Posts Tagged ‘kyphosis’
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!
Aunt Henrietta is celebrating her 89th birthday, and 4 1/2 years without a fracture! This is a major victory for her. She is one of our many stars!
Despite starting on enough calcium and enough vitamin D over 6 years ago, Henrietta broke one wrist, then the other wrist, and finally a shoulder. Finally she added osteoporosis medications. Despite falling all the way down the attic stairs, she has not broken anything since.
The goal of Bone Health Evaluation and Treatment is Fracture Prevention! DXA and Bone Mineral Density (BMD) are useful tools for evaluation. But DXA and BMD are only one out of many tools for bone health evaluation. DXA t-score and BMD should never be the sole goal of treatment.
As an orthopedic surgeon, my goal is always Decreasing Fracture Risk. In the USA we sometimes seem to have forgotten that real goal. We focus too much on DXA t-scores. We should focus on the patient. We should treat “Clinical Osteoporosis”. The patient deserves a complete Bone Health evaluation.
Many patients ask what exercizes will prevent the humpback deformity (kyphosis) of osteoporosis. There is one exercize which will not only help prevent humpback, but partially correct it as well.
Spine extension exercizes strengthen the muscles that extend the back and decrease the pressure on the front of the spine. They eliminate the pressure that can make the spine crumble into a humpback. What a great way to Take Control Naturally.
The National Osteoporosis Foundation meeting last spring featured a full hour of presentations by Physical Therapists. They showed several patients with severe humpback. These women worked on their exercises daily for at least 6 months.
The patient with the most impressive improvement started staring directly at her own feet. A year later she could see across the room. Her kyphosis decreased from over 90 degrees to about 50 degrees.
For most individuals the simplest exercise is to start lying on the stomach on the floor (or on a firm bed). Then lift chest and legs off the floor and hold that position for as long as you can. Repeat 3 times, and another set of 3 later in the day. When you can do a minute each time you are making a huge difference. That should take 6-12 months.
Humpback (kyphosis) is more than poor posture, but working hard on maintaining good posture can prevent or even partially correct humpback. Of course, enough calcium, Vitamin D3 and protein are neccesary too.
Jay Ginther, MD