Osteoporosis Facts

Osteoporosis is a disease in which there is a loss of bone mass and destruction of bone tissue. This process causes weakening of the bones and makes them more likely to break. Learn More ›

Symptoms of Back Pain

Back pain may occur with other symptoms depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. For instance, if your back pain is due to arthritis, you may experience pain in other parts of your body. Back pain due to a pinched nerve can even lead to loss of bladder control. Back pain is often a major symptom of fibromyalgia, which is also characterized by fatigue and sleep problems.

Learn more about symptoms of back pain

How Well Are You Controlling Your Osteoporosis?

Test your bone fracture risk with this health test.

Treatment: Screening for Bone Loss

The strength of bones is measured by their density (thickness). High bone density means bones are less likely to fracture. If you are at risk for bone loss, your healthcare provider may refer you for bone density testing.

Bone density testing is safe, quick, easy, and painless. Testing can detect osteoporosis before a fracture happens. It can also predict the risk of future fractures. And testing can measure the response to treatment. There are two types of tests that you may have:

  • Peripheral tests are used for screening. They measure density in the finger, wrist, knee, shin, or heel. A common peripheral test is the quantitative ultrasound (QUS).

  • Central tests are used for diagnosis. They measure density in the hip or spine. The main central test is the dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA). The DXA is the standard bone density test.

Learn more about Bone Loss

Living with: Simple Steps to Keep Your Bones Strong

If you are a woman, osteoporosis is something that should be on your radar--of the 44 million Americans who are at risk, 68 percent are women. Don't sit back and wait for it to happen to you--use the following tips to lower your risk!

For starters, it's important to calculate your risk factors. Do you answer "yes" to any of the following?

  • Do you have a small frame or are you thin?

  • Do you have a family history of osteoporosis?

  • Are you Caucasian or Asian?

  • Are you a woman?

Answering "yes" to any of these means that you are at risk for developing osteoporosis. Fortunately, it also means you know you should take action now to defend against this porous bone disease by building strong bones.

Learn more about keeping your bones strong

Your Guide to Osteoporosis

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Did You Know?

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Women ages 19 to 50 need at least 1,000 milligrams of calcium every day. Younger women and women older than 50 need even more.