Once osteoporosis has been diagnosed, patient and physician should work together to develop a osteoporosis treatment plan where the goal is to slow bone loss and prevent fractures. Treatment may include:
- Education on diet/nutrition — see Food for Thought: Diet and Nutrition for a Healthy Back.
- Exercise (if no fracture) — to help maintain bone density and reduce the risk of falls.
- Medication — to slow bone loss and prevent fractures. Osteoporosis medications fall into two categories:
- medications that slow or stop bone resorption (loss);
- medications that increase bone formation.
- Treatment for vertebral fractures, which may include:
- Rest, though long-term rest accelerates bone loss;
- Rigid back braces to support the spine;
- Ice/heat and pain medications;
- Surgery (kyphoplasty or vertebroplasty), which may be necessary in certain situations where the fracture is causing severe pain and/or deformity, or has failed to respond to three months of non-surgical treatment.
Read more about Vertebral Augmentation for Compression Fractures
Even once osteoporosis has been diagnosed, it is possible to slow bone loss, build bone density and prevent fractures. Continually advancing osteoporosis and related fractures are not an inevitable outcome of being diagnosed with osteoporosis.