Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis, a condition characterized by weakened and porous bones, poses a significant health concern for millions of individuals, particularly postmenopausal women and the elderly. Southern Bone Health Specialists, located in Birmingham, Alabama, is dedicated to addressing the challenges posed by osteoporosis. Led by experienced specialists, including Dr. Kenneth Varley, MD, our team offers comprehensive care and management strategies for osteoporosis. From diagnostic evaluations to personalized treatment plans incorporating lifestyle adjustments, nutritional guidance, and medication, we aim to enhance bone health and reduce the risk of fractures. If you or a loved one is dealing with osteoporosis, trust Southern Bone Health Specialists to provide expert, compassionate care, helping you maintain strong and resilient bones for a healthier future.

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What Is Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a condition resulting from the loss of bone calcium, which decreases bone density and strength. Bone loss occurs gradually over many years and often has no symptoms. You may first find out you have osteoporosis after experiencing a fracture. It’s best to be screened for osteoporosis if you are a woman over the age of 50, a man over 70, or have family members with osteoporosis.

What Causes Osteoporosis?

Bone is constantly being broken down and rebuilt as a normal part of aging. When bone is broken down — called resorption — bone cells dissolve and are replaced by new, healthy ones in a process called formation. Osteoporosis occurs when the amount of bone being broken down outpaces the formation of new bone.

This leads to the development of microscopic holes in your bones that make it weaker. This can happen in any bone in your body, so if left untreated, osteoporosis can cause fractures in your spine and limbs.

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Am I at Risk of Developing Osteoporosis?

Since bone changes are a normal part of the aging process, being over the age of 50 increases your risk of developing osteoporosis, which increases even more as you get older. Other risk factors for developing osteoporosis include:

  • Being female.
  • Family history of osteoporosis.
  • Previous fracture.
  • Menopause or having a hysterectomy.
  • Long-term glucocorticoid therapy.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Primary or secondary hypogonadism in men.

Certain medications, including those used for breast cancer treatment, may also cause an increase in bone loss.

How Is Osteoporosis Diagnosed?

Dr. Kenneth Varley performs bone densitometry scans in the office to determine the amount of bone loss in your body. This is a simple and painless type of X-ray that detects osteoporosis and osteopenia. Once the test is complete — which takes 5-10 minutes — Dr. Varley analyzes the data collected from the test to determine the density of your bones.

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How Is Osteoporosis Treated?

There are many ways to manage osteoporosis and reduce your risk of developing osteoporosis-related fractures, including vertebral compression fractures. Most treatments involve medications that help build more bone. Other treatments include hormone replacement therapy and lifestyle recommendations, like increasing your daily activity level, which may help strengthen your bones.

Ready to Take Control of Your Pain?

Experience personalized care at Southern Pain Specialists. Schedule your appointment with Dr. Kenneth Varley today.