Osteoporosis is a condition wherein the bones become brittle and weak; so much so that even mildly stressful activities such as coughing, bending over or even a slight fall (such as the one from a high rise chair) can result in fractures. Osteoporosis-related fractures commonly occur in the spine, hip or the wrist. The human body has a continuous mechanism of bone absorption and removal. In case of osteoporosis, the creation of new bones doesn’t happen in accordance with the removal of old bones.
The bones of the spine get extremely vulnerable to breakage and even cracking open. The fractures in the spine, also known as vertebral compression fractures can cause a sharp stinging pain in the back that may make sitting, standing, or even walking a very tardy task.
The pain typically happens with a slight back strain during an everyday activity like:
Symptoms of Spine Fracture:
Lower spine fractures are way more troublesome as compared to fractures in the upper spine. Fracturing more than a bone in the spine also remains a huge possibility.
Who’s Most Likely to Get Spine Fractures?
Women, especially those older than 50, are most likely to get spine fractures. By age 80, about 40% of women have had one.
Your age makes a difference, too. As you get older, your bones become thinner and weaker, and you’re more likely to have osteoporosis. Women and men who have osteoporosis have much higher chances of getting spine fractures.
Diagnosis and Treatment:
Firstly, an X-ray or a computerized tomography (CT scan) will be done to have a closer look at the bones. A bone density test is another commonly used method of diagnosing osteoporosis.
Prevent Spine Fractures:
The best way to prevent them is to prevent osteoporosis. Even if you already have it, you can take steps to keep it from getting worse. Eat a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D, and get regular exercise, especially the weight-bearing and muscle strengthening kinds. Ask your doctor if you need a bone mineral density test to see how strong your bones are. It is never too early -- or too late -- to prevent bone loss.