Osteoporosis is degenerative bone condition prevalent in older people which results in the decrease in the density of the bones. This occurs because of the lack of minerals like calcium and phosphate which make up the bone. If the mineral intake is insufficient it makes bones fragile and weak enough to break through minor injuries, even through coughing. The bones that are most likely to be fractured are hip, spine and wrist bones and it can lead to long term disability.
Although the bones start to deteriorate at a much younger age like after 30 years, the condition is more prominent in people older than 60 years as its symptoms gradually appear at that time. Moreover, women after menopause are more likely to fall victim to osteoporosis as they have low levels of estrogen in their blood which further decreases the bone mass.
As osteoporosis symptoms do not appear in the early stage of the condition, it is often referred to as a silent disease. As a result people are usually unaware that they have the disease until bone fracture causes pain. Osteoporosis symptoms include severe back pain which diffuses to the sides of the body. The back pain occurs due to the spinal cord/vertebra fracture which results in the stooped posture. This disfigurement is called “dowager’s hump” and is common in old people. Neck pain is also a usual symptom because of the fracture of the spine.
Minimal trauma or stress fracture is when the bones fracture while doing routine activities like walking and sitting. As the bones become brittle, they are more likely to break and this is a very prominent osteoporosis symptom. Minor accidents can cause major fractures like a hip fracture which takes a lot of time to heal.
As soon as people experience osteoporosis symptoms like stress fracture, they should be taken to hospital immediately and examined through X-rays in order to determine the condition. On the other hand, in order to avoid the condition of osteoporosis, it is important to ensure that you take adequate minerals and proteins for strong bones form a very early age as it can lead to life time disability.