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What can I do About Osteoporosis Pain?

Article Details
  • Written By: Erin Oxendine
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 07 January 2020
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Osteoporosis is a disease that causes a person’s bones to become brittle and extremely weak. This disease affects men and women and often goes undetected in the earlier stage. Osteoporosis causes pain to almost every bone in the body but appears to cause the most damage to the spine and hips. Doctors have several ways to help patients get relief from osteoporosis pain.

The most common treatment for osteoporosis pain is prescription medication containing bisphosphonates. Bisphosphonates are prescribed to slow down or stop bone deterioration. This drug is also used to increase bone thickness and prevent bone fractures. Other medications include non-steroidal drugs and anti-inflammatory medication.

Another treatment prescribed for osteoporosis symptoms is hormone replacement therapy. Doctors normally prescribe this medication to menopausal women since menopause causes a decrease in bone density. Forms of hormone therapy include creams, patches and vaginal rings. Hormone therapy is only used if the patient can not tolerate bisphosphonates since women who take hormone therapy may be at a greater risk of having breast cancer or stroke.

Most patients who suffer from osteoporosis pain are prescribed physical therapy in addition to medication. Therapists work with patients to build muscles, increase flexibility and strength. Patients are also instructed how to balance themselves better and protect their body if they fall. Falls can be painful for people with osteoporosis and can cause spine and hip fractures.

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Lifestyle changes can also help osteoporosis and prevent worsening of the condition. Patients are advised to take a Vitamin D and calcium supplement to strengthen bones. Doctors also suggest increasing daily exercise along with cutting back on caffeine, tobacco and alcohol. Research shows that simple lifestyle improvements can help prevent osteoporosis from escalating and help patients with chronic osteoporosis pain.

Patients who have compression fractures resulting from severe osteoporosis may require surgical treatment. Compression fractures are common among individuals with osteoporosis and can happen from simply bending down or from a fall. Surgical procedures include a vertebroplasty and balloon kyphoplasty. Both of these surgeries involve placing cement into the vertebrae to stabilize the vertebrae and surrounding bones. If these surgeries are not successful, the alternative would be for the patient to have a spinal fusion.

The best way to manage osteoporosis pain is by seeing a doctor for regular check-ups, taking prescription medications and maintaining a healthy diet and exercise program. Individuals should always remember to take a calcium supplement if needed and get plenty of rest. People who are at risk of developing osteoporosis should also discuss prevention of this condition with their physician.

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