Osteoporosis is an extremely common disorder characterized by a reduction in the bone mass that may prejudice its structural integrity and predispose to fractures. However the too little bone that remains is of normal composition (i.e. has normal composition of protein matrix and minerals).
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The condition may be present under a variety of clinical circumstances but mainly is associated with aging, particularly the menopause.
As women grow older, 'Vata' increases and the postmenopausal body produces fewer or no estrogen essential for maintaining bone metabolism and using calcium, magnesium, zinc and other minerals for bone growth, all contribute to a harmful effect on bone mass.
Hence, women especially post-menopausal women are more commonly affected by osteoporosis.
Classification of osteoporosis
Although osteoporosis is a generalized disorder of the skeleton, its major clinical sequelae result from fractures of the vertebrae, wrist, hip, humerus and tibia. The most frequent symptoms from vertebral body fractures are pain in the back and deformity of the spine. Pain usually results from collapse of the vertebrae especially in the dorsal and lumbar regions, is typically acute in onset, and often radiates around the flank into the abdomen. Such episodes may occur after sudden bending, lifting, or jumping movements. The pain may increase even after slight movements even with slight movements such as turning in bed.
Bed rest may relieve the pain temporarily, only for it to recur in spasms of variable duration. Symptoms and signs of spinal cord compression are rare. Loss of appetite and muscular weakness may also be present.
Although acute pain may be minimal, nagging, deep, dull, uncomfortable sensations may be localized to the area of fracture and brought about by straining or sudden changes in position. Patients may be unable to sit up in bed and have to arise by rolling over on the side and then propping themselves up. Most patients have diminution or disappearance of pain between episodes of vertebral body collapse.
Tenderness is common over involved areas of the spinous processes or rib cage. Some patients have an associated disease such as osteoarthritis of facet joints to account for chronic back pain.
Although, recurrent episodes of vertebral collapse, increasing spine deformity, and loss of height are common.
Patients with acute pain secondary to fracture of vertebral bodies frequently require rest in bed in a position of maximum comfort. Constipation should be avoided. Massage with medicated oil and fomentation will pacify the pain and nourish the bones.
Lack of exercise can also reduce bone mass. To some extent, people need some stress to the body, in the form of exercise. Research has shown that if a person is con?fined to bed for several weeks, the bones become significantly weaker.
Exercise to correct postural deformity and increase muscle tone are useful. Patients should be taught to avoid sudden painful movements such as jumping and how to lift and carry objects with minimal back strain.
There are certain Ayurvedic herbs which also act as analgesics without causing side effects. These herbs include Guggul, Rasna, and Dashamoola etc. they tend to pacify the Vata and relieve the pain.
Also regular intake of calcium in the early ages prevents such disease in the later stage.
So, intake of milk is very essential for women.
These herbal products are useful in nourishing the bones. Also, because of its anti-inflammatory properties, they are useful in relieving the pain. They are also useful in relieving the complications arising from bone injuries, bone fractures etc. these are also beneficial in treating malnutrition, which is also a cause for osteoporosis.