What is the difference between osteoporosis and osteoarthritis?
Osteoporosis is the term used to describe a thinning of bones. This means the bone density and quality has decreased leaving bones weak and brittle and at more risk of fractures and breaks during falls and minor accidents.
There is no noticable physical symptoms of osteoporosis, so many patients are unaware they have the condition until a fracture or break occurs.
Osteoarthritis is an inflammatory condition that affects the joints. People will feel the symptoms of osteoarthritis and it presents itself with pain, stiffness and swelling of joints such as the hips, knees, spine, wrists and hands.
How to live with osteoporosis of the spine?
There are measures you can take to alleviate your joint pain and help to maintain your bone density, even in your spine. The level of pain and stiffness experienced differes between individuals so there is not once-size-fits-all solution.
However, you can get a personalised treatment programme that is perfect for you from Dr Bhadauria to help manage your condition and live as pain-free as possible.
Treatments can include steroid joint injections that include anti-inflammatory and pain-killing medication to help reduce the pain and swelling. Your treatment package may also include mental health and lifestyle boosting activities such as gentle spine exercises, physiotherapy, dietary advice, meditation and relaxation.
What does osteoporosis pain feel like?
Until you experience a fracture or a broken bone from having osteoporosis, you may not be aware you have the condition. However, while the condition is developing you may notice signs and symptoms that could be a sign of osteoporosis.
Early-stage osteoporosis symptoms can include receding gums, weakening grip strength and brittle fingernails. Signs and symptoms of later-stage osteoporosis can be more noticable and include loss of height from your spine compressing, a bone fracture or break from a minor fall, strong sneeze or cough, or stepping down from a curb, or climbing out of the bath.
What not to eat if you have osteoporosis?
Doctors generally recommend you avoid sugar-laden fizzy drinks mainly because they contain phosphoric acid. Phosphoric acid is known to increase the level of calcium excretion from your bones into your urine, which is bad news for those with osteoporosis.
It is also recommended that caffeine is avoided as much as you can, which can be difficult if you have been a life-long coffee lover. Caffeine also leaches calcium from the bones which affects their strength. Doctors recommend switching to tea, which although still contains caffeine, is much lower in tea and can contain natural compounds that can help to protect bone health.
Don’t avoid eating protein! It is a common myth that animal protein is problematic for bones, but in fact quite the opposite is true. Our bones are made from mostly protein and not calcium as most people believe. Animal protein is a good source of food for your bones as it provides a steady stream of dietary amino acids, which are the building blocks of our bones, muscles and tendons.