Osteoporosis, the degenerative bone disease, affects 30% of women and 10% of men aged 50 and over. This disease eats away at all the bones that make up the skeleton. People who suffer from it are subject to significant fractures following a mild shock. In case of neglect and non-treatment of this disease, other injuries, or even a loss of autonomy, can occur.
What characterizes osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is manifested by the breakdown of bone tissue, causing bone weakening in the long term. Although this bone disease mainly affects seniors, it can occur at any age.
Because osteoporosis weakens bones, even simple actions can cause a fracture. This is for example the case of a simple bend of the back to pick up an object on the ground or a small fall. The bone stressed or having suffered the shock can then crack and / or break. In most cases, osteoporosis causes fractures of the shoulder, vertebrae, wrist and hip. In Canada, these fractures, particularly those of the hip, cause disability and premature death. Treatment for osteoporosis is also costly to the Canadian health care system.
Distinguishing signs of osteoporosis
Bones gradually lose their minerals, making them particularly brittle and prone to fractures. The latter most often concern the spine, hip, shoulder and wrist.
Light movements such as a simple stretch, back curvature, sneezing or coughing can cause a fragile fracture spontaneously. This type of fracture also occurs following a mild trauma such as a fall to a low height or a simple trip.
Age makes us lose a few centimeters of our original size. If, however, this loss of height exceeds 2 cm, health professionals can prescribe more advanced examinations to the patient. Indeed, this loss of size can mean a vertebral fracture. An X-ray is usually enough to detect this type of fracture. If this happens, the patient is at significant risk of fractures. Treatment for osteoporosis is then necessary to remedy it, regardless of the result of the BMD test.
Factors of osteoporosis
As the human body grows, bone mass could increase until it reaches maximum mass. In humans, the latter remains at its peak for about 20 years, then gradually decreases by 0.5 to 1% per year. Women may experience a decrease in bone mass before menopause, at a rate of 1 to 2% per year for 8 to 10 years. This decrease usually slows down when bone mass is at the same stage as in humans.
The loss of bone mass does not always cause fractures in all subjects. Some people suffer more than others, especially patients with very low bone mass. Osteoporosis worsens over the years and its risk factors are multiple. These risk factors include, for example, age, genetics, lack of physical activity, vitamin and calcium deficiencies, alcoholism, smoking, anorexia, certain pathologies and menopause. Some osteoporosis inducing treatments can also increase the risk of fractures.
This disease causes bone fragility and osteoarthritis, but the risk of fracture is not the same in all subjects.
The different manifestations of osteoporosis
Classified as a silent epidemic, osteoporosis does not prevent. Bone mass gradually decreases even in the absence of any signs alerting the patient. The first symptom does not appear until a few years later.
The most common signs of osteoporosis include:
- Back and cervical pain;
- A reduced size of several centimeters;
- A hunched posture.
How to treat osteoporosis?
This incurable disease can be relieved by different means. Current physiotherapy treatments aim to strengthen bones in general.
Call on physiotherapists to treat you!
At Physio + Hamel, you are entitled to an adapted treatment to treat your osteoporosis. Physiotherapists provide you with the care you need to relieve your symptoms.
Make an appointment online for a consultation to begin your health journey.