Tips for Reducing Osteoporosis Pain Symptoms
Osteoporosis is a chronic condition which causes bone degeneration. It is frequently asymptomatic until significant bone damage has taken place, at which time patients typically begin to suffer from bone fractures and spinal compression. A number of osteoporosis complications can result in pain, and you will need a specially tailored management strategy depending on the cause and severity of your symptoms.
Some of the osteoporosis complications that can cause pain include:
- Bone fractures in the body
- Compression fractures in the spine
- Muscle spasms and pinched nerves, resulting from changes in the bones
Thus, your journey to recovery begins with an accurate diagnosis of the cause of your pain. Once you have received a diagnosis, your doctor will be able to suggest a pain management program that will target your specific symptoms and provide relief. You may also need advice for coping with the symptoms of additional complications such as low testosterone, which is also known as low t.
Techniques Used to Treat Osteoporosis Pain
Some of the front-line treatments used to address osteoporosis pain include:
- Medication. In addition to medications that will reduce your pain, you can also get prescription drugs which will slow down your bone loss and help you maintain stronger, healthier bones. This, in turn, makes it more likely that you will experience fewer and milder pain symptoms in the future. If your pain is relatively mild, an over-the-counter pain reliever such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or aspirin may be all you need to feel better.
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS). TENS therapy involves the application of electrodes to targeted areas of your body, which deliver gentle electrical impulses to nerves. Lasting about 15 minutes, a TENS treatment can calm down muscle or nerve pain, and it is widely available from physical therapists.
- Gentle massages. Though you should not get an intense massage if you have osteoporosis, a gentle massage that targets the muscles in injured areas can relieve tension and inflammationto bring relief from pain. Be sure to tell your massage therapist that you have osteoporosis and disclose your doctor's diagnosis of your pain symptoms before beginning.
- Heat and cold. This is one of the oldest, but also one of the most effective, ways of getting drug-free pain relief. You can alternate between heat and cold for about 20 minutes, three to five times per day, by applying an ice pack or a bag of frozen peas to the affected area, then following up with a warm compress. Your body's reaction to the thermal treatment will calm down inflammation and help you feel better.
Additional Strategies for Treating Osteoporosis Pain
There are other techniques you can use in your daily life and at times when your pain flares up to get relief. First, remember that it is very important to remain physically active and keep your weight in check if you have osteoporosis. The heavier you are, the more strain you are putting on your bones, and the more likely you are to experience fractures. Gentle exercise, such as daily walking, has also been shown to help decrease the intensity of osteoporosis pain. However, before you start any kind of exercise program, no matter how mild it may be, you should consult your doctor.
Other techniques that have been known to provide relief from osteoporosis pain include:
- Relaxation techniques to ease muscle tension
- Biofeedback, which helps you learn to gain control over your body's responses to pain
- Acupuncture, a holistic health care system with a history spanning back thousands of years
Above all, don't push yourself too hard. It is very easy for people with osteoporosis to suffer bone fractures and breaks, and in some cases, even regular everyday activities pose a risk of injury. Always monitor your condition and remain in close consultation with your doctor about your symptoms.