Osteoporosis has a well-known reputation as the “silent disease” that causes bones to become weak and more susceptible to fractures and damage. Even so, there are lingering misconceptions about a condition that results in about 2 million broken bones each year, increased back pain, issues with posture, and a gradual loss of height. Professionals from The Spine Institute, where the best spine surgeons Santa Monica has to offer perform a wide variety of surgeries, dispel 3 common myths about osteoporosis.
1. It Only Affects Women
Statistically osteoporosis does affect women more often, although men can also develop the condition. In fact, about 2 million males in the United States have osteoporosis and 12 million are at risk of developing it. Regardless of gender, the condition may also develop as a result of certain medications, including long-term use of injected corticosteroids and certain cancer and anti-seizure medications.
2. It’s an Old Person’s Disease
Osteoporosis tends to affect people 65 years of age and older, but it’s not solely a disease of the elderly. Postmenopausal women can also develop it in their 40s and 50s, and men may develop the disease earlier in life due to lifestyle factors or contributing health issues, including high blood pressure and diabetes.
3. It’s a Normal Part of Aging
Though aging does increase the risk of developing various forms of arthritis, it doesn’t make it inevitable. When detected early through regular screenings and physical exams, osteoporosis is often manageable. Affected somewhat by genetics, the condition is also influenced by:
- Obesity and excess weight
- Dietary issues
- Lack of nutrients, especially calcium and vitamin D
- Poor posture
Body frame; thinner or “small-boned” people have less bone mass and are more likely to be affected by bone loss
The National Osteoporosis Foundation estimates the condition affects approximately 50 million Americans. The odds of developing osteoporosis can be reduced by minimizing alcohol consumption, staying away from tobacco products, getting regular exercise, and maintaining a diet rich in low-fat dairy products and nutrient-rich veggies and fruits.
To learn more about osteoporosis and how to alleviate pain related to the condition, reach out to Dr. Hyun Bae at The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration. We specialize in spinal fusion surgeries and spinal fusion alternatives that have helped many patients begin living a pain-free life. Give us a call today at 310-828-7757 to schedule an in–person evaluation.