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Taking Corticosteroids? You May be at an Increased Risk for Spinal Fractures!

Osteoporosis is a condition many people become intimately familiar with in their old age. Women are especially at-risk. And while it’s generally attributed to deficiencies of Vitamin D and calcium, other factors can contribute to the condition, such as corticosteroids. If you’re taking corticosteroids for another condition – whether orally, as a cream, or through injections – development of osteoporosis can be a reality.

A major concern of osteoporosis (regardless of its cause) is vertebral compression fractures. Due to a loss of bone density, these fractures are common in osteoporosis patients and many actively avoid strenuous activities that may induce them. For patients taking corticosteroids who may be developing osteoporosis as a result, they may not have the foresight to avoid these fractures.

At Advanced Spine and Posture, we actively talk with our patients in Las Vegas, NV about any medications they’re taking before administering adjustments. This includes corticosteroids.

Understanding the impact of corticosteroids

Corticosteroids are powerful anti-inflammatories that are great for treating several chronic conditions, including autoimmune diseases like arthritis. The problem with them is that they can do this at the expense of bone health if taken for extended periods of time.

The biggest concern is the effect corticosteroids have on osteoclasts. Steroids stifle the effects of these bone-producing cells and actually prevent the formation of new osteoclasts over time. Cumulatively, this leads to a loss of bone density and the inability of the body to process calcium to replenish bone matter.

Be aware of the risk of spinal fractures

Many people taking corticosteroids also seek alternative modes of treatment for managing ongoing pain. Chiropractic is among these.

Just like a chiropractor will make special considerations for patients suffering from osteoporosis, they’ll likely adapt their adjustment techniques for someone with a history of corticosteroid use. The reason hinges on accommodating the body, not working against it. It may include using gentler techniques or focusing adjustments on specific at-risk areas where vertebral compression fractures are known to occur.

They’ll also be able to advise on lifestyle changes that may mitigate the risk of vertebral compression fractures. This may include advice on diet and exercise, as well as a routine chiropractic adjustment schedule.

Recognizing a spinal fracture

A vertebral compression fracture isn’t easily mistaken. It’s acute pain, followed by restricted range of motion and the inability to walk or sit without immense discomfort. It’s a condition you should seek immediate assistance for.

If you’re suffering from a spinal fracture and seek help from a chiropractor, they’ll likely ask about any preexisting conditions such as osteoporosis. What they might not always ask, however, is if you’ve been taking a corticosteroid long-term. This is something to make known, as it provides insight into how or why your fracture occurred.

At Advanced Spine and Posture, we thoroughly review our patient’s medical histories with them. If our Las Vegas, NV patients are taking corticosteroids, we take note and use this information to deliver a better level of care. And, when it comes to formulating a Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP) adjustment plan, we make sure it’s one that supports your body, including bones that may need a higher standard of care.

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with one of our expert chiropractic practitioners.

Chiropractic BioPhysics, or CBP, is one of the most scientific, researched, and results-oriented corrective care techniques. CBP-trained chiropractors aim to realign the spine back to health, eliminating nerve interference and addressing the source of pain, fatigue, and disease. As with all chiropractic care, CBP is gentle, painless, and non-invasive.

Osteoporosis Doesn’t Just Affect Women

Osteoporosis, a degenerative bone disease, affects over 50 million people in the United States. The disease is known to occur more in older adults and is particularly common in females. However, that does not mean it cannot affect males.

Many men assume osteoporosis won’t affect them, but the disease is silent and can sneak up on you unexpectedly. One in four men aged 50 and older will break a bone due to osteoporosis in their lifetime.

Osteoporosis goes beyond causing brittle bones, though. It can cause a lifetime of pain, immobility and posture problems – which can put your whole body out of whack. At Advanced Spine and Posture, we encourage both women and men in Las Vegas, NV to visit our team of spinal experts to learn more about osteoporosis and identify a care plan that may help minimize pain.

What happens during osteoporosis?

Just like every other type of cell in your body, bone cells die and regenerate. Your bones are actually living tissue, being broken down and replaced by new cells.

When osteoporosis occurs, the bone cells are being broken down faster than new ones can be created, causing a decline in bone density. This makes bones more brittle and prone to breakage, and can also cause structural changes in the body, such as a hunched appearance.

How osteoporosis affects men

Having low levels of the sex hormone testosterone is the most common cause of osteoporosis in men. A decrease in testosterone levels may occur as a result of age, congenital defects, or medical treatments such as cancer treatment or arthritis medication. However, the way osteoporosis affects men is slightly different from the way it affects women.

Whereas women typically lose trabecular bone, which is the spongy bone located inside the hard bone, men usually experience trabecular thinning. This causes bone loss to proceed much slower than in women.

Unlike women, who usually begin monitoring bone density after the age of 50, men do not always receive routine scans to measure bone loss in their senior years. This often results in the condition worsening behind the scenes until a bone fracture or break appears.

It is advised that men also begin paying attention to bone density as they age to get ahead of the problem and prevent painful fractures. Men should also be aware of the risk factors for osteoporosis, which include smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, sedentary lifestyles, and poor diet.

Dealing with osteoporosis

If you are a male worried about osteoporosis, a chiropractor may be able to help you identify the signs of the condition and reach a diagnosis. If you have been diagnosed, there are numerous treatment methods available. Chiropractic manipulations are one of the ways in which your chiropractor may be able to improve your mobility, strengthen your body and reduce the risk of falling to make managing your osteoporosis easier.

The chiropractors at Advanced Spine and Posture serve both men and women suffering from osteoporosis at our office in Las Vegas, NV. Our approach to client health, called Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP), puts emphasis on improving your entire body by focusing on the spine. If you’re searching for a way to treat bone density loss, we may be able to help.

Chiropractic BioPhysics, or CBP, is one of the most scientific, researched, and results-oriented corrective care techniques. CBP-trained chiropractors aim to realign the spine back to health, eliminating nerve interference and addressing the source of pain, fatigue, and disease. As with all chiropractic care, CBP is gentle, painless, and non-invasive.