What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a systemic skeletal disease characterized by a decrease in bone mass and a deterioration of the microarchitecture of the bones, which means an increase in the fragility of the bones and the risk of suffering fractures.
This pathology is asymptomatic and can go unnoticed for many years until it finally manifests itself with a fracture.
What are the causes of Osteoporosis?
The origin of osteoporosis must be sought in the factors that influence the development and quality of bone. The risk of suffering from osteoporosis will be determined by the maximum level of bone mass that is obtained in adulthood and the decrease produced by old age. In addition to ageing, genetic and hereditary factors intervene in its appearance. The daughters of mothers with osteoporosis, for example, acquire a lower bone mass volume than that of daughters of mothers with normal bones, and the same happens with univiteline twins.
Malnutrition, poor diet, little physical exercise and the administration of some drugs can also favor the development of osteoporosis. However, menopause is one of the factors that most influence its development in women since the disappearance of ovarian function causes an increase in bone resorption.
What are the symptoms of Osteoporosis?
For years, osteoporosis has been known as the silent epidemic because this pathology does not produce symptoms, although pain appears when the fracture occurs.
Specialists point out that some vertebral fractures can go unnoticed since there are no symptoms. In these cases, the opportunity to stop the loss of bone mass and reduce the risk of new fractures is lost.
The most common fractures in osteoporosis are those of the proximal femur, humerus, vertebrae, and distal forearm (wrist).
In these cases, the patient presents a very intense acute pain that appears when making light efforts, such as a moderate weight load, or a slight trauma.
The patient will have a contracture that will prevent him from flexing and / or rotating the spine. The crisis usually lasts two to three weeks and the intensity of the pain will decrease progressively in the following three months; the remission can be total or partial.
"Occasionally, a vertebral fracture can appear without the patient noticing any symptoms, or it can cause discomfort that is not intense enough to demand assistance," they warn from the SER. “Some authors consider that this circumstance occurs in up to two-thirds of cases. It is assumed that the absence of pain or its low intensity is a consequence of the slow onset of the process ”.
Other symptoms of this fracture are a dull, deep and localized pain in the iliac fossae and flanks, as a consequence of the friction of the costal arch with the pelvis. This possibility helps to rule out examinations to look for the existence of any intestinal or kidney pathology.
This section includes all fractures ranging from the head of the femur to approximately 5 cm of the lesser trochanter.
Hip fractures are considered by specialists to be indicative of osteoporosis when they occur after low-energy trauma, such as a fall while standing. High-energy fractures, such as those that occur after a traffic accident, are not considered a symptom of osteoporosis.
Within hip fractures, there are two types that present different clinical manifestations.
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