Osteoporosis is a medical condition which causes the bones to thin and become weak and brittle. The condition is commonly associated with older women but men are at risk too. In fact, over two million men already have osteoporosis. Due to a lack of knowledge about the condition (in men) and lack of symptoms, men are not taking the proper steps to help prevent or slow the progression of osteoporosis.
Who is at Risk?
Women are commonly warned about the dangers of osteoporosis but over twelve million men are also at risk. Older men above the age of 50 are likely to develop osteoporosis and should have regular visits with an orthopedic physician due to the lack of symptoms.
Symptoms of Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis patients experience loss of bone density which results in fragile and porous bones. Unfortunately, there may be little to no symptoms during the early stages, but as the condition progresses fractures are likely to occur. While there are many different ways to categorize fractures, osteoporosis patients are prone to compression fractures. A compression fracture is a complete bone break. The problem with compression fractures is, while some can be very painful, others are not painful at all and can go undetected until discovered in a diagnostic exam. This is one of the reason it is critically important to schedule an office visit with your orthopedic physician, especially if you are a male over the age of 50 years old.
Lifestyle changes, exercise and diet may help control osteoporosis. Patients can seek treatment from physicians to control pain, prevent further fractures and minimize bone loss. One of the most prescribed medications for osteoporosis is bisphosphonates, which help prevent the loss of bone mass. In addition to bisphosphonates, hormone replacement therapy is an option. As one of the causes for osteoporosis in men is the loss of testosterone, in some cases testosterone replacement therapy may help increase and improve bone mass and density. However, this is something you will need to discuss with your orthopedic physician.
Get Help Today
Osteoporosis is a serious medical condition that may cause severe pain. As the bones lose density and weaken, the patient is more susceptible to painful fractures. Unfortunately, most men are not concerned with osteoporosis until they have already broken a bone. The best thing you can do is get diagnosed early and get a proper treatment plan in place that will help slow or minimize the progression of the osteoporosis. Regular visit to your physician and check-ups are great ways to maintain good health.
Schedule an appointment with an IBJI physician today and speak with your doctor about osteoporosis prevention.