Osteoporosis and osteoarthritis are both bone diseases, however, that is about all they have in common. Since both of these conditions can be debilitating, people tend to get them confused.
What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a bone disease where the bones become weak and less dense and are more likely to cause fractures and other painful problems.
The International Osteoporosis Foundation reports 200 million women worldwide are affected by osteoporosis.
Additionally, in the United States, it is estimated there are 44 million people with either osteoporosis or low bone mass, and that number could be up to 61 million if the current trend continues.
Osteoporosis causes back pain, loss of height and changes to posture, this according to the NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases National Resource Center. It may also affect your ability to walk and cause permanent disability.
Bone loss occurs gradually over many years, and there are no symptoms to tell you what is happening. A healthy lifestyle is the best way to prevent bone loss and lower the chances of a fracture.
While osteoporosis doesn’t cause symptoms, but you may start to notice signs, including:
- Back pain
- Loss of height
- Curved Posture
For some people, the first sign of osteoporosis is a broken bone, usually a hip or on the spine. And if the condition gets severe, regular activity from sitting, bending or standing can cause painful fractures.
You may heal from a fracture with osteoporosis, but it may take longer and cause long lasting pain. The previously injured joint may continue to feel stiff and give you trouble with activity.