Osteoporosis means ‘porous bones’ in Latin and that gives us a lot of perspective going into this discussion. If you’ve ever broken a bone of chicken before, then you must have noticed the honeycomb pattern inside it. Something similar is what you will find inside the human bone. In osteoporosis, this pattern is more pronounced. What does this mean?
In osteoporosis, the small spaces inside the bone increase, and the bones get brittle after losing their density and strength. This makes them very prone to fracture even at the slightest injury. Sometimes, they don’t have to be injured at all. Normal activities like standing and walking are enough to cause fractures in people with osteoporosis. In this article, we will discuss all you need to know about this bone condition. Meanwhile, you should know that you can get chiro care for osteoporosis from the best chiropractor near you. We have a chiropractor in Traverse city if you stay close.
In its early stages, osteoporosis does not give any warning sign whatsoever. Many people don’t know that they have osteoporosis until they’ve suffered a fracture or two. Sometimes, symptoms occur and they come as receding gums, weakened grip strength, and brittle nails.
The disease is progressive hence it worsens without treatment. The risk of fracture is particularly high in the ribs, hips, and bones in the wrists and spine. With time, osteoporosis can cause back or neck pain and loss of height.
There are not many known direct causes of osteoporosis. We know that excessive thyroid activity seen as hyperthyroidism may lead to the condition. Certain medications e.g long-term oral or injected corticosteroids such as prednisone or cortisone are also implicated. However, the biggest risk of osteoporosis as we know it is aging. Normally, our body constantly breaks down and builds up bone. When we hit our 30s, the body reaches that point where it starts to break down bone faster than it builds. We get weaker bones that are more prone to fractures as a result.
Gender is another risk. Osteoporosis occurs in more women than men. Menopause is usually the tipping point, around ages 45-55. The decline in hormonal levels at this point causes women to lose bone faster than they used to. Things even out later at ages 65-70 when men and women start to lose bone at the same rate.
If you know someone in your family that has suffered from osteoporosis, then you may be at higher risk. Other risk factors include being Caucasian or Asian, poor nutrition, physical inactivity, smoking, and low body weight.
As you already know, bone density is abnormally reduced in osteoporosis. This is why a bone density test is appropriate to diagnose the condition. The principle lies in the use of X-rays to measure the density of the bones in your wrists, hips, or spine. Remember that these sites are the most common in osteoporosis. Your medical history and some blood and/or urine tests can also help in finding a probable cause.
The treatment combines dietary changes, medication, exercise as well as chiropractic care. The diet involves including more of the needed bone nutrients- Vit D and Calcium. Vit D helps the body absorb Calcium while Calcium maintains strong bones. One may also get these in supplements. Other nutrients needed include magnesium, vitamin K, and zinc.
Medications include drugs known as biphosphonates that prevent loss of bone mass. In men testosterone therapy can help. In women, estrogen therapy is helpful, especially after menopause. However hormonal therapy is not without its risks and should be given by qualified medical personnel.
Weight-bearing exercises help to increase bone strength. They are exercises performed with either your feet or your arms fixed to the ground or another surface such as climbing stairs, leg presses, squats, and pushups.
A chiro practitioner offers various treatments of chiropractic benefits such as relief of the pain in osteoporosis. They also give tips on how to move and maintain a posture that reduces the risk of falls and fractures. Their treatments are good for helping a person regain mobility and range of motion after fractures have healed.
Visit a qualified chiropractor today.