Osteoporosis literally means “porous bone.” Since the condition weakens bones and increases the chance of sudden, unforeseen bone fractures. If a person has osteoporosis then the bones become weaker and light in mass. The condition frequently progresses without any warning signs or discomfort and it is typically not detected until the weakening of bones result in fractures. The majority of these involve hip, wrist, and spine fractures.
World Osteoporosis Day proposes educating people about osteoporosis and its effects which relies on five steps to osteoporosis prevention. The first step is to eat meals that are rich in calcium, vitamins, proteins, and other nutrients, maintaining body weight by engaging in at least 40 minutes of exercise daily and by avoiding excessive alcohol consumption and smoking. It also creates awareness of elements such as illnesses, genetics, medications, and menopause which are the factors for osteoporosis.
The exact cause of osteoporosis is unknown as it develops inside the living, expanding tissue which makes up the bones. Trabecular bone, which constitutes the inside of healthy bones, resembles a sponge. The cortical bone, a spongy bone, is encased in a tough outer layer of bone. Osteoporosis weakens the inside of the bone by causing the “holes” in the “sponge” to enlarge and multiply. The body breaks down and rebuilds the bone when it requires calcium. This procedure is known as bone remodeling which maintains the strength of the bones while supplying the body with the calcium it requires. After age 35, bone deterioration outpaces bone formation, resulting in a steady decrease of bone mass which usually increases after menopause.
Osteoporosis typically shows no symptoms. Thus it is sometimes also referred as ‘silent sickness’ for this reason. However, the following symptoms are observed:
- Decrease in height (getting shorter by an inch or more).
- Bad posture (stooping or bending forward).
- Difficulty in breathing (smaller lung capacity due to compressed disks).
- Broken bones.
- Lower back pain
- Age- osteoporosis usually happens with age.
- Gender- women are majorly affected with osteoporosis than men.
- Lifestyle- due to bad lifestyle like obesity have the higher risks of having osteoporosis.
- Family history- people with a family history of arthritis are more likely to have it in the future.
- The risk of getting osteoporosis is highest in postmenopausal or older women.
- Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, often known as a DEXA or DXA scan to assess the bone health.
- Bone Mineral Density (BMD) examinations to check the strength of the spine, hip, and wrist bones.
- X-rays which emit very modest doses of radiation can detect only the highly advanced osteoporosis.
The goals of osteoporosis treatment include managing pain, reducing joint deterioration, and enhancing or maintaining function and quality of life. This can be accomplished while also protecting joints from future harm by supplementing a variety of drugs and lifestyle choices.
- Medications like analgesics, Nonsteroidal anti- inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) etc.
- People with osteoporosis can improve their general health and lessen the severity of their symptoms by maintaining a healthy, balanced diet, getting the right amount of exercise, and refraining from smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.
- Physiotherapy and exercises.
- Surgery- in case of severe arthritis, surgeries like Total Knee Replacement, Total Hip Replacement, joint fusion, synovectomy, osteotomy etc.