Osteoporosis is often called the “silent disease” because the loss of bone density can occur over many years without presenting noticeable symptoms. It weakens your bones and makes them more fragile and prone to fractures. However, knowing and recognizing the early signs of osteoporosis is crucial in preventing severe complications. With early intervention and the right care, you can manage and slow the progression of osteoporosis.
The Nevada Orthopedic & Spine Center team is committed to educating you and our community on the four early signs of osteoporosis that everyone should know.
1. Receding gums
The health of your teeth and gums reveals clues about your bone density. Osteoporosis can affect the jawbone, which holds your teeth in place, leading to the recession of gums and tooth loss. If you notice your gums receding or your dentist mentions bone loss in your jaw, it may be an early indication of decreasing bone density elsewhere in your body.
2. Weakening grip strength
Decreasing bone density can result in reduced grip strength. It could be an early sign of osteoporosis if you find it increasingly difficult to open jars or everyday tasks requiring grip strength seem more challenging. Postmenopausal women are at a higher risk for the disease due to the rapid decline in estrogen, which plays a crucial role in bone health.
3. Change in posture
One of the key indicators of osteoporosis is a change in posture. As the bones in the spine weaken, they may compress or fracture, leading to a stooped or hunched-over appearance. If you or your loved ones notice a change in your posture or if you find yourself leaning forward more than usual, it's essential to consult with a medical professional.
4. Frequent fractures
Osteoporotic bones are fragile and can break easily, even with minimal trauma. If you've had multiple fractures from minor incidents or are breaking bones more easily than you did, it may be due to osteoporosis. Especially concerning are hip, wrist, and spine fractures, which are commonly associated with this condition.
While these early warning signs can indicate the onset or presence of osteoporosis, it's essential to note that sometimes the disease might not present any noticeable symptoms until a significant bone fracture occurs. Therefore, we recommend regular screenings, especially for those at higher risk.
The best defense against osteoporosis is prevention and early detection. You can help prevent bone loss by:
- Engaging in regular weight-bearing exercises
- Maintaining a balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamin D
- Refraining from smoking
- Limiting alcohol intake
Our experienced team performs DEXA scans to measure bone density in the areas most at risk for breaks and fractures, such as your forearms, hips, and spine. Early detection of osteoporosis allows for timely intervention.
If you suspect you might have osteoporosis or are at risk, call the office nearest you in Henderson or Las Vegas, Nevada, or schedule an appointment online.