OsteoporosisOsteoporosis is a condition where there is decreased bone density via thinning of the bone. In itself, this is not painful. It tends to occur with advancing age. There are other factors that should be considered with regards to metabolic, genetic and medications. Osteopenia is a lesser form which left untreated can progress to osteoporosis.
Commonly osteoporosis is seen in the thoracic and lumbar vertebrae with compression fractures occurring when the bone density has weakened to a stage where it cannot support the load imposed upon it.
Symptoms related to osteoporosis can be either back pain or deformity depending on the level and number of vertebrae involved.
Osteoporosis alone may not be painful but with associated spinal fracture then pain tends to be a major feature. Spinal deformity may result subsequently.
After assessment and examination x-rays may be suggested in order to review the overall alignment of the spine. These may show previous fractures that have been undetected and will show the resultant deformity if present. A DEXA (dual energy x-ray absorptiometry) scan is a test which looks specifically at the lumbar spine and hip and the bone density is then compared to same age patients, as well as that of a younger adult population. The results will classify you into either having normal density, slightly reduced ie osteopenia or significantly reduced being osteoporosis.
Treatment for this include calcium and vitamin D medication as well as exercise. Other medications such as bisphosphonates and others are used to reduce and treat osteoporosis, but this would be guided by a general practitioner or bone density specialist.
Pease see more information on Osteoporosis, diagnosis, treatment and post treatment.