What seniors should know about osteoporosis symptoms

by | Apr 25, 2023

Osteoporosis is a condition that can lead to severe medical issues if not treated, so it is important to know the risks and potential symptoms. Knowing the risk factors associated with osteoporosis, such as age, gender, diet and lifestyle choices can be crucial in preventing more serious conditions later in life. It is also useful to be aware of any early warning signs that may point to developing osteoporosis, such as back pain or weakened bones.

Taking action on these symptoms or risk factors can help to manage this condition and avoid any long-term damage.

If you are looking for a Cleveland in-home care provider to help you or your loved one living with osteoporosis, look no further than Cherished Companions. We offer a variety of services, including live-in care, assisted living, post-surgery care, overnight care, companion care and more. We are an award-winning care agency so when you choose us, you can trust you are in good hands!

Osteoporosis is a medical condition where bones become weak and brittle due to a loss of bone structure and minerals, often leading to hip and spine fractures or broken bones that may not have previously been prone to injury. Along with the physical symptoms, this can cause difficulties during everyday tasks such as climbing stairs or getting out of bed, as well as an increased risk of falls and injuries. Those with osteoporosis may also experience further health complications if not treated properly. The condition can cause emotional stress due to the fear of potential fractures, as well as its effects on social activities. It is important for those living with osteoporosis to seek professional medical advice so they can create a treatment plan tailored to their needs. Treatment options for osteoporosis may include lifestyle modifications like regular exercise, improved diet and/or ergonomic modifications, medications, supplements or even surgery, if necessary.

With the right care plan in place, seniors can still lead active lives full of happy experiences despite living with the symptoms of osteoporosis.

Let’s review the symptoms you should be aware of.

Back pain is a symptom of osteoporosis

 Osteoporosis causes bones to become brittle or weak, increasing the risk factor of fractures and breaks. Back pain is a usual symptom in these cases as vertebrae in the spine break down and compress the surrounding nerves. It is especially important for seniors to take extra measures to prevent spinal fractures due to their greater vulnerability.

Weak or brittle bones are a symptom of osteoporosis

 Weak or brittle bones can occur when bones and bone tissue become weak and brittle due to loss of mineral content. This can be caused by various factors such as lack of calcium in the body, age-related changes to bone structure, hormonal deficiencies or diseases like rheumatoid arthritis or cancer.

Also, bone mineral density (BMD) is an important predictor of the risk of fractures due to osteoporosis. It measures the density of bone through a special machine. Fortunately, it is simple and painless.

Loss of bone density is a symptom of osteoporosis

Bone density decreases when the body thins and eventually loses bone structure. This happens because the bone is constantly remodeling itself. Osteoporosis occurs when the bone breaks down faster than it rebuilds making a person more prone to fractures and breaks.

A bone density test is an important part of assessing one’s risk for osteoporosis. The test, also known as a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scan, measures the number of minerals in bones and helps to predict their strength.

Fractures, especially in the hips, wrists, ribs and spine

 Fractures, especially in the hips, wrists, ribs and spine are a common symptom of osteoporosis. It is especially important for seniors to take preventive measures such as eating a calcium-rich diet, doing weight-bearing exercise and avoiding smoking or excessive alcohol intake to reduce their risk of fractures. Early diagnosis and preventive methods can also help manage the condition before any serious damage occurs.

Loss of posture or hunching over

 Loss of posture or hunching over is a common symptom of a variety of medical conditions, including osteoporosis, breast and prostate cancer. This is called kyphosis and is what we think of when you picture “a little old lady.” It happens because the vertebrae will collapse into a wedge shape, and it causes the spine to curve forward.

Difficulty getting up from a seated position without help

Difficulty getting up from a sitting position without help can be an indication of a variety of medical conditions or age-related changes. Osteoporosis can cause difficulty in getting up from a seated position due to weak or brittle bones.

Decrease in muscle mass

Decreased muscle mass is a common symptom and precursor of osteoporosis, and it can have a significant impact on someone’s daily life. When people are inactive and decrease their weight, their bones become weakened due to osteoporosis. This can become a vicious cycle because the issues of osteoporosis can lead to a decrease in the amount of muscle leading to balance and fall issues. This can make everyday activities like walking or running more difficult, and even simple tasks such as lifting things dangerous due to fracture risks.

This lack of muscles can lead to further physical issues such as joint pain and inflammation that can also lead to a greater risk of falls and fractures.

It is important for people living with osteoporosis to receive medical advice and create a tailored plan of care, which includes regular exercise as well as improved diet and ergonomic modifications. Exercise is an essential component in helping maintain muscle strength and reducing the risk of further health complications from decreased muscle mass.

Decrease in the normal range of movement

A decrease in the normal range of motion is a common symptom of osteoporosis, and it can adversely impact everyday activities. People with osteoporosis may find that they are unable to complete tasks, which they were previously able to do easily, due to the lack of muscle and bone structure that occurs when bones weaken. This decrease in flexibility may also lead to greater discomfort during physical activities, and require more frequent breaks or rest periods than before.

Decreased mobility can also lead to other health risks such as depression and poor cardiovascular health.

Treating osteoporosis

Exercise and physical activity are important for preserving bone strength, muscle mass and flexibility. Some people may need to start with low-impact exercises such as swimming and move to exercises that are more weight-bearing as that can help to build bone.

It is important to speak to a doctor to create a treatment plan that meets individual needs. Medical advice may include lifestyle changes like quitting smoking, reducing alcohol consumption and engaging in weight-bearing exercises. Other treatments may include hormone therapy, bisphosphonates or even surgery depending on the severity of the condition.

Living with osteoporosis

 Creating a safe environment is important when someone has osteoporosis or osteopenia (pre-osteoporosis). Falls are a major risk factor as those with osteoporosis are more likely to suffer fractures if they fall. That may require getting grab bars installed, removing trip hazards and getting outside care. Having a supportive environment for oneself is essential for managing the risk of osteoporosis. It is also important to stay positive when facing any chronic health issue. Eating healthy, joining support groups and talking to friends and family can all help people living with osteoporosis cope better. Additionally, staying informed about new treatments or research developments may provide hope for those living with this condition.

With the right mindset and lifestyle changes, people with osteoporosis, or those at high risk of developing osteoporosis, can still lead full, active lives.

In-home care for osteoporosis

If you are looking for an in-home care agency with a good reputation to care for your loved one with osteoporosis, then contact us today. Our professional caregivers know how to work with those with osteoporosis. And if you are worried that your loved one who needs in-home care now may develop osteoporosis and has risk factors like a hip fracture, then having our team look after their well-being should give you more peace of mind.

Contact us with any questions!

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