What Is Osteoporosis of the Spine?
Osteoporosis is a common bone disease that involves progressive weakening and an increased susceptibility to fractures. It often occurs in older adults whose bones have naturally lost density as a result of the normal aging process. While osteoporosis can affect any (or all) of the bones in the body, the spine is one of the more common places for it to develop.
Symptoms of spinal osteoporosis
By itself, osteoporosis does not necessarily cause noticeable symptoms. However, the condition does make the bones much more likely to break, and a spinal fracture can cause a variety of complications. The most common include:
- Sharp, shooting back pain that worsens during movement
- Unintended changes in posture
- Difficulty bending over or turning from side to side
Treating osteoporosis and spinal fractures
For people who have spinal osteoporosis, calcium supplements and regular exercise can help lower the likelihood of complications. However, spinal bone fractures may require more significant treatment.
Some spine fractures heal on their own; the process usually takes two to three months. During this time, medications and bracing can help minimize pain while activity modification (avoiding strenuous exercise and heavy lifting) can give the body time to repair the damage. If needed, physical therapy can help increase mobility and range of motion once the fracture has healed.
In some instances, surgery may be needed to repair severe damage in the spine. There are a variety of procedures, including vertebroplasties, kyphoplasties, and spinal fusion surgeries, that can help realign shattered bone fragments and restore stability to the spinal column.
At Advanced Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, we provide comprehensive spinal osteoporosis treatment to residents of Houston and other surrounding areas. We have a team of neck and back pain specialists who can assess your diagnosis and make individualized recommendations just for you.
To learn more about our approach to treating osteoporosis of the spine, contact Advanced Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine of Houston, Texas, today. We have three convenient locations, each one fully outfitted with all of the latest diagnostic systems and treatment technologies.