Osteoporosis is a common bone disease that affects one out of every three women and one out of every five men over the age of 50. If you are dealing with the pain that can come with osteoporosis, the Spine Center of Southeast Georgia can help with effective treatment options in Brunswick and Kingsland, GA.
What is Osteoporosis?
Your bones are constantly renewing, with old bone being broken down and new bone being made to replace it. When the human body is young, new bone is made more rapidly than old bone is broken down, leading to an increase in bone mass. The majority of people can expect to reach their peak bone mass by the time they reach their early 20s. Bone mass will begin to decrease a lot more rapidly than new bone is created as people age.
Osteoporosis occurs when the bones become fragile and brittle from a loss of tissue. Typically, this occurs as a result of hormonal changes or a calcium or vitamin D deficiency.
What Causes Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis happens when the body can’t absorb enough calcium and phosphate to build new bone. It isn’t just about diet, though. Low estrogen in women (and, to a lesser extent, low testosterone in men) contributes to osteoporosis. This is why women are far more likely to develop osteoporosis. Bone loss rapidly accelerates after menopause when estrogen levels decline. There are many other risk factors for osteoporosis, including family history, age, and the factors below:
- Race: People of white and Asian descent are at a higher risk of osteoporosis.
- Body frame size: Women and women with small body frames have a higher risk, as they have less bone mass even in their 20s.
Osteoporosis is closely tied to hormonal imbalances:
- Sex hormones: Weakened bones can often occur as a result of lowered sex hormones, such as lowered levels of estrogen for women during the menopause, or testosterone in men. Treatments for prostate cancer and breast cancer will reduce testosterone and estrogen levels, which is likely to accelerate bone loss.
- Thyroid problems: Bone loss can be caused by too much thyroid hormone.
- Other glands: Overactive parathyroid and adrenal glands have also been linked to the development of osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis is also more likely to occur in those with a low calcium intake, eating disorders, or those that have undergone gastrointestinal surgery. Long-term use of steroid medication can also raise the risk. Finally, heavy smokers and drinkers can expect to see an increased risk of developing osteoporosis, as can those with sedentary lifestyles.
What Are the Symptoms of Osteoporosis?
There tends to be no symptoms in the early stages of bone loss. Once the bones have been weakened, however, osteoporosis can cause the following signs and symptoms:
- Back pain
- A stooped posture
- Bone fractures occurring easier than expected
- A loss in height
How is Osteoporosis Treated in Brunswick, GA?
At the Spine Center of Southeast Georgia, we offer a variety of effective pain treatments to ease the pain of bone loss. We may recommend any of the following treatment options:
- Vertebroplasty or Kyphoplasty
- These procedures treat compression fractures of the vertebrae that are common among women and men with osteoporosis.
- Epidural Steroid Injections
- Epidural steroid injections can be effective at treating pain from arthritis of the spine by easing inflammation and temporarily stopping nerve transmissions.
- Radiofrequency Ablation
- This procedure is an effective long-term pain relief technique that uses radiofrequency energy to burn or ablate a nerve and stop it from sending pain signals to the brain for up to several years.
- Facet Injections
- This treatment targets the facet joints with local anesthetic and/or steroids to block painful nerves from transmitting signals.
Osteoporosis can be treated with hormone therapy and hormone-like medications, but these won’t address the pain that osteoporosis has left you with. The Spine Center of Southeast Georgia offers a range of treatment options to give you significant relief from osteoporosis pain. Contact us today to learn more about osteoporosis pain treatment in Brunswick and Kingsland, GA.