Osteoporosis is a dangerous condition which occurs when your bones grow weaker and more brittle. This occurs because of hormone changes or nutrient deficiencies which affect bone strength and is more likely in old age. However, it also affects many people who suffer related health conditions or who take certain medications. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to diagnose osteoporosis unless your doctor is actively screening for it, so the first sign many people experience is a bone fracture.
Increased Risk of Breaks
Because osteoporosis makes your bones weaker, it is easier to break them during everyday activities or minor falls. Your wrist, hip, back, or another bone may give way under stress. Sometimes these fractures are obvious immediately. At other times, due to the low severity of the fall, patients may not realize they’ve broken a bone until persistent pain necessitates a doctor visit.
There are other early warning signs which can precede a break, but they can be difficult to miss if you don’t know what you’re looking for. A change in your spine which affects your height or posture is often caused by osteoporosis, and so are changes and increased difficulty in your movements. Joint and muscle aches are common, but also have many other potential causes.
Most of the definitive signs of osteoporosis can only be identified by a doctor performing the correct tests. These include blood tests which may detect elevated mineral levels or vitamin deficiency and direct bone density testing. You should begin regular testing if you are a woman over 50 or a man over 70, or if your doctor has identified other risk factors for osteoporosis. Early screening and treatment can help prevent the fractures which are common in those who have this condition.
If you are at risk for osteoporosis or have been diagnosed, OsteoStrong in O’Fallon, MO, will help. Using cutting edge technology and state-of-the-art equipment, they help St. Charles County residents improve joint strength and bone density with one 10-minute session each week. They even help relieve joint and back pain so you can live a fuller, more comfortable life. To make an appointment, call (636) 238-8696, or sign up online for a free session.