Osteoporosis is a generalized skeletal disease characterized by a decrease in bone mineral density (BMD) and changes in bone tissue quality, leading to an increase in bone fragility and, consequently, a high risk of fracture.
Vertebral, hip and wrist fractures are among the most common osteoporotic fractures, but osteoporosis is associated with an increased risk of any type of bone fracture.
The decrease in bone mass is closely linked to the increase in age and, in women, to a set of hormonal changes related to menopause. However, there are other risk factors for osteoporosis, such as smoking; excessive alcohol consumption; low body mass index; chronic medication with corticoids.
Osteoporosis is a silent disease, causing no symptoms until bone fracture occurs.
Osteoporosis is diagnosed by evaluating the BMD measured by bone densitometry.
The prevention of osteoporosis starts from childhood with healthy living habits to acquire an adequate peak bone mass, because it is in childhood that bone mass forms parallel to skeletal growth. In adulthood, a series of measures must be taken to slow down the decline in bone mass, and this is particularly important in post-menopausal women.
Regular exercise, especially heavy activities (such as walking, running or aerobics) or resistance exercise (e.g. with weights) are associated with an increase in bone mineral density and a decrease in the risk of fractures.
A balanced diet with adequate calcium and protein intake is essential. Calcium, an essential element for normal bone metabolism, is present in greater quantities in milk and milk products, but can also be found in other foods such as green vegetables (broccoli and spinach for example).
Frequent exposure to the sun (exposure of the face, arms and hands 15-20 minutes daily, without sun protection) should be stimulated in order to stimulate the production of vitamin D, essential for the absorption of calcium in the intestines and a correct mineralization of the bone.
As risk factors for the development of osteoporosis, smoking cessation and moderate alcohol consumption are also essential.
The aim of osteoporosis treatment is to prevent fractures of fragility and consists of adopting the measures described above for the prevention of osteoporosis, with which pharmacological therapies are associated.
Objectives of a rehabilitation program:
Improving mobility and joint movement
Relief from fracture pain
Stabilization of spine static and dynamics
General physical reconditioning
Improvement of gait, balance and coordination
Teaching and counseling of support products (orthoses, splints, etc.)
Return to work activities , daily life and sports activities
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