Bone loss (Osteoporosis) is something which happens to almost everyone over the age of 50 years. It is estimated that net bone loss is prevalent in about 60-70% of the population over this age. Usually, women are more prone to it than men. So, after the age of 50, people are at higher risk of fragility fractures, which mostly happens during a fall, or from a minor trauma. This kind of fractures commonly happens in the hip, spine, wrist, and upper arm.
You should always remember that if you had ever experienced any fragility fracture near the age of 50, then you are at greater risk of having the future secondary fractures. However, the good news is that you can prevent the risk of such future fractures by taking a therapy called anti-osteoporosis therapy. According to the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, anti-osteoporotic therapy is a wonderful treatment which can help you reduce the chances of subsequent fractures by 40 percent.
Fragility fractures badly impact patients’ quality life by causing chronic pain, and limitation of the daily activities. According to a study conducted at the University of Chicago Medical Center, it was discovered that anti-osteoporotic therapy can improve the bone density, and reduce the risk of subsequent fracture in the following ratio:
- Wrist–50 percent reduction
- Upper arm–52 percent reduction
- Hip–34 percent reduction
- Spine–43 percent reduction
- All fractures combined–40 percent reduction
The outcome of the study helps understand a patient to take an informed decision and also sheds a light on how one can prevent the subsequent secondary fractures after the first fragility fracture.
Antiosteoporosis drugs are easily available and are cost effective. There are a number of drugs which fall into the category of anti-osteoporosis therapy. According to their mode of actions, these are also called as anti-catabolic/anti-resorptive drugs.
Antiresorptive drugs work by slowing down the bone loss that happens during the breakdown stage of the bone remodeling cycle. When the patient takes the drug, the bone loss slows but still new bones are formed in the same rhythm, which helps in maintaining the bone density properly. So, the treatment with antiresorptive drugs not only prevents the bone loss and but also reduce the risk of bone fracture.
Anabolic medications are also used as anti-osteoporosis therapy. Teriparatide is the most commonly used drug, which falls in the group of anabolic medications. It is a type of parathyroid hormone, which helps rebuild the bone. It is the only current osteoporosis medication which is approved by the FDA. It also decreases the risk of breaking of the bone.
Bisphosphonate is the commonest type of antiresorptive drug which is considered as a very powerful drug for bone remodeling, whereas RANK is the strong anti-catabolic medication that enhances the bone healing. Apart from these, there are some other antiosteoporosis therapies available, such as:
- Denosumab (Prolia)
- Estrogen therapy
- Zoledronic acid
- Risedronate sodium with calcium carbonate
Another study published in the Leading Journal ‘Prescriber’ posits that non-adherence of drug therapy in the chronic medical condition like osteoporosis can lead to bad results, reducing the capacity of the bone modification. Apart from that, many clinical trials have proved it that osteoporosis (drug) therapies significantly decrease the risk of both vertebral and non-vertebral fracture. Adherence to the therapy means the extent to which a patient consumes the medicine with proper intervals and dosages as prescribed by their health care provider.
In the case of women’s bone health, it is important to mention that there are about 1.5 million of fractures occur in women worldwide in their post-menopausal stage alone. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines osteoporosis as a disease with low BMD and degeneration of bone microarchitecture. Interestingly, WHO developed FRAX, a risk stratification tool that can help estimate a 10-year fracture risk in a patient. It is a cost effective tool, which can be very beneficial for the country like India to find out the clinical data of the women who are at greater risk of bone fracture. So, women, particularly who are near to menopause or in the postmenopausal stage, should use the tool, so that they take early precautions and antiosteoporotic drug therapy.
Osteoporosis therapy includes not only the drugs or medications but also the exercise, which is equally important for to prevent bone loss or fracture. Some people mistakenly think that exercise after a fracture should be avoided, but that is completely wrong. Experts say that it is, in fact, one of the best things to strengthen your bone. So, once your doctor allows you to go ahead, you should start your exercise with any worry, but in a safe way. Some of the important guidelines which you should follow are:
You should do the weight bearing exercise like walking and climbing stairs which are very effective to keep the bones strong, and also prevents future fractures.
Resistance exercises are very beneficial to enhance the ability to climb stairs, to walk, and to get up. Free weights or weight machines also help build resistance.
Flexibility and balance exercise:
Gentle stretching, yoga, ti chi are the best flexibility and balance exercise. This kind of exercise will help you avoid the fall, which can lead to a hip fracture.
- Good posture
- Wear proper shoes
Exercises that should be avoided:
You should avoid the exercises which have;
- High risk of falling
- Heavy lifting
- Painful exercise
- Exercise involves twisting motion
Along with the antiosteoporosis therapy, physiotherapy is one of the important steps your doctor advise to take after a few days of the fracture. It helps you improve the range of motions.
According to a survey, it is discovered that the maximum number of bone fractures occur due to the osteoporosis in both India and the US. Even though Osteoporosis has no cure, but using the antiosteoporosis therapy, one can postpone the bone loss by slowing down the rate of bone wear.
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Dr. Kaleem Mohammed graduated as a Bachelor of Physiotherapy in 2014 from Deccan College of Physiotherapy, affiliated to Dr. N.T.R. University of Health Sciences, Vijayawada, India. Dr. Kaleem is an expert at handling physiotherapy needs of patients suffering from orthopedic and spinal conditions and post-surgery rehabilitation. Dr. Kaleem is associated with HealthClues since its inception where he facilitates diagnosis and advanced consultation with senior doctors. He is also a medical researcher and prolific writer who loves sharing insightful commentaries and useful tips to educate the patient community about fitness, treatment options, and post-treatment recovery.