Osteoporosis And Back Pain


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Osteoporosis is a bone disorder in which the bones become week as they lose mass. This makes an individual vulnerable to fractures on mildest external impact. This thinning of bones does not give rise to any other symptoms as such; it just increases the risk of frequent wear and tear of bones.

The body parts that are more at risk in osteoporosis are the wrist, the HIP and similar other bones that have a low bone mass. At a severe stage, a mere cough or sneeze can cause a mild fracture in the rib or a shock to any of the vertebra. Any bone can be at risk in the advanced stage of osteoporosis. But, this doesn't mean all the people suffering from this disorder suffer from fractures. There will be a lot of people suffering from osteoporosis and still walking around comfortably. They lead a normal life like the others who do not have this disorder.

As life passes, the human body remodels the bones to keep them healthy and strong. But, this remodeling of the bones does not work when the bones start thinning naturally due to age. Gradually, the bone density becomes low and this may result in osteoporosis.

When it comes to back pain and sciatica, the only way to relate to osteoporosis is the decreased height of the spine. The decreased height of the spine causes pain due the increased weight of the body itself. The bone density of the spine decreases due to osteoporosis and gradually the height of the spine decreases. In severe cases, individuals may get small fractures and the spine can get squeezed together. These kinds of fractures are called compression fractures and they result in excruciating back pain.

Osteoporosis in the spine causes following two consequences:

Posture: The vertebra becomes compressed due to the fractures in the spine, so, the persons suffering from osteoporosis have a stooped posture. This postural change may not cause pain at the initial stage but you must not ignore it as it may cause immense trouble later. See a doctor whenever you notice such a change in the posture.

Pain: If the fractures of the vertebra are new and your body is unable to heal them in due time, it will result in pain. If these fractures irritate the nerve roots of the sciatic nerve, it can lead to the dreaded sciatic pain down in the legs and the lower back.

Osteoporosis is only diagnosed when a person suffers from an unexpected fracture. Other than that it can be diagnosed through Bone X-rays or the bone density tests. A biopsy may be done in some cases.