What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a condition that causes the bones to weaken, making them prone to fractures and breaks. It is a condition that develops over several years and so it can often go undiagnosed. However, a simple fall or sudden impact that causes a bone fracture could indicate that the condition is present.
The condition often causes common injuries which are hip fractures, wrist fractures and spinal fractures. However, the condition can also affect other bones such as the arm or pelvis and even something as innocuous as a sneeze can cause a fracture.
Your doctor might suspect that osteoporosis is present following a simple fracture and so, an online assessment might be carried using a programme such as FRAX or QFracture.
The software is designed to predict the possibility of a fracture in someone between the ages of 40 and 90. This will enable them to determine the likelihood of a fracture within a ten-year time frame. However, you will also be sent for a DEXA Scan which is used to measure bone density. This short procedure is painless and takes around five minutes. Here, the bone density is then measured against a young adult and someone who is the same age and sex as you before providing you with a score.
Several factors will determine the right treatment for you based on the results of your DEXA scan. This will include your age, sex, risk of fracture and any previous injuries. There is medication available to treat the condition such as Bisphosphonates which slow down the rate at which the condition progresses and these are either given as an injection or in tablet form.
Sufferers can also be given Calcium and Vitamin D supplements as well as hormone treatment and testosterone treatment.
If you are diagnosed with osteoporosis then there are things that you can do to help ease the condition. The first is to ensure that your home is as risk-free as possible, removing hazards to reduce your chance of falls while regular eye tests and hearing tests are important.
If you are recovering from a fracture then you can use hot and cold treatments as well as a Tens machine to help stimulate the nerves and reduce the pain. Relaxation techniques can also help with pain.