Osteoporosis

osteoporosis1

Osteoporosis: What Is It?

Our bones consist of living tissue, which is continuously broken down and built up in the course of our lives. Osteoporosis is the medical term for a metabolic disease in which more bone mass is broken down than built up.

The bones become fragile and lose substance and strength – which remains unnoticed for a long time. These bones may break under slight stress and/or after a simple fall (osteoporotic vertebral body fracture).

What are the symptoms of osteoporosis?

Some signals in the body can lead to an early diagnosis of osteoporosis. Continuous pain in the lumbar and dorsal spine can be signs of osteoporosis.

Once your bones have been weakened by osteoporosis, you may have symptoms that include:

  • Loss of height with advancing age
  • Broken bones without any recognizable cause
  • Broken ribs simply from coughing
  • A stooped posture
  • Or even minor tumbles resulting in hip or wrist fractures

Osteoporosis Treatment

The good news is osteoporosis is treatable. Effective therapy is based on several approaches that have to be compiled for each patient. A comprehensive treatment program of pharmaceutical therapy, nutritional guidance, exercise and physical therapy is ideal. Existing fractures of the spine should therefore be treated not only with medication, but also with functional therapy.

“A patient can prevent further fractures by taking certain drugs. However, the future fracture risk should not only be reduced by improving bone biology: the risk of falls that cause fractures must also be lowered. For example, sleeping pills are one of the highest risk factors for sustaining osteoporotic fractures. They can impair coordination – for example, when getting out of bed – and thus lead to falls. Back braces can be used to lower the risk of osteoporotic fractures. The Spinomed orthosis strengthens the musculature and straightens the upper body. This increases the lung volume and reduces the shortness of breath associated with osteoporosis. Complete treatment also requires suitable pain management.”
Professor Helmut W. Minne, M.D.
Medical Director, Der Fürstenhof Clinic

Medication for osteoporosis

The following groups of drugs are used for the treatment of loss of bone mass:
 
  • Calcium and vitamin D
  • Biphosphonates
  • SERMs
  • Calcitonin
  • Painkillers
  • Fluorides

Strength training and bone density

Strength training trains the muscles and thus releases positive stimuli for the build-up of bone mass. Body posture can also be improved at the same time. Strengthening ensures that muscle interaction becomes more coordinated and harmonious. Types of strength training to try:

  • High weight – fewer lifts
  • Low weight – many lifts
  • Moderately heavy weight – rapid repeat lifts

The ideal approach is to combine different kinds of training and sports to improve strength and endurance. More muscle mass means a better prognosis for the quality of the bone.  

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Functional osteoporotic treatment with back orthoses

Due to the close link between muscles and bones, the loss of bone and muscle mass often occurs simultaneously.

Existing fractures of the spine should therefore be treated not only with medication, but also with aids (functional therapy). Fractures cause pain and lead to further muscle loss due to movement restrictions. Modern aids achieve a straightening of the spine and train the muscles at the same time.

Which back orthosis is best for osteoporosis therapy?

medi’s Spinomed® back brace supports the back just like a weight-training machine. The strap system and the back brace exert tension on the pelvic and shoulder areas. This causes users to contract their muscles for a more erect posture of the upper body. Strengthening the muscles coordinates the interplay between the muscles for more harmonious movements.

As easy to put on as a backpack, the Spinomed:

  • Strengthens musculature
  • Straightens the back
  • Improves breathing

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