Osteoporosis is a disease caused by low bone mass and deterioration of the bone tissues. This can lead to an increased risk of fracture.
The cause of osteoporosis is unknown. Osteoporosis is often considered a “silent thief” because it causes loss of bone mass which can occur for years without any symptoms.
Continue reading to learn the “7 Ways to Manage Chronic Osteoporosis Pain”
Osteoporosis, highly the most common bone disease, is responsible for approximately one and a half million fractures every year.
A high number of about three hundred thousand individuals who suffer an osteoporosis-related fracture die due to complications from the injury.
Sadly, more harm to your bone is done when you have fractures or breaks. At this stage, the disease is already advanced and becomes difficult to treat.
Fractures commonly related to osteoporosis often occur in the spine, wrist, hip, and shoulder. Osteoporosis pain comes in the form of painful fractures, which can take some months to heal.
Most often, the pain goes away as the fracture heals. Healing of new fractures tends to take about three months.
Osteoporosis pain that continues after that period is generally considered chronic pain.
The main cause of chronic osteoporosis pain is vertebral fractures.
However, some people may have no pain when a vertebra breaks. While others do have intense pain and muscle spasms that last long after the fracture has healed.
Pain is the body’s way of alerting you when there is an injury.
When you have a fracture, your nerves send pain messages through the spinal cord to the brain. This is then interpreted.
Your response to pain can be determined by many factors. This may include your emotional outlook.
Depression may increase your pain perception. It also decreases your ability to cope with it. When you treat depression, you treat the pain as well.
Chronic osteoporosis pain often lasts beyond the usual time for healing. It interferes with normal life and daily activities. Even while the injury has healed, the pain still continues.
Muscle tension, weakness, spasms, or stiffness may trigger the pain message. The intensity of osteoporosis pain can be worsened by your feelings of frustration, anger, and fear.
You should take your pain more seriously because it affects all areas of your life. Do not hesitate to discuss with your doctor ways to manage your chronic osteoporosis pain.
How To Manage Osteoporosis Pain
Some typical coping strategies for dealing with pain include;
- Applying heat and ice
- Undergoing Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS)
- Use of braces or supports
- Physical therapy
- Acupuncture, and massage.
Heat and ice packs:
The use of warm showers or hot packs to relieve chronic pain is one of the most options.
Alternatively, cold packs or ice packs can also help relieve pain. In either case, place the pack on your skin for 15 to 20 minutes.
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS):
TENS acts by sending electrical impulses to certain parts of the body to block pain signals.
It is a small device with two electrodes placed on the points of the body where you are experiencing pain.
This mild electrical current can prevent pain messages from being transmitted to the brain.
Although, some people find relief for several hours after a single session.
Other people continue to relieve osteoporosis pain with small portable Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) units attached to their belts.
Spinal braces help to reduce pain and inflammation by restricting your movements.
After a vertebral fracture, a brace or support can be applied to relieve pain and let you resume normal activities while the fracture heals.
Because a back brace can weaken your spinal muscles and you should use it only for the indicated period.
Exercise is another option. Exercise raises the body’s level of endorphins which are natural painkillers produced by the brain.
Physical therapy assists by teaching you proper posture and exercises. This is to strengthen your muscles without weakening your spine.
Water therapy, in particular, is often recommended for people experiencing chronic osteoporosis pain.
Acupuncture stimulates nerve endings that cause the brain to release endorphins.
Acupuncture is done by applying direct pressure through the use of special needles to the areas that trigger pain.
However, don’t expect to be cured in one session. Finally, massage therapy can help to manage chronic osteoporosis pain.
This may be a light, slow circular motion with the fingertips or a deep kneading motion that moves from the center of the body.
Massages help to relieve pain, relax stiff muscles, and smoothes out muscle knots.
Note, if you have spinal osteoporosis, deep muscle massage should not be done on the back to avoid injury.
If you have osteoporosis, there are several treatment options available to help relieve your pain.
The main goal of treatment is to prevent or slow bone loss and also to reduce the risk of fracture.
Your doctor may have to try several options to find the one that best works for you. Below are some drug treatments options:
- Parathyroid Hormone
- Hormone Therapy
- SERMs (Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators)
Ensure you always have a diet rich in both calcium and vitamin D. This will help you develop healthy bones.
Osteoporosis is a disease caused by low bone mass and deterioration of the bone tissues. This can lead to an increased risk of fracture which is often very painful.
The above suggestions are various ways on how you can manage your chronic osteoporosis pain. I hope you find them helpful as you apply them to relieve your pains and get active again.