Osteoporosis is a degenerative disease of the bones that results in decreased bone density, brittle bones, and pain. It can raise the risk for fractures and lead to a humpback appearance known as Dowager's hump. Osteoporosis often develops in people who are in menopause as a result of low estrogen, however, certain medications and prolonged immobility may also increase the risk. Here are some orthopedic care interventions you should know about to help manage your osteoporosis.
Your orthopedic services provider may recommend medications known as bisphosphonates to help prevent the progression of osteoporosis. Bisphosphonates help increase bone density and lower your risk for fractures. Your orthopedic doctor will probably recommend that you take your medication on an empty stomach and then remain in an upright position for about an hour after taking your pills. Staying in an upright position will help prevent the heartburn or esophageal irritation that bisphosphonates can cause in some people.
While bisphosphonates are effective in increasing bone density, it may take up to a year or more before they work. Your orthopedic doctor may recommend that you keep taking your medication for a few years, and then after that, they will reassess your fracture risk and general state of health to determine if you should keep taking these medications.
Physical Therapy And Dietary Supplements
Orthopedic care for osteoporosis may also include taking vitamin C and vitamin D supplements as well as participating in a physical therapy program. Vitamin C and D are essential for bone health and may help keep your bones strong by preventing bone loss. Vitamin C helps promote the formation of healthy collagen inside the bones and vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium from both supplements and from the foods you eat. Vitamin D can also help improve your bone mineral density as well.
In addition to dietary supplements, your orthopedic doctor may also recommend that you participate in a physical therapy program. Physical therapy exercises help prevent bone loss, decrease osteoporotic pain, improve mobility and flexibility, and may even decrease your risk for falls and fractures.
If you have osteoporosis, work with a local orthopedic care provider like South Shore Health to help ensure that your condition is well-managed. Doing so will help preserve your bone density, improve your joint function, promote better posture, and help decrease pain. It is important to note, that even if you are at an advancing age, it is never too late to seek osteoporosis treatment because it can help prevent further bone loss and prevent disabling bone fractures.