- What is spinal osteoporosis?
- Spine osteoporosis symptoms
- Causes of osteoporosis of the spine
- Spine osteoporosis treatment
What is spinal osteoporosis?
Spinal osteoporosis is one of the most severe forms of osteoporosis, which is expressed in the destruction of the vertebrae. At the same time, a person loses the ability to control balance, and the likelihood of developing specific fractures is also high.
These compression fractures are, in fact, just injuries that are associated with sudden compression of the vertebral bodies, but it is they that suppress the quality of life of people and minimize their degree of mobility.
Spine osteoporosis symptoms
At an early stage, the symptoms are not pronounced and constant, however, the more the disease develops, the more obvious the symptoms become, such as:
- pain that is formed under a compressive load, for example, a sudden twist of the torso, lifting any weights, falling. This manifestation becomes more evident during the movement and for four to six weeks, after which it becomes weaker. In the case of the formation of numerous microfractures, the vertebrae begin to change shape over time and bend under the influence of weight. This becomes a catalyst for the fact that patients with osteoporosis of the spine are faced with painful sensations in the back of a periodic nature, aggravated by coughing, sneezing, laughing, or simply by changing position;
deformities of the spinal column, formed when not one, but a larger number of vertebrae are involved in the processes of a pathological nature. An obvious sign of this should be considered a lesion at the primary stages of the first or second lumbar or X-XII thoracic vertebrae. As a consequence, excessive stoop is formed. As the disease progresses, the change in the shape of the back becomes more obvious, humps may appear;
- decrease in growth compared to previous indicators. The difference can be from 10 to 15 cm. The decrease in the size of the chest becomes apparent, which makes the limbs look too long. In rapidly progressing cases, the distance between the pelvic bones and the ribs narrows, which can be a catalyst for the formation of painful sensations in the side;
- local soreness, revealed in the process of palpating the vertebrae in the case when the fracture happened recently;
- absence of motor or sensory dysfunctions, which would indicate the involvement of nerve endings or the spinal cord.
Causes of osteoporosis of the spine
There are a large number of reasons for the formation of osteoporosis of the spine, these include:
- lack of motor functions (hypodynamic lifestyle, sedentary work);
- chronic diseases of the stomach and intestines;
- endocrine ailments;
- genetic predisposition;
- irrational use of hormonal drugs;
- dysfunction of the menstrual cycle.
It is important to remember that a lifestyle associated with bad habits can also be a catalyst for the formation of the presented ailment.
In this regard, the formation of osteoporosis can be promoted by:
- alcohol abuse;
- nicotine addiction;
- drinking coffee too often;
- low degree of physical activity;
- excessive physical activity;
- long-term, illiterate diet;
- lack of calcium;
- vitamin D deficiency
In the general case, the impetus for the development of osteoporosis of the spine should be considered a metabolic disorder, as a result of which the necessary trace elements and vitamins do not enter the bone tissue.
Spine osteoporosis treatment
Surgical intervention does not cure osteoporosis; in this way, it is only possible to minimize its consequences. The disease itself is cured with the help of medicines and diets.
A medical method of treatment is prescribed when the degree of bone density has already been recognized as low, and the diagnosis of "osteoporosis of the spine" is made by a specialist. Similar treatment is also necessary when a fracture is present and rapidly developing bone loss is evident.
In a similar situation, the following are prescribed:
- medicines containing calcium, the purpose of which is to stop bone loss;
- anabolic drugs that stimulate the strengthening of bone tissue;
- antiresorptive agents that can stop deformation;
- medicines that contain both calcium and vitamin D.
Another method of treatment, which may well be used in cases where the disease is detected at the initial stages, or as a prevention, should be considered a diet.
The main requirements are as follows:
- rational nutrition, while the body receives the required amount of substances such as phosphorus, calcium and vitamin D;
maintaining a balance between calcium and phosphorus, which penetrate into the body (the first should be twice as much);
- a sufficient amount of proteins;
- the required amount of sodium, which is determined by a specialist.
Considering that osteoporosis of the spine is most often formed in women, and it is associated with an aggravation of estrogen production, the optimal effect can be produced by products containing phytoestrogens. These include raw nuts of all types, all types of greens, legumes, and soybeans.
It is not possible to stop deformation and stabilize the formation of bone tissue without physical stress. Of course, they should not be associated with lifting weights, jumping and running for a long time. With osteoporosis of the spine, cycling, long walks and specific gymnastics, which are developed individually by an orthopedist, will be the most effective.
Thus, osteoporosis of the spine has quite characteristic symptoms at the later stages of the development of the disease, the process of its treatment will be long, but if all the rules are followed, it will be effective.
The author of the article: Kuzmina Vera Valerievna | Endocrinologist, nutritionist
Education: Diploma of the Russian State Medical University named after NI Pirogov with a degree in General Medicine (2004). Residency at Moscow State University of Medicine and Dentistry, diploma in Endocrinology (2006).