Osteopenia is when your bones are weaker than normal and your bone density is lower than the average adult, but not so far gone that they break easily, which is the hallmark of osteoporosis. Your bones are usually at their densest when you’re about 30. Osteopenia, if it happens at all, usually occurs after age 50. The exact age depends on how strong your bones are when you’re young. If they’re hardy, you may never get osteopenia. If your bones aren’t naturally dense, you may get it earlier. Aging is the most common risk factor for osteopenia.
I wrote an article Osteopenia and Back Pain in April last year.
Osteopenia is considered a chronic condition, but it affects everyone differently. While some people with osteopenia may struggle to complete daily tasks without experiencing intense back pain or injuring a bone, other people don’t even realize they have this condition.
Osteopenia is a condition in which a person’s bone density levels are lower than normal, increasing their risk of spinal fractures and other injuries.
Sinicropispine writes – People are more likely to develop osteopenia as they age. When the body ages, it begins to lose bone density. Nothing can completely halt this process. However, there are certain risk factors that can increase a person’s likelihood of developing osteopenia or osteoarthritis, including:
- Smoking & Excessive alcohol consumption
- Lack of calcium in the diet
- Not getting enough exercise
Osteopenia can make a person more vulnerable to certain spinal conditions and injuries. Bone loss can greatly increase a patient’s risk of spinal vertebrae fractures.
Typically, most patients don’t even realize they have osteopenia until they sustain an injury (i.e. spinal fracture) that may indicate the condition. Bone density scans are recommended for patients between the ages of 65 and 70. If you have a family history of osteoporosis, you should get a density scan at age 60 or earlier.
I have suffered from chronic back pain for over 20 years and I was diagnosed with Osteopenia three years ago and had another DXA bone scan in January for which I am waiting for the results. I have never smoked so I didn’t need to stop that but I was given daily calcium tablets to take.
You can take action to prevent osteopenia. The right exercise and food choices may help keep your bones strong. If you have osteopenia, ask your doctor how to improve and prevent worsening so you can avoid osteoporosis.