Anyone can be at risk for developing osteoporosis, but some common risk factors usually include getting older, having low body weight, having a family history of osteoporosis, being confined to bed due to prolonged periods of time, a significant drop in estrogen or testosterone, taking certain medication, being a white or Asian woman, or already having low bone density.
While there is no cure, there are several ways to help prevent the disease and fractures including eating a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D, staying physically active, drinking alcohol in moderation, and avoiding smoking.
Bone loss and density are essentially what osteoporosis is and there are medical conditions and procedures that significantly increase the likelihood of developing osteoporosis. They include:
Diagnosing osteoporosis will come with a doctor’s visit where you should report any previous fractures, your lifestyle habits, any medical conditions, family health history, and menstrual history. There the doctor will do a physical exam to check for any loss of weight, changes in posture, balance and gait, and muscle strength.
Lastly, a doctor may order a bone mineral density (BMD) test in either your hip, spine, or wrist to help diagnose osteoporosis, detect low bone density, predict risk for future fractures and monitor the effectiveness of ongoing treatment of osteoporosis. Some medications that help with osteoporosis include:
- Analgesics: relieve pain but do not reduce inflammation, work by changing how the body responds to pain
- NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs): reduce inflammation and ease pain
- Counterirritants: creamers and ointments that contain a menthol or peppermint base that excite and subsequently desensitize nociceptive sensory neurons
- Corticosteroids: powerful medications that reduce swelling and suppress the immune system
- Hyaluronic Acid: a naturally occurring fluid in your joints that acts as a lubricant injected at the pain point for pain relief