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Today, we will talk about three things you should never do if you have osteoporosis, and I think these are pretty solid issues. In my opinion –right, unlike the solidness of the spine with osteoporosis.–Wow, what a segment. I thought that was a segway, so if you are new to our website, Please take a second to bookmark us. We provide information on how to stay healthy, fit pain-free.

Osteoporosis: Causes, Symptoms, Therapy

The disease – what is osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis (bone loss) is a disease in which bones become porous and break easily. The condition is widespread. Osteoporosis occurs mainly in older people. Women are affected significantly more often than men.

The causes – how does osteoporosis occur?

The body builds up bone mass until about the age of 30, after which it decreases. Osteoporosis occurs when the body has not built up enough bone mass or breaks it down too quickly. Bones can then fracture even under low stress.

In about one in 20 patients, osteoporosis occurs due to another disease (secondary osteoporosis). This can be the case, for example, with rheumatoid arthritis, a hormone disorder, hyperthyroidism, ankylosing spondylitis, or chronic gastrointestinal disease. However, osteoporosis is not preceded by any other illness (primary osteoporosis) in most cases.

Women often develop the disease after menopause. This is because the production of the female sex hormone estrogen decreases. Estrogen protects the bones.

In addition, the following risk factors increase the likelihood of osteoporosis-related bone fractures:

  • Bone fractures in the father or mother
  • Immobility
  • Too little exercise
  • Strong tendency to fall
  • A low-calcium diet and too little vitamin D
  • Cigarettes and alcohol
  • Being underweight

Certain diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, systemic lupus erythematosus, hormone disorders
Taking certain medications, especially cortisone

Symptoms of osteoporosis – what are the warning signs?

Until the first bone fractures occur, osteoporosis usually progresses gradually. There are no typical first signs in the early stages of the disease. Even a fracture of the vertebral bodies or ribs may go unnoticed.

Due to the deformation of the spine after a vertebral body fracture, the back muscles are incorrectly loaded, and back pain develops, or due to sintering of vertebral bodies, the body height decreases.

However, an incurred fracture, whether of the spine or hip, causes significant pain for most patients. Screening for osteoporosis should occur in people 50 years of age and older if any of the following conditions are met:

  • Bones are broken without much force.
  • Diseases affecting the bones are present.
  • Certain risk factors for bone fractures are present.

This recommendation is based on the fact that another fracture often occurs within twelve months after an osteoporosis-related fracture. Therefore, a baseline diagnosis of osteoporosis is generally advised after age 70. It is also essential to check a person’s tendency to fall at this age.

The diagnosis – how does the doctor determine the disease?

The questioning of the sick person (anamnesis) and the physical examination can indicate the presence of risk factors of osteoporosis and allow statements about the physical condition of the affected person.

Today, dual X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) is recommended for measuring bone density. This involves measuring the mineral salt content of the bone using X-rays on the lumbar spine and the hip bone. The radiation exposure is very low.

DXA is unsuitable for detecting bone fractures; conventional X-ray examination of the suspected bone is necessary. Therefore, laboratory tests are mainly used to find the cause of osteoporosis.

Therapy – how is osteoporosis treated?

A healthy lifestyle and certain behaviors can reduce the risk of osteoporosis. For example, people who have always exercised a lot and have a diet rich in calcium and vitamins are less likely to suffer from osteoporosis. However, if the disease appears, the therapy must start quickly.

1. medicinal treatment

Osteoporosis is not curable, but medication can stop the progression of the disease. It is crucial in osteoporosis therapy that patients consume sufficient calcium and vitamin D. Those who eat a balanced diet cover their calcium requirements with food. Milk or dairy products, in particular, contain a lot of calcium. Calcium supplements can compensate for a deficiency.

Food is not sufficient to supply the body with adequate vitamin D. However; the body can produce this vitamin itself. However, the body can have this vitamin if the person spends long enough in sunlight. If this is not the case, the doctor can prescribe supplementary remedies.

In addition, there are two different strategies in the treatment of osteoporosis:

  • Prevention of bone resorption
  • Promotion of bone formation

The first option is the most common. Here is a brief overview of the drugs used in this process.

  • Bisphosphonates – The drugs in this group prevent bone breakdown. They are well tolerated, work well, and are widely used when taken correctly. The drugs are called alendronate, ibandronate, risedronate, or zoledronate.
  • Denosumab – Denosumab is a biologic, which means it is produced by genetic engineering. It slows the breakdown of bone.
  • Bazedoxifene or raloxifene – These drugs act similarly to the female hormone estrogen, protecting bones to prevent them from breaking down further. They are used specifically to treat women.
  • Teriparatide – This substance promotes bone formation. Patients inject it daily under the skin like insulin.

