Osteoporosis Treatment

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Teriparatide is approved to treat osteoporosis in men and women who are at increased risk of fracture and treatment is also likely to include nutrition, exercise, and lifestyle guidelines for preventing bone loss.

If bone loss is due to glucocorticoid use, the doctor may prescribe a bisphosphonate (e.g., alendronate or risedronate), monitor bone density and testosterone levels, and suggest using the minimum effective dose of glucocorticoid - the doctor may also suggest discontinuing the drug when practical, and/or administering it topically (through the skin).

Other possible prevention or treatment approaches include calcium and/or vitamin D supplements and regular physical activity.

If osteoporosis is the result of another condition (such as testosterone deficiency) or exposure to certain other medications, the doctor may design a treatment plan to address the underlying cause.

Experts suggest osteoporosis can be prevented and bone health preserved by:- not smoking, reducing alcohol intake, increasing levels of physical activity, ensuring a daily calcium and vitamin D intake adequate for your age (normally, the body makes enough vitamin D from exposure to as little as 10 minutes of sunlight a day) if exposure to sunlight is inadequate, dietary vitamin D intake should be between 200 and 600 IU (International Units) per day - the amount of vitamin D found in 1 quart of fortified milk and most multivitamins is 400 IU.

Undertaking a regular regimen of weight-bearing exercises in which bones and muscles work against gravity which might include walking, jogging, racquet sports, climbing stairs, team sports, weight training, and using resistance machines.

A doctor should evaluate the exercise program of anyone already diagnosed with osteoporosis to determine if twisting motions and impact activities, such as those used in golf, tennis, or basketball, need to be curtailed.

Exercise however will only increase bone strength if it increases the loading above normal levels and weight-bearing exercise such as jogging can help maintain and increase bone density in the spine and hips, while arm loading exercises such as weight training can increase bone density in the wrist - weight-bearing exercise means any exercise where you are supporting the weight of your own body.

One of the most effective ways of loading your bones is by doing brief bouts of high impact exercise such as jogging or running up an average flight of stairs - this provides 10 jolts each time you go up and 10 jolts each time you come down - half an hour jogging provides about 2,000 jolts.

Prolonged exercise is not necessary in order to stimulate bone and an exercise such as running up a flight of stairs should only be attempted if a person feels fit enough to be able to do so.

Intermittent jogging is also good, especially for people who find continuous jogging too strenuous and even a very brisk walk can be good for your bones.

The slow, controlled lifting of weights, best done in a proper gym will increase bone density and make muscles stronger if you train three times a week on non-consecutive days.

Tennis is another high impact sport that builds bone density and exercise to music classes, like aerobics, circuit training and boxercise will help boost both the bones and the heart.

For those who have been diagnosed with osteoporosis a referral to a physiotherapist may be helpful especially if a fragility fracture has occurred and caution needs to be taken with high impact exercise.

The risk of fracture will always need to be balanced against the benefit of the high impact exercise that builds strong bones most effectively.

Lifestyle changes and medical treatment are part of a total program to prevent future fractures. A diet rich in calcium, daily exercise, and drug therapy are treatment options. Good posture and prevention of falls can lower your chances of being injured.

Further Reading

Last Updated: Feb 27, 2019


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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