Osteoporosis is considered both a common condition and a serious one too, but what is it exactly? Read on to learn more:
Osteoporosis is a condition that affects the bones, making them porous. When viewed under a microscope, a healthy bone has pores as well, but the key difference between a healthy bone and a bone affected by osteoporosis is the pore size. Bones affected by osteoporosis are very low-density and have much bigger pores.
Osteoporosis is a condition that develops over time. As we age, our bones atrophy, and in the case of osteoporosis, this kind of bone atrophy is most often passed down genetically. Over time, bone density will decrease, making osteoporosis common among people with low bone density and body weight as well. To prevent its development early on, parents can encourage their children to maintain a healthy weight and bone density, which can be done by eating healthy and getting plenty of calcium and vitamin D in the body.
Symptoms of osteoporosis are few and far between. However, later stages of osteoporosis may include physical symptoms like back pain, collapsed vertebrae, stooped posture, gradual height loss, and brittle bones. Because these symptoms come much later on, osteoporosis is often considered a “silent disease”—people don’t realize they have osteoporosis until they’ve broken a bone or begin to stoop over.
Lower bone density from osteoporosis means that bones become much easier to break and take much longer to heal. Because of this, breaking a bone at an older age can be quite dangerous, and people with osteoporosis often experience limited mobility due to weakened bone structure or previous injuries.
While osteoporosis cannot be cured, it can be treated. The most common treatments today involve exercise, maintaining a healthy diet and weight, and in some cases, medication. Medication options for treating osteoporosis range from calcium and vitamin D supplements to hormone therapy, to even supplements that attempt to prevent the body from absorbing bone mass over time.
For those experiencing mobility issues caused by osteoporosis, canes, crutches and walkers are excellent options to help users maintain their balance and prevent further injury from falling. Other times, wheelchairs may come in handy as well.
If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of osteoporosis or are concerned about developing osteoporosis, speak with your primary care physician. To browse items that can help improve mobility, check out Medical Supply Depot.