For detailed information, see our page on drugs in osteoporosis therapy.

osteoporosis

2. non-drug treatment

Exercise is also essential for osteoporosis patients. Sports such as tennis or volleyball stress the bones and positively affect them. Strength training is also good for the bones. Endurance sports such as cycling, swimming, hiking, or walking do not have the same effect on the bones, but the following applies: any form of exercise is better than no exercise.

Physical therapy (physiotherapy) can also increase muscle strength. In addition, aids can help protect sensitive bones. For example, hip protectors. They reduce the risk of femoral neck fractures.

People with poor eyesight should make sure they have good visual aids and, above all, wear them to avoid risking bone fractures. It makes sense to render trip hazards harmless in the home.

Okay, so let’s talk about number one: Your bones don’t have the density they should have with osteoporosis. So you’re going to be more susceptible to specific injuries. The one that we see pretty often is a compression fracture. With osteoporosis, usually not everyone but typically as you get older, in your 60s 70s, more so with females.

Still, men have it too–yep, excellent point and a common way to get a compression fracture, which many people don’t realize, so here we got the spine. It’s lined up; you want to show how it’s lined up. You’re in the correct position now. A common way to get a compression fracture is to go ahead and bend forward and do one of two things.

First, if you fell, that would put a significant compression on the spine. Or two, if you lift something heavy and your back is in that rounded out position, You could develop a compression fracture just from that move. So if you’re going to lift something heavy, you may want to rethink it, but two, you want to make sure you’re in excellent posture. So everything’s all lined up.

So we’re going to explain in a second here why this bending forward  can cause the compression fracture. Another common one is when they sit down if they fall into the chair–oh sure–it’s relatively common in older people. They’ll plop into the chair, and that can put some compression.

Yeah, they’re in that rounded-out spot, this is what happens, And a lot of times, the compression fractures happen right here where we call the hinge. Sure–and it’s on the thoracic area here where they- T11, T12 That’s where we often see it, so let’s go ahead. Let’s say that’s T11 and T12 right there; that’s thoracic 11 and thoracic 12, the mid-back. So actually, we could have T 10, 11, and 12, so we got three vertebrae here, and we’re going to show you what happens When you go ahead and round out the back.

osteoporosis symptoms

Your weight is on there now. Yep, That’s what can happen. The bone can compress down, so that’s that rounding forward, And then you sit down. You plop or just because the osteoporosis means that the vertebra is weak.

It doesn’t have integrity and will not accept this kind of force. So they crush, And sometimes they inject cement in there now. They try to rebuild it up again, but it’s- You know once it’s done, it’s done. It’s not going to expand back out like our cushion here.

It just has to heal the way it is. They could take, you know, months. Many people are pretty uncomfortable for months; usually, a few weeks, they’re getting better, But then we’re working at not bending forward, not plopping because that re-injures it and aggravates it.

Yeah, so when we have somebody with a compression fracture, we avoid bending forward. We might even do a little bit of leaning back, But you know, with osteoporosis in general, posture is very, very important. Alright, the second one is going to be evident to everyone. I apologize for including it.

There are things to help prevent this from happening. I thought we’d go over some of those–sure–so the second thing is you got to try to avoid falling. I mean, you’ve gotta, more than anybody else.

If you have-if, you’re one of those proud people who say, hey, I’m not going to use a cane or not use a walker. Well, you know the saying. Pride happens before the fall, and you know I see people who should be using a walker should be using a cane. They’re not because you know they say I’m not old, and then they fall, and they start acting old because now you’re dealing with pain, And you can’t walk and stuff like that–right. So we’re going to show you the next step.

We’re going to explain to you some exercises you should do which help prevent you from falling, and that is the third thing that you should never do. You should not exercise.

Osteoporosis stretches and exercises

I think a lot of times people start getting older, and they think I don’t want to exercise because, you know, I might hurt my back or my legs. But your bone responds to exercise, and it becomes a little thick, and it’s called Wolff’s Law. You caught me off guard; I was thinking about some exercises and when you exercise. We will show you how to exercise correctly because sometimes people exercise and put their back in that compromised position. Posture is so crucial with osteoporosis. Let’s talk about how to help prevent falls.

Let’s show a couple of exercises, and we’ll offer some posture exercises too.

