Symptoms of osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a common medical disorder that affects more than 8.9 million fractures annually all over the world.
Osteoporosis is a metabolic bone disorder that is characterized by low bone mineral density making them more prone to fractures. It affects more than 25 million Americans and causes more than 1.5 million fractures each year. Osteoporotic fractures can occur in any bone of your body except the skull.
There are several risk factors which are commonly linked with osteoporosis. Advancing age, female sex, osteoporosis running in families, chronic smoking, vitamin D and calcium deficiency, immobilization, low body weight and early menarche are some of the established risk factors of osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis is termed as ‘silent disease’ because loss of bone occurs very slowly without any initial signs or symptoms. Ultimately, bones become so weak and brittle that even a minor trauma results in a fracture. This is especially significant problem among postmenopausal women. Anyone can suffer from osteoporosis but post-menopausal women are about four times more prone to suffer than their male counterparts. Two main factors which play their part are:
- The process of decrease in bone mineral density is increased for several years after the menopause, when estrogen levels produced from ovaries starts declining.
- Men usually adequate level of bone density before the progression of bone loss starts.
Spinal compression fracture can cause severe back pain. It can cause sudden, excruciating back pain that gets even worse when you are walking or standing upright.
Osteoporosis pain can be alleviated with medication. Your doctor can give some over-the-counter treatments to decrease the pain.
Medications that may reduce pain include aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen and acetaminophen. They’re harmless for most people without major side effects. They can really decrease pain for a time being but osteoporosis needs to be properly managed after proper diagnosis. Painkillers should not be used for more than 2 weeks as they can cause stomach irritation and liver damage.
People suffering from osteoporosis can have a vertebral compression fracture even as a result of minor trauma. Any person who suffer from sudden or stabbing back pain for no identifiable cause should visit the doctor for proper evaluation as it can be a potential warning sign of vertebral fractures due to osteoporosis. The pain may be so excruciating that the patient may not be able to move. But sometimes, patients delay visit to the doctor which can further exacerbate the symptoms. Unfortunately, many patients suffering from osteoporosis are given over the counter pain killers without diagnosing osteoporosis as a potential cause for back pain. If you are suffering from back pain, you should visit your doctor as soon as possible for proper examination.
Shape of the vertebral body distorts through fracture causing low back pain at different levels in osteoporosis. Vertebral body distortion and and loss of body height is accompanied with low back pain and it is extremely rare for the patient to present with acute back pain. Some cases with no fracture complain of unspecified pain in the lumbar area, this symptom is characteristic in women with menopause.