- The fear and frustration associated with living with osteoporosis is accurately described by one young lady who said, “I wake up in the morning terrified that I am going to fracture a bone. The thought of the pain that each day might bring robs me of the joy of living.”For osteoporosis sufferers, pain is a constant companion. It haunts you each and every day. We understand how difficult it can be for you to deal with the pain of osteoporosis, as well as the anguish of not knowing if your next movement will leave you with a broken bone, in a cast, or confined to a wheelchair for a period of time.
The young lady mentioned at the outset said, “I did not go out a lot in the first few years after my diagnosis. I was in too much pain all the time. I used crutches off and on during that time. Depression and despair were my bedfellows. It was difficult for me to accept that because of the pain I just could not do the things I used to do.”
What Is Osteoporosis?
As an osteoporosis sufferer, you do not need anyone to explain to you what the disease is or how it makes you feel. Osteoporosis causes your bones to become weak and brittle. They become so weak in fact that just a little fall or in some cases the stress of bending over or coughing can lead to a broken bone.
Most people first see the effects of osteoporosis in their hip, their wrist, or their spine.
Your bone is alive, just like all the other tissue in your body. As such, it goes through the process of being broken down and being repaired or replaced. For osteoporosis sufferers, the creation of replacement bone does not happen fast enough to keep pace with the removal of the old bone.
Osteoporosis is an equal opportunity disease in that it can affect anyone regardless of their sex, age, or race. However, the disease does favors white and Asian women who are past the age of menopause.
What Are the Symptoms of Osteoporosis?
If you are like most people, during the earliest stages, it is likely that you felt no symptoms. The symptoms of osteoporosis become apparent only after your bones have become less dense and have become weaker. Some of the symptoms include:
- Severe back pain because of fractured vertebra
- A bent over or a stooped posture
- A gradual reduction in height
- A bone fracture that happens a lot easier than it should
The osteoporosis of the young lady mentioned at the outset became more severe. She continued to fracture bones even after starting treatment. She had pins inserted into her legs, metal rods put into her hip, and dealt with constant pain. She, like many other osteoporosis sufferers, constantly asks, why in the world did this happen to me?
What Causes Osteoporosis?
When you were younger, your body made new bone quicker than the old bone broke down. Thus, your bone mass or bone density constantly increased. However, by time you reach 20, you start to see a reversal. Bone mass is destroyed faster than it is created.
The likelihood of your developing osteoporosis is dependent on how much bone mass you could grow when you were younger. The denser your bones became in youth, the more bone mass you have in the bank, as it were, when you get older. This makes it less likely that you will develop osteoporosis as you age.
Other factors such as hormone levels determine whether you are at risk for osteoporosis or not. For example, if you have low levels of estrogen as a woman, or low levels of testosterone as a man, your risk for osteoporosis increases.
Thyroid issues that lead to increased thyroid hormones can lead to osteoporosis as well. Researchers have seen a connection between overactive adrenal glands and this disease.
Osteoporosis has been linked to dietary factors including:
- Low calcium intake
- Eating disorders
- Gastrointestinal surgery
Long-term use of steroids and other medications, including those used to treat complications from seizures, gastric reflux, transplant rejection, and cancer, have been linked to osteoporosis.
Medical conditions including liver or kidney disease, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus have been shown to make a person more susceptible to osteoporosis.
Even your lifestyle may contribute to developing osteoporosis. For example, if you’re sedentary, you smoke, or you drink excessive amounts of alcohol, all of these things affect your bone density and can lead to osteoporosis.
What We Can Do
We know how terrifying it can be to live with osteoporosis pain. The pain that comes from breaking a bone is some of the worst pain the human body can experience. At first, your friends and family may sympathize with the pain you are dealing with. However, over time they may grow tired of listening to you talk about how osteoporosis is affecting your life. This can leave you feeling very lonely.
We want to listen to you. We want to hear how osteoporosis pain is affecting you, and we want to work with you to help you manage the pain. Pain management can be a long process, but you have our guarantee that we will never give up on you.
In our quest to help you feel better and manage your pain, we are going to provide you with a long-term and a short-term pain management program. After your consultation with us, you’ll know exactly what to expect from your pain management treatment. We are not going to leave you in the dark.
Dealing with osteoporosis can be disheartening. Our goal is to help control the pain and give you the confidence you need in your body once again to be able to enjoy and to live the life you deserve.