Although there is no cure for osteoporosis, there are steps you can take to prevent, slow or stop its progress. In some cases, you may even be able to improve bone density and reverse the disorder to some degree. Getting enough calcium and vitamin D as well as are essential to bone health. There are also medications available to reduce the risk of broken bones. These medicines either
(1) slow or stop bone loss or (2) rebuild bone.
The normal bone is made up of protein, collagen, and calcium. When the bones begin to lose their density, and become more-than-normal porous, they are more easily compressed – making them more likely to crack (e.g. hip fracture) or collapse (spinal fracture).
The loss of BMD occurs on a scale such that the first-level of BMD loss is known as osteopenia which, if undetected and untreated, proceeds to osteoporosis. Other common areas at high risk for fractures are ribs and wrists.
Osteoporosis is termed ‘the silent killer,’ as it causes no specific symptoms in its early stage of bone less. Usually, this clinical condition is unnoticed until a person suffers from a fracture but symptoms may appear in rare cases.
Back Pain: Back pain in osteoporosis is usually caused by fractures of the spine and is of very painful nature. This is because the fractured or collapsed vertebrae of the back prick the nerves spreading out from the spinal cord in a radial manner.
Bone fracture: It is one of the most general symptoms of fragile bone caused by osteoporosis.
Stooped posture: In some cases, fractures of the spinal region caused by osteoporosis result in a stooped posture of the upper back leading to loss of height.
The patient is treated for the fracture and given appropriate medical care for the underlying reason. People who suffer from a fracture due to osteoporosis usually have a long road to recovery. Even after the fracture has healed it takes a long while to rehabilitate that area and make the bones strong enough to support their weight and the stress of everyday activities.
Available medications aim to stop bone loss and increase bone strength or bone formation. The use of hormone (estrogen) replacement therapy (HRT) after menopause was popular until recent times when its benefits have been questioned.
There are 2 surgical options that can reduce pain caused by spinal compression – vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty. These surgeries use ‘bone cement’ that is injected into the damaged spinal bones (vertebrae) to make them denser and stronger.