Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Facts about Osteoporosis: Things You Should Know

Osteoporosis is like unavailability of smooth roads for a good driving experience

Starting early can help keep Osteoporosis at bay

Recently one of my relatives, a lady in her sixties fell down at home and started complaining
Dr Uday Pawar, Spine Surgeon
of back pain- mostly while changing positions (like getting up from bed or chair, turning in bed etc). She was being treated for the usual back pain by many of her doctors with painkiller medicines without any progress, until an MRI revealed that she had fractured a bone in her spine. This is the usual story of many women after their menopause. This is the story of OSTEOPOROSIS. 

Normal Bone
General myth surrounding Osteoporosis is that it is lack of calcium in the body. However, Osteoporosis is more like non-availability of smooth roads for a good driving experience i.e. poor bone architecture in-spite of availability of calcium. Simply put, osteoporosis is a disturbance in the bony architecture. It is, as the word itself says a condition in which your bones become porous (osteo= bone).

Bone strength accumulation in human beings is a time bound process. Upto the age of 30 you have the potential to gather as much bone mass as possible. This is called Peak Bone Mass. After that we start losing bone gradually year by year and it becomes more pronounced in the twilight years of our lives. This happens equally in males and females upto 45 years. In ladies, as menopause sets in, this loss of bone mass is even more pronounced which sets the stage for OSTEOPOROSIS.  Men too can suffer from Osteoporosis but generally after the age of 70.

Bone with osteoporosis
Osteoporosis affects the spine and the hips most commonly. Bone density test followed by a few blood tests is one of the ways to assess your risk of developing Osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis could be kept at bay by accumulating and improving your bone balance (like bank balance). It can happen if you start early in life. This happens by activities, importantly sports, which stress or impact the bones (skipping, basketball, gymnastics, dancing, jogging etc). Encouraging any outdoor sport has beneficial effect on the body.

For rest, all is still not lost. In women as in men any weight training exercises do positively impact the muscles and bones. The training has to be supervised to avoid injury. We do encourage some weight training in women with osteoporosis too, apart from medicines. Calcium & vitamin supplements are not the treatment for osteoporosis.

Post menopause get yourself evaluated for Osteoporosis regularly.

Dr. Uday Pawar, Spine Surgeon, Global Hospitals, Mumbai

Dr Uday Pawar is a Spine Surgeon, attached to Global Hospitals, Mumbai. He has close to 10 years of Spine related consulting and surgical expertise.

His areas of interest are minimally invasive spine surgery, daycare spine surgery.

He is also interested in the use of technology to help patients and doctors alike. Educating patients and helping them imbibe informed decision making process is what he likes. He also writes spine related blogs to help spine patients.

He is a marathon runner and a trekker. 

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