O osteoporosis; Once diagnosed, the main form of treatment is the use of medication to prevent or slow continued bone loss or, more rarely, increase bone mass.
The most commonly prescribed medical treatment is hormone replacement therapy. Estrogens, with or without progestogens, are prescribed in low doses with the idea of recovering endogenous hormone levels lost with menopause or after surgery in which the ovaries have been removed. Other treatments include calcitonin, bisphosphonates, vitamin D, and PTH.
The best treatment for osteoporosis is prevention. An adequate intake of calcium and physical exercise during adolescence and youth can increase peak bone mass, which results in a reduction in bone loss and a lower risk of fracture in later years. Adequate calcium and vitamin intake during maturity are essential for bone health.
In early menopausal situations, women should take estrogens to prevent post-menopausal bone loss; a progestin should be added if the uterus is intact.
Estrogen replacement is an effective treatment to prevent post-menopausal bone loss and is also effective in preventing osteoporotic fractures. Hormone replacement therapy requires strict gynecological monitoring and careful patient selection.
Post-menopausal women with low bone mass or established osteoporosis and who have contraindications for hormone replacement therapy, Bisphosphonates (Alendronate or Etidronate) and Calcitonin are effective medications to prevent bone loss.
Walking and spinal extension exercises can stabilize or even slightly increase bone mass and improve muscle balance and strength, preventing falls and fractures.
Vertebral fractures should be treated initially with rest, pain relievers, support but orthotics, and physiotherapy rehabilitation. Other possible treatments currently under study include vitamin D, fluorides, and parathyroid hormone.
Osteoporosis is prevented from childhood. For this reason, to maintain good bone quality throughout life it is essential to take calcium from a young age, exercise, and sunbathe.
In addition to being convenient to not gain weight and maintain body balance more easily (aspects that end up benefiting bone health), physical exercise is the third of the essential requirements if you want to prevent osteoporosis, among other possible diseases.
An appropriate preventive physical activity is one in which some loading effect is exerted, such as jumping, playing tennis, walking, and running. Also lifting weights, dancing, doing aerobics, climbing stairs, or skiing are helpful.
Exercises that offer resistance to the bones, that require work on the bones, stimulate new bone growth, and are better than swimming, in which the water supports your weight, or cycling, in which the bicycle supports your body. It is also important that they are performed in extension rather than flexion, to achieve greater strength in the muscles of the vertebrae.
The activities that involve extension are the most recommended, such as walking, salting, dancing, doing aerobics, gymnastics tables …, since they produce muscle load and tension.
Instead, it is preferable to avoid bending exercises in which muscles are contracted forcefully. If you exercise outdoors and it is giving you the sun, much better, since this way you receive the necessary doses of vitamin D.
You can practice physical exercise even if you are many years old. There is a physical exercise for each age, the important thing is to always keep moving and know which exercises are appropriate for the age group to which we belong.
Apart from regular physical exercise (one hour three times a week) and constant (its effects are lost when you stop practicing it), the practice of yoga and tai-chi are very useful. There is a technique in tai-chi called “bone breathing”, specially designed to regain bone mass.
Dr. Antonio Torrijos, vice president of the Hispanic Foundation for Osteoporosis and Bone Metabolic Diseases (PHOEMO), insists that it should be prevented from childhood with calcium intake, exercise, and sunbathing half an hour a day.
The recommended intake per day varies according to the age of the person. During youth, between 1000 and 1500 milligrams of calcium are recommended, which has a liter of milk.
According to statistics, most children under the age of 8 do not receive the minimum necessary calcium intake. This, added to a sedentary lifestyle, makes osteoporosis appear at an earlier age.
Mothers are the fundamental piece to prevent this disease. For this reason, training campaigns aimed at parents have been launched.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends physical exercise and calcium intake in children to strengthen bones and prevent the development of osteoporosis during adulthood.
The first step to take to prevent osteoporosis is to carry out control at two or three years and another at eight to detect early any calcium deficit in the child’s diet.
Another key point is that parents encourage their children to practice physical exercise (more sports and fewer video games) and that they lead by example, also modifying their habits in pursuit of a healthy lifestyle.