Osteoporosis affects millions of people in the US, leading to a little under one million compression fractures a year. It also is a cause in many patients with chronic pain condition.

Osteoporosis is a disease of the bone that results in bone fractures and deterioration of bone strength. In osteoporosis there is an imbalance with increased bone loss and a decrease in new bone formation.

Although anybody can develop osteoporosis, known risk factors include: advanced age, female gender especially with estrogen deficiency such as postmenopausal, European or Asian ancestry, thin and small body frames, excess alcohol, nicotine use, malnutrition such as vitamin D or calcium deficiency, high protein diet, lack of weight bearing exercises, phosphoric acid from soda, heavy metals such as cadmium, as well as excessive physical activity such as in intensive training without proper compensatory increase in nutrition. Caffeine is not known risk factor for osteoporosis.

First important steps in prevention of osteoporosis or to minimize the effects of the disease is to get appropriate screening. Also make sure you have a balanced diet and appropriate amount of exercise. Access your environment to help prevent falls which will help decrease osteoporosis related complications. There are also many medications used in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. Consult with your doctor to discuss how you can take steps to prevent or address osteoporosis. Addressing osteoporosis will make a big difference in your overall management of your chronic pain condition.

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