Osteoporosis makes the bones porous. It is the most frequent disease of the bones and affects older people and mostly women, about 25 % of women suffer from osteoporosis mostly after the menopause. In males it is rare and occurs 10 years later. The origin is not completely understood yet, but clearly there is a connection to metabolic disorders, deficiency of estrogen, kidney problems, increasing immobility and a hereditary component.
It normally affects the spine first followed by the long bones esp. the legs. The bone mass and the stability is reduced. Undefined and dull pained of the whole back that are weak initially indicate osteoporosis. The affected person should consult a doctor, esp. a gynecologist, internist or a orthopedist. The diagnosis is confirmed by a special x-ray method.
Osteoporosis comes gradually. It is accompanied by muscle tension in the back as a reaction to the pain. The discomfort increases during the day, but night rest can be affected also. The reduction of bone material causes increased deterioration in a later stage, also the collapse of vertebral bodies possibly resulting in wedge-shaped vertebral bodies. This results in a typically over bent posture.
The progression of osteoporosis can not be predicted. It is clear that the risk of severe curvature and vertebral body fractures is increased without treatment medical advice. In very severe cases a surgery to stabilize or straighten the spine is the last option.
According to statistics a certain type of females is especially affected by osteoporosis. Very thin females, childless women, strong smokers, females who entered puberty late and menopause early, or whose mother or sister suffered from osteoporosis are more likely to get the disease