Oct 19, 2016

How Osteoporosis Affects the Body


Osteoporosis is a bone disease that unfortunately affects over 54 million Americans. If not treated properly, it can have a drastic effect on your everyday life. This bone disease takes place when one’s body loses too much bone, does not make enough bone, or a mix of the two. In return, the body suffers the consequences. Knowing exactly how osteoporosis affects your body can empower you to take the necessary steps in battling against aches and pains.

No Bones About It

Osteoporosis is a progressive disease that effects the density and quality of your bones. As the disease progresses there is an increased risk for fracturing a bone.  While the first symptoms can occur anywhere, the most common breaks happen in the hips, spine, and wrists, which can lead to curved or sloping shoulders, extreme back pain, poor posture, etc. Our vertebrae have a huge impact on many of our day-to-day activities, such as the simple act of bending over to pick something up off the ground or lifting grocers in and out of trunk. Common daily tasks can seem daunting when your bones are in constant pain.

Fractures Can Occur

Due to the higher sensitivity of bones, someone who suffers from osteoporosis has an increased chance of breaking bones. In fact, more than 8.9 million fractures occur annually due to osteoporosis. Without proper treatment, fractures can take place after a simple fall, turning around abruptly, or even something as harmless as sneezing. Common fractures that can occur are broken wrists, broken hips, and spinal fractures. One might also experience compression fractures, which occurs when the vertebrae in the spine cave in on one another. Compression fractures often go unnoticed at first, but over time the symptoms and pain will worsen, eventually leading to severe back pain. Often, this category of fractures is only discovered once x-rayed, which is why it is so important to schedule regular checkups.

Loss of Height 

Because osteoporosis can cause the spine to bend forward through the effects of compression factors, physical deformity can take place. This is seen through arched postures, weight loss, and often the loss of height. A healthy spine acts to keep your posture tall and straight. However, once the spine is attacked, you tend to hunch over. Also, the wear and tear of bones rubbing against one another can cause height loss. Physical therapy and repetitive exercises can work to help your bones fight against crippling over and improve your overall posture. 

How Carolina Arthritis Can Help 

Our physicians here at Carolina Arthritis are always staying up-to-date on the latest and greatest treatment opportunities for osteoporosis. We introduced Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DXA) bone density testing to Wilmington in the early 1990s, which in a non-invasive technology that allows our facility to thoroughly evaluate the patient’s bones. Carolina Arthritis Associates also provide care through long-term treatments and interactive therapy. Contact our physicians today to fight the affects brought on by osteoporosis and receive the best care in Wilmington.