Osteoporosis is a disease in which your bones become fragile and are more likely to break. Osteoporosis is responsible for approximately 1,500,000 bone fractures each year. Only 20 percent of people with osteoporosis are diagnosed and treated.
Post-menopausal women most commonly suffer from osteoporosis, but it can affect men and women of all ages. Although the loss of estrogen in women, calcium deficiency and family history all play important roles, factors such as smoking, alcohol and race also contribute. Medications, particularly steroids, such as those taken for asthma and rheumatoid arthritis, also play a role in many ways.
Rehab can also help. Weight bearing exercises have shown positive effects on bone health, especially in post-menopausal women. In addition to promoting healthy bones, exercises can improve strength, balance and coordination, reducing the risk of falls and fractures. Therapy tools, also called modalities, also can help manage the pain related to fractures associated with osteoporosis.