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Osteoporosis and overview by Dr. Gerry Nastasia

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Creative Commons License photo credit: Lizscib
photo credit: Lizsci
Osteoporosis is metabolic bone disease is characterized by a decrease in bone mass. This leads to increased bone fragility and fractures. Osteoporosis stems from impaired synthesis or increased reabsorption of bone matrix protein. It is a major public health threat for the estimated 55% of Americans over age 50.

Some common risk factures for the disease include female gender, age, race, family history, small body frame, & tobacco use. Other risk factors include eating disorders (e.g. anorexia nervosa), low lifetime intake of calcium, excessive use of alcohol, and inactive lifestyle.

Early in the disease there may be no symptoms. Many patients only begin to suspect something is wrong when dull bone or muscle pain develops in the low back or neck.

As time passes, sharp pain may develop suddenly and last for several months. As diseases progressively it robs bone density or core bone strength, the risk for fracture increases. The wrists, hips, and spine are common fracture sites.

In the over 50 populations: 1 in 2 women & 1 in 4 men will have an osteoporosis related fracture in remaining life. Bone Mineral Density (BMD) using a central Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA) is used to make the diagnosis. In May 2008, the American College of Physicians (ACP) issued new clinical practice guidelines for also screening men for osteoporosis During the next 15 years, rates of osteoporosis among men are projected to increase by nearly 50%, and by 2040, rates of hip fracture in men are expected to double.

BMD testing is recommended in postmenopausal women and men aged 50 to 70 years when the patient’s risk factor profile indicates potential problems. And, in those who have had a fracture, BMD testing is recommended to assess the severity of the fracture.

The chiropractic doctor can play a key role in the diagnosis assessing the patient and ordering the necessary tests. The disease is confirmed. We can effectively treat and manage the osteoporotic patient. Gentle manual techniques, massage, nutritional advice, education, counseling, and exercises are all effective tools can be employed to help patients afflicted with this disease.

Dr. Gerry Nastasia, Jr., DC, DABCO, Chiropractic Dubai at the Emirates European Medical Centre

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