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What is Osteoporosis: An Overview - Spine Center of Texas
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What is Osteoporosis: An Overview

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Osteoporosis is an ailment that results in bones becoming brittle and more prone to breaking. The condition happens because bone material deteriorates so much that it becomes sponge-like and weak. Osteoporosis often triggers bone fractures from daily physical activities that would not cause an injury. The spine is one of the most common areas of fracture for people who suffer from osteoporosis. Spinal fractures caused by osteoporosis happened when the vertebrae degenerate so much that it simply collapses.

The risk factors for osteoporosis are:

  • The male gender
  • Asian or Caucasian ethnicity
  • Having a family member with osteoporosis
  • Having small, thin bone structure
  • A history of tobacco use
  • Having experienced a bone fracture in adulthood
  • Poor eating habits with an inadequate intake of calcium and vitamin D
  • Lack of regular physical activity
  • Thyroid problems
  • Hormonal issues (low estrogen or amenorrhea in women and low testosterone in men)
  • Regular use of certain medications
  • Genetic diseases
  • A history of chemotherapy induced menopause
  • Chronic inflammatory conditions

Osteoporosis only causes symptoms when bone breaks and thus can be present for years without detection. When the vertebrae fracture due to osteoporosis, a band of pain starts in the mid back and wraps around each side of the body.

If osteoporosis is suspected, the physician may measure an individual’s height to see if they have gotten shorter. The physician may also schedule a bone density scan to determine the amount of bone loss that has occurred. Lab tests can be ordered to see there is any disease present that is contributing to bone loss.

Currently, there are several different medications available to help preserve bone density and avoid further deterioration. Consuming foods higher levels of calcium and vitamin D will help improve and maintain bone strength. Weekly weight-bearing exercise such as walking, strength training, and recreational sports will build strong bones as well as increase and maintain muscle strength.

If you have sustained a compression fracture and are interested in learning about the treatment options we provide, please call us at our San Antonio, Seguin for New Braunfels offices.