The following is taken from a larger article originally on DoctorsLounge as it described the degenerative condition known as osteoporosis. Such degeneration and weakness in the bones can bring about several other ailments such as slipped discs or fractures. If you are currently living with back pain and suspect it is derived from the following symptoms below, seek out medical guidance from reputable institutions like the Dallas surgical center, Pine Creek Medical Center, to help bring your pain to a standstill.
Osteoporosis is a disease of bone in which the amount of bone is decreased and the strength of trabecular bone is reduced, cortical bone becomes thin and bones are susceptible to fracture. It is defined according to the bone mineral density (BMD) as measured by Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry. A BMD of 2.5 standard deviations below the 20 year old person standard is considered osteoporosis.
It is estimated that 10 million Americans have established osteoporosis and another 34 million have osteopenia, or low bone mass, which leads to osteoporosis. It is responsible for 1.5 millions fractures annually, mostly involving the lumbar vertebrae, hip, and wrist. About 50% of women and 25% of men are expected to have osteoporosis in their lifetime. The estimated national direct expenditures (hospitals and nursing homes) for osteoporotic and associated fractures was $17 billion in 2001.
Estrogen deficiency following menopause causes a rapid reduction in BMD. This, plus the increased risk of falling associated with aging, leads to fractures of the wrist, spine and hip. Other hormone deficiency states can lead to osteoporosis, such as testosterone deficiency. Glucocorticoid or thyroxine excess states also lead to osteoporosis. Lastly, calcium and/or vitamin D deficiency from malnutrition increases the risk of osteoporosis.
Risk Factors for Osteoporosis Fracture
- Personal history of fracture as an adult
- History of fracture in first-degree relative
- Female sex
- Advanced age
- Caucasian race
- Current cigarette smoking
- Low body weight <58 kg (127 lb)
- Estrogen deficiency
- Early menopause (<45 years) or bilateral oophorectomy
- Prolonged premenstrual amenorrhea (>1 year)
- Low calcium intake
- Impaired eyesight despite adequate correction
- Recurrent falls
- Inadequate physical activity
- Poor health/frailty