Osteoporosis is frequently known as a "silent disease", since many times, the loss of bone happens without notice or obvious symptoms. However, as it becomes more severe, it can lead to a range of aches and pains that need to be treated one way or another. Examples of ways to treat the pain that comes from osteoporosis involve physical therapy, heat and ice, and analgesics. This article will review additional tips for pain management for osteoporosis.
The most popular way to deal with the pain of osteoporosis is medication. This is frequently done with drugs such as over the counter pain medications, narcotics, calcitonin, and antidepressants. OTC medications include acetaminophen, ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen, as these pain relievers tend to be safe for the majority of people who use them. However, in a few people, they may lead to stomach irritation, bleeding in the stomach, or other problems with the liver.
Narcotics are frequently prescribed to help with short-term, acute pain. It is important not to use them for chronic pain, however, as they are prone to addiction and come with a range of bothersome side effects.
Calcitonin is marketed as an osteoporosis drug with brand names such as Fortical, Miacalcin, and Calcimar. When used, it can help reduce the amount of pain people experience when suffering from the bone fractures that are an unfortunate part of life with osteoporosis.
Finally, antidepressants can also be used to help people who are dealing with the depressing effects of chronic pain. Examples include Paxil, Prozac, and other SSRIs. These medications are often tried when other forms of pain management fail.
Physical Therapy Solutions to Osteoporosis
Doctors, therapists, and nurses are also likely to look toward techniques of physical therapy in order to help keep the pain of osteoporosis under control.
Heat and ice therapy is perhaps the most common method of relieving pain, especially when heat and cold are used together or in succession. Taking a warm shower helps when one is feeling well, and it also can help ease the stiff muscles that are common parts of osteoporosis pain.
Hot packs can help in the same way without needing to immerse one's body in water. Cold can also be used to numb or dull the senses of the area that is in pain. The use of cold can also help to reduce the inflammation and swelling when pain is intense.
Physical therapists are also helpful in dealing with the chronic pain of osteoporosis. The pain can make it tough for you to engage in activities such as walking, jogging, or swimming.
However, if you are not active, you might find the pain becomes worse since you might be left weakened. If you have a physical therapist present, however, you can develop an exercise program together that is safe, easy to accomplish, fits into your daily schedule and, most importantly, effective.
Supports and braces are also good ideas to consider as physical means of reducing the pain of osteoporosis. If you have recently suffered a spinal fracture, for example, you might find pain relief from a back brace. Similarly, the use of a back brace can help you continue to move around while your body heals the broken bones.
However, if you spend too much time using the back brace, your back muscles will become weaker from a lack of use. If you use a brace, it is important to start exercising in order to get your back muscles stronger as soon as determined safe by your physician.