Our bones are constantly breaking down and rebuilding all throughout our lives. When we are young, new bone is regrown faster than the old bones are broken down, increasing your bone mass. As we age, we lose bone mass quicker, and new growth is slowed down. The amount of bone density in your body will greatly affect your risk of developing osteoporosis. During the first few stages of bone loss, there are very few symptoms; however, once the osteoporosis progresses, you may notice back pain, a stooped posture, loss of height, and bone fractures that occur very easily.
There are quite a few risk factors for osteoporosis, some you can control and some you cannot, including:
A simple X-ray can be used to diagnose osteoporosis, as the bones will appear much lighter and thinner than normal. However, by the time an X-ray can pick it up, you will have lost 30% of your bone mass already. If you have been diagnosed with osteoporosis, your treatment will typically include supplements of calcium and vitamin D, gentle weight bearing exercises, and preventing fall risks. Your doctor may also recommend epidural steroid injections or trigger point injections to help with pain relief.
Once you have been diagnosed with osteoporosis, it is still possible to build bone density in order to slow bone loss, which is why many of the surgical treatments simply focus on controlling the pain. However, your doctor may recommend a vertebroplasty or kyphoplasty surgery to help stabilize any spinal fractures.
Symptoms are few in the early stages of osteoporosis. If you think you may be at risk for developing osteoporosis, don’t wait. Contact the physicians at Florida Spine Institute for a thorough exam and to learn more about the best treatment options for you.