Osteoporosis is a common condition that affects about 54 million American men and women. Since it can lead to serious fractures such as vertebral compression fractures and hip fractures, prevention and early diagnosis and treatment from Southern Pain Specialists can help reduce your risk of broken bones and other complications. Kenneth Varley, MD, offers testing and a variety of treatment options for osteoporosis in Birmingham, Alabama. To set up an exam, call or schedule a visit online today.
Osteoporosis is a condition resulting from loss of bone calcium which decreases bone density and strength. Bone loss occurs gradually over many years and often doesn’t have any symptoms. You may first find out you have osteoporosis after experiencing a fracture. It’s best to be screened for osteoporosis if you are a woman over the age of 50, a man over 70 or have family members with osteoporosis.
Bone is constantly being broken down and rebuilt as a normal part of aging. When bone is broken down — called resorption — bone cells dissolve and are replaced by new, healthy ones in a process called formation. Osteoporosis occurs when the amount of bone being broken down outpaces the formation of new bone.
This leads to the development of microscopic holes in your bones that make it weaker. This can happen in any bone in your body, so if left untreated, osteoporosis can cause fractures in your spine and limbs.
Since bone changes are a normal part of the aging process, being over the age of 50 increases your risk of developing osteoporosis, which increases even more as you get older. Other risk factors for developing osteoporosis include:
Certain medications, including those used for breast cancer treatment, may also cause an increase in bone loss.
Dr. Kenneth Varley performs bone densitometry scans in the office to determine the amount of bone loss in your body. This is a simple and painless type of X-ray that detects osteoporosis and osteopenia. Once the test is complete — which takes 5-10 minutes — Dr. Varley analyzes the data collected from the test to determine the density of your bones.
There are many ways to manage osteoporosis and reduce your risk of developing osteoporosis-related fractures, including vertebral compression fractures. Most treatments involve medications that help build more bone. Other types of treatments include hormone replacement therapy and lifestyle recommendations, like increasing your daily activity level, which may help to strengthen your bones.
To get tested for osteoporosis, schedule a visit online or by phone at Southern Pain Specialists now.