Osteoporosis

osteoporosis

Overview

Osteoporosis is a “silent” condition where the bones become weak and prone to fracture. Osteoporosis is silent because it usually progresses without any symptoms until a fracture occurs or one or more vertebrae (bones in the spine) collapse. Collapsed vertebrae may be seen first when a person develops back pain, loss of height, or a hunched posture. When you have this condition, a fracture can occur even after a minor injury, such as a fall. Fractures occur most often in bones of the hip, spine, and wrist, but any bone can be affected.

Risks

Many factors are increasing the risk of developing osteoporosis. You can change some of these risk factors. Recognizing your risk factors is important to take steps to prevent this condition or treat it before it becomes worse.

  • Advanced age
  • Family history of osteoporosis
  • Body structure: thin-boned women are at greater risk
  • Abnormal bone growth in childhood
  • Improper diet (low calcium and vitamin D intake)
  • Decreased estrogen production
  • Eating disorders
  • Certain medical conditions and side effects of certain long-term medication
  • Smoking
  • Excess alcohol intake
  • Lack of exercise
Treatment

Treatment for osteoporosis focuses on the prevention of further bone loss and prevention of fractures (falls). Exercise and a balanced diet are often key components of the treatment plan.

  • Customised exercise program including weight-bearing exercises, strength training and therapeutic exercises to improve balance and flexibility
  • Education on safe ways of moving and carrying out daily activities