Posts Tagged ‘kyphosis’
Fracture Risk is the elephant in the room. Fractures can keep you from doing what you want for weeks or months. Fractures can put you in a Nursing Home, sometimes forever. Complications of fractures can kill you. Fractures are what you want to avoid if at all possible.
Increased Fracture Risk was defined as Clinical Osteoporosis by NIH in 2000. We may still think of Osteoporosis as a T-score of -2.5 on DXA. This is inaccurate. Fracture Risk increases with age and other factors at any given T-score. Over 80% of the persons who fracture have a T-score better than -2.5 !!! Accurately calculating your true Fracture Risk requires a Complete Bone Health Evaluation.
Last time we discussed the disabilities caused by “humpback” kyphosis.
A major factor in “humpback” is weak back muscles. Upright posture decreases the strain of gravity pulling you forward. Strong back muscles maintain upright posture. A great exercise is to lie on your stomach and then lift your chest and thighs off the floor (or firm mattress). Do this several times a day.
Far more important is workplace posture. Too many of us slouch forward because our computer screens are below eye level. Adjust your work station so that you are comfortable sitting upright, looking straight ahead. If you are reading from a book or paper, use a slanted stand to bring your work to you. Don’t be a pretzel trying to bring yourself to your work.
Many women and men develop a “humpback” as they age – often starting in their 30’s, 40’s, or 50’s. “Humpback” or Kyphosis tends to run in families. There is a genetic component. But there are factors in nutrition and exercise that you can totally control. Especially if you start early enough.
You cannot see your “humpback” by looking at yourself in the mirror face to face. You have to look at yourself from the side, which is hard without a double mirror. The first clue a woman has, is that she can no longer buy fitted clothing off the rack. Fitted clothing is designed for people without a “humpback”. It just doesn’t fit rounded shoulders.
Several patients in the last month have decided not to take the “unnatural” risk of taking medication for their Postmenopausal Osteoporosis. They have been scared by the media emphasis on rare possible risks and side effects of taking osteoporosis medication. They are not aware of the much greater Natural Fracture Risk of being a Post-menopausal Woman.
One patient specifically cited the risk of OsteoNecrosis of the Jaw (ONJ) as her reason. Her risk of ONJ if she takes an Antiresorptive is less than 1 /10,000 per year. Her FRAX calculation shows a total fracture risk of 1/10 per year and hip fracture of 1/35 per year if she does not take medication. She is 1000 times more likely to fracture without medication as she is to have ONJ with medication. Natural Risk can be a Bummer!