Osteoporosis is a medical condition where the density of the bones is reduced thereby resulting in decreased bone strength and increased bone fragility. It is estimated in a study published in the Indian Journal of Medical Research that more than 25 million Indians are affected by osteoporosis, most of which are women. Data in India suggests such prevalence due to Vitamin D deficiency in Indians after 50 years of age and that it can be battled with proper nutrition. Osteoporosis requires proper prevention and care but before visiting that, let’s briefly touch upon its causes, symptoms and diagnosis.
Causes, Symptoms and Diagnosis
Osteoporosis occurs when the pores in the bones are enlarged thereby causing it to lose density. This is caused due to a number of factors including age, race (mostly Asian / Caucasian), smaller body frame, low body weight, early menopause (in women, low oestrogen levels), low testosterone in men, genetics, smoking and drinking excessively, lack of exercise, poor nutrition, calcium and Vitamin D deficiency, medical conditions such as hyperthyroidism, chronic inflammation diseases, and use of certain medications such as prednisone or cortisone.
Symptoms include receding gum lines, weakened grip and strength, weak and brittle nails. But in most cases, symptoms do not show unless there is a bone fracture. If a person has osteoporosis, he becomes quite prone to fractures. In severe osteoporosis, the bones are extremely brittle and slightest pressure on a bone could cause fractures. Symptoms in this case include back and neck pain. There may also be height loss.
Osteoporosis is diagnosed through a physical test and medical history examination. There may be tests on blood and urine. Bone density tests or dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) are also done.
Prevention and Care
Osteoporosis while has medications, requires management by way of therapeutic healing. Physiotherapy of osteoporosis patients becomes essential to rebuild strength, flexibility and mobility, and manage pain. It includes exercise therapy where the patient is guided by the physiotherapist to do resistance training exercises, such as, leg presses, squats, push-ups, and weight training with resistance bands, dumbbells and resistance exercise machines, along with postural exercises and balance exercises. In addition, the patient is required to be engaged in physical activity such as walking, taking the stairs and so on. What is important aside from physiotherapy is a nutrition and diet therapy considering the nutrition deficiency in an osteoporosis patient. A diet chart is made by the diet and nutrition therapist keeping in mind that the diet should be comprehensive of the following nutrients: calcium, vitamin D and additionally, protein, magnesium, vitamin K, and zinc. In addition to physiotherapy, exercise therapy and diet therapy, a general healthy lifestyle has to be maintained where smoking and alcohol should be avoided. Women could be benefited from a hormone therapy.
We at Eva Physiocare have developed an integrated wellness programme for osteoporosis patients where we focus on physiotherapy, exercise therapy, diet and nutrition therapy, thereby enabling the patient to get back to his normal life in no time through holistic healing.