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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.
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
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
Post menopause get yourself
evaluated for Osteoporosis regularly.
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.