Meaning “porous bone” in Latin, osteoporosis (OP) is a bone disease that reduces bone density and strength, sometimes to the point where a person is more likely to experience vertebral or spinal joint fractures. In fact, it’s estimated that more than 700,000 spinal fractures related to OP occur each year in the United States alone. Osteoporosis-related fractures can be quite serious and may require medical intervention such as kyphoplasty surgery. Beverly Hills residents who want to prevent these types of fractures can benefit from being aware of these common risk factors associated with spinal osteoporosis.
Vitamin D helps with the absorption of calcium, which is why it’s important to get sufficient amounts of both of these nutrients. Calcium plays a particularly significant role in the formation of healthy bone tissue. If you’re not currently getting enough calcium and vitamin D, dietary options include:
• Low-fat dairy products
• Leafy green vegetables
• Oranges and other bright-colored citrus fruits
• Lean proteins and nuts
• Fortified cereals and similar fortified foods
If you’re unable to get enough calcium and vitamin D from your diet alone, talk to your doctor or a Beverly Hills spine surgeon about supplements.
Exercise can do many good things for spinal bones and joints. Being regularly active also strengthens the muscles and other soft tissues that support the spine, which eases the stress that’s normally placed directly on the spinal bones. You’ll also benefit from better circulation and a steady flow of bone-friendly nutrients if you strive for about 150 minutes of moderately intense aerobic activity every week.
The CDC estimates nearly 40 million Americans smoke. If you’re one of them, think about quitting if you want to reduce your risk of having weaker spinal bones because of osteoporosis. The same advice applies to excessive alcohol consumption. Both alcohol and tobacco can contribute to the breakdown of various spinal structures. Circulation can be affected as well, which means fewer beneficial nutrients get to your spine’s bones and supporting soft tissues.
It’s possible to have osteoporosis without knowing it until you experience pain from a spinal fracture. Ideally, it’s better to be proactive and spot potential issues with bone density before you experience a fracture. One way to do this is by having regular physical examinations and health screenings. This way, your doctor can assess your osteoporosis risk factors and recommend appropriate lifestyle adjustments. Your doctor can also let you know if you should have regular bone density scans. The results could then serve as an added incentive to make changes in your diet and exercise habits.
Other risk factors associated with osteoporosis include gender and age. Women are more likely to develop OP than men, especially after menopause. A family history of osteoporosis also increases the risk of developing the condition. Thyroid and other gland problems and lower sex hormone levels are some other risk factors associated with OP. If you do have osteoporosis, treatment often involves bone-building medications and physical therapy.
If you have spine pain you suspect may be due to osteoporosis, call on the spinal health specialists at The Spine Institute. Our industry-leading physicians are pioneers in the use of innovative methods and cutting-edge technology to alleviate neck and back pain. To schedule a consultation, call one of our friendly representatives today at 310-828-7757.