So the first one, Which is a great one to do, is just a sit to stand because what that does is it’s getting weight through your legs and even strengthen. It helps increase bone density, too. So what we’d like you to do is to go ahead. You know when you’re sitting in the chair, And that’s why we’re not big fans of those lift chairs.

By the way, Unless you have to have them because if you have the chair lifting for you all day, you’re losing your strength. You’re losing your density of the bone. So all you’re going to do is scoot to the edge here. You’re going to go ahead and use the arms if you need to start with, and I want you to do some repeated sit-to-stands. The whole thing you got to remember about this is that if you’re having trouble getting out of a chair, your nose has got to get over your toes. So if you try to stand straight up, you might plop backward, and then you’ve got that problem with your back.

I want you to keep in mind is maintaining good posture. Don’t be rounded out like this and getting up. Keep straight up; lead with the chest a little bit is what you’ll want to do. And you can go ahead, and you know every time you get out of a chair if you don’t want to exercise. You know, pick a time of day to exercise every time you get out of a chair.

You can do five sit-to-stands before you get out of your chair and people start to talk about you–right, You say I’ve been reading, and this is what they say. You’ll be okay then. I’ve been watching that guy, and every time he tries to get out of a chair, he takes five tries, and it’s like no, he’s not taking five attempts. He’s just getting strengthening. So that one helps the hip extensors, Which allows you balance.

The other one that helps you with your balance is the hip abductors. That’s the muscle that goes out to the side.

bone density scan osteoporosis

So usually it’s nice to go in the back of a solid chair you got something to balance–or a counter-top. Yep, and we’re just going to do this. Keep tall good shoulders back. Focus on everything right with posture working that hip right there. These hip muscles are crucial for your stability with walking just to keep your gait solid, which will help you–and look how he’s got good posture. He’s trying to keep a tall posture. All right, next one, I will show a couple of stretches. When you’re just in your chair, you want to go ahead, and Again, it’s about the posture.

Hate to keep coming back to it. You’re going to want to make sure because your chest gets tight and starts pulling you quite often. You’re going to round out, so you’ll be more susceptible to that number one injury where you know you lift stuff. You’re in this bad posture, so you want to chest. I was going to say, chest your stretch, Stretch your chest so you can do it in several ways. One, you can bring your arms back, or you can put your arms behind your head and bring your elbows back.

That’s stretching your chest another way is just to put your arms behind you, stretching your chest. Still, another stretch you can do for your back and your chest is to go ahead and use a ball like this–get a soft one, A nice soft squishy one–yeah, you can get it like you can steal it from one of the little neighborhood children, and You’ll get a reputation then. Well, give it back to them after you’re done. Well, when they kick it in your yard, it’s yours. Well, of course.–Okay, so you can bend over, and what’s nice about this? Again, you’re stretching the chest.

osteoporosis treatment injection

Still, you’re also stretching the mid-back at that spot that tends to be vulnerable, And if you’ve got shoulder problems where this is uncomfortable, you can do it with your hands down. So, yeah, you can go like this even. I like the ball because you can move it up and down. It can go into different spots, So it works well that way. All right, a couple more stretches, how about one in bed?

The hamstring stretch, I think, is always a good one to do. Otherwise, it’s going to be pulling on your back. All you have to do is you can bring your leg up like this, bring it forward and then Stretch your leg up like this–yep, And this is nice because you’re taking the stress off the back if you try to do some of these hamstring stretches in a chair.

Frequently they promote flex posture and put pressure on your spine where this doesn’t–and I’d like, the next one I want to do is to get a tiny extension into the back And some movement in the back, so when you get up We’re just going to do some twisties we call them, or you call them windshield wipers. Yeah, because it reminds me of the old windshield wiper, so we’re going back and forth with our arms, And it just loosens up the back gets it ready, and then the final one. When you get off the edge of the bed, or you can do this in a chair, I want you just to put one leg off the edge. At the end of it, the other one brings it back. You’re stretching that hip flexor right there, So he’s getting that leg to come back.

You’ll feel right where that front pocket is, hopefully. These should all feel like stretches; they should not create any sharp pain. If they do, you need not do them. Avoid them.–Yeah, we like stretching the hip flexors Because muscle will pull down on your back and pull you in that rounded out position. So you know, hey everybody out there, be safe. We don’t want to see you, you know, coming into our clinic with a compression fracture. Did we mention anything about posture, how important it is? Just wondering.–Nag nag nag. It’s all we do.

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