevent future bone injuries. It is recommended that all women over 65 be tested for osteoporosis.
The prevention and treatment options are very similar. They include light exercise, like walking, and taking high-calcium vitamins.
If you believe you are suffering from the symptoms of osteoporosis, please consult with your physician to prevent injury.
For more information about Osteoporosis, review the following American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Links: