When the bones in your lose density and become fragile it is defined as osteoporosis, a disease that is most common in women during and after menopause. That’s because your calcium and protein levels break down significantly, resulting in loss of bone mass and strength. So what are the telltale signs of osteoporosis? Read on to determine if you may have signs and symptoms related to this disease.
A Broken Bone
Unfortunately, osteoporosis can be hard to detect. In fact, you may not know you have the disease until something drastic like a bone fracture occurs, usually in the hips, spine and the wrists. Even a small movement like losing your balance or stepping off a curb can put you at risk for a fracture. And some bone fractures may not even be detected for several years, usually when a patient experiences a more severe bone break later in life.
Loss of Height
As you age, you will likely experience some loss in height. That’s normal. However, if you lose an inch or more in height, it could be a sign of osteoporosis. In fact, height loss is one of the most obvious symptoms of the disease. Compression fractures in the spine brought on by osteoporosis can also contribute to loss of height.
Neck and Back Pain
With a compression fracture to the spine comes increased pain to the neck and back. When the vertebrae in your back collapse, it pinches the nerves that radiate outward from your spinal cord. The pain can range from somewhat uncomfortable to excruciating.
A hunched or stooped back is called kyphosis. More commonly known as a “dowager’s hump,” kyphosis occurs when there is compression on the vertebrae that causes the upper back to curve, causing neck pain and sometimes affecting breathing.
Since pinpointing osteoporosis can be difficult, it important to visit your doctor regularly and discuss any concerns you may if you suspect you are at risk for the disease.
To learn more about our Osteoporosis Clinic, please contact us today to schedule an appointment!