Bones provides structure and strength to the body, but at times it can have problems too. Bone strength decreases over time just like any other body function. It needs to be maintained well and taken care off in the best way possible for smooth functioning of the body. Osteoporosis is a disease which affects the bones and makes them vulnerable. As you age, your bones become weaker and tendency to break down increases. This factors results in holes and bones becoming more fragile. Condition of having fragile bones and holes in them is called osteoporosis. This is a common condition which occurs in the people especially of old age. Treating osteoporosis at the earliest is the best way to prevent further severe consequences.
Symptoms of Osteoporosis
Onlymyhealth talked to Dr. Rajesh Verma, Senior Orthopaedic Surgeon from B.N.K Hospital, Bangalore. He told that symptoms of osteoporosis are not evident until the bone loss becomes serious. This is because people can often mistake it as normal pain or weakness in the body. If it increases, then the signs and symptoms start becoming more evident. Common symptoms which people with osteoporosis complain of are the following-
- Back pain mostly cause by fracture or collapsed vertebra
- Stooped posture
- Loss of height over time
- Damage and breaking of bones more often, have undergone bone surgeries etc.
How to Detect Osteoporosis in Early Stages?
Even though signs of bone loss are not very evident but there could be some things which you can observe to find out this issue. Often people do not know about this disease until it affects their hip, spine or waist. Here are some signs you must be aware of in order to prevent this bone disease at early stage-
1. Weaker grip
When you have osteoporosis, your bones become weak which makes your grip weak as well. Having stiff grip is very important for most of your activities. Hand grip is linked to low bone mineral density which means your bones of that part are becoming weak and may have issues related to this bone disorder. Women after their post menopause face this issue of weaker grip in hands which might be a sign of osteoporosis.
2. Receding Gums
Gums can recede if your jaw is losing bones. This can be confirmed by going to a dentist and getting yourself tested or screened for bone loss. Bone loss affects the gums and oral health as well. Having weak teeth means problem in chewing or eating hard food that requires mouth strength. Hence it is important to go for regular dental check-ups after age of 50 years.
3. Weak of Brittle Fingernails
Nail strength can be crucial in determining the overall health of your bones. It can be considered in determining osteoporosis. When you are in the early stages of osteoporosis, then your nails may start indicating signs when you go for swimming, gardening or other exercises that affects nails. In case of osteoporosis, bone density changes which make fingernails weak and brittle. Detecting osteoporosis at this stage can prevent you from falling from majority of other symptoms.
What Happens in the Later Stage of Osteoporosis?
Once the signs and symptoms start becoming evident, it becomes more difficult to treat it. Osteoporosis in the later stages causes these signs which should not be neglected. If you notice any of these signs, then consult an expert as early as possible.
Loss of Height
When there is a compression fracture in the spine, then it causes loss of height. This sign is more noticeable and evident than any other symptoms of osteoporosis. Loss of height is not exactly losing physical height but sue to factors affecting osteoporosis.
Fracture from a slip or fall
In early stages or if you do not have osteoporosis, then there are less chances that you might end up having fracture. This slip from fall is more common in older people above 50 years of age. People suffering from osteoporosis may fracture their bones even from a minor slip or fall from wrong step. Sometimes in the later stage of osteoporosis in older adults, they might even slip after having a strong sneeze of cough. These signs mean you are in the later stages of osteoporosis.
Constant Back or Neck pain
Having constant pain in your neck and back can also be signs of having osteoporosis when you are at the later stage of this disease. Get yourself diagnosed if you constantly feel pain in your neck and back after doing daily activities. This can be because of collapsed vertebrae or nerve pain that is a result of spinal cord problem with osteoporosis. Symptoms of pain may vary according to different people but minor tenderness may remain for a long while.
If you have gained stooped back, this means you are in the later stage of osteoporosis and need to consult and treat this disease. If you do not treat it at this stage, then you might face severe health consequences which come with it. There are posture deformity, issues with central nervous system and other functions in the body. Condition of stooped back is called kyphosis and this might be very challenging condition to treat as well.
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