9Osteoporosis is a bone disease that occurs when bones become weak and brittle, causing them to be more likely to break. It is a silent disease because there are no symptoms that you can feel. Breaking a bond is often the first sign, or you may notice a height loss or your upper back curving forward. The most common fractures occur at the spine, wrist, and hip.
Approximately 54 million Americans have osteoporosis and low bone mass, making them at risk for osteoporosis. It is more common in women and in people over age 50. Other risk factors include: lifestyle choices, certain diseases, and some medications. Diagnosis can be made by having a bone mineral density test. This is a quick test that is similar to an x-ray. The main goal of treatment is to prevent fractures. There are medications available that can help slow bone loss, or help rebuild bone. If you are prescribed one of these medications, it is also important to make sure you are getting enough calcium and vitamin D through your diet or supplements, as recommended by your healthcare provider.
Helpful hints when living with osteoporosis:
- A healthy, balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables; enough calories; and adequate calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin K is essential for minimizing bone loss and maintaining overall health
- Exercise is an important part of overall health, as well as helping to build strong bones and slow bone loss. You may need to ask your healthcare provider about a referral to a physical therapist, in order to develop a safe and effective exercise plan.
- Lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking and avoiding excessive alcohol use.
- Preventing falls
Fall prevention is essential when living with osteoporosis. Some tips to decrease your chances of falls include:
- Using a cane or walker for stability
- Wear sturdy shoes with a nonslip sole
- Keep your floors clutter free at home, remove any loose wires or cords
- Be sure carpets or area rugs have skid proof backing
- Get help carrying or lifting heavy items
- Install grab bars in your bathroom near the shower, tub, and toilet
HPC offers the following specialty therapies for the treatment of Osteoporosis:
Visit the following sites for additional information on Osteoporosis: