Osteopenia is the name given to a condition in which the individual has decreased bone density.1 It is usually a precursor for another more serious condition called osteoporosis in which the bones become extremely weak and brittle making them vulnerable for fractures. Osteopenia is something that is seen mostly in females above the age of 30, although males can also have this condition.
The reason behind mostly females having osteopenia is because the bones of the females already are quite fragile and thin and with all the hormonal changes that take place make it become weaker. When this is coupled with a diet and lifestyle not rich in calcium and vitamin D leads to loss of bone density resulting in osteopenia and subsequently osteoporosis. Thus, it is highly recommended for females above the age of 30 to get a bone density test to evaluate the bone mineral density, which will give an idea as to whether the female is osteopenic or not. This test is an absolute must for postmenopausal females.
The question that most females ask their care providers once diagnosed with osteopenia is that whether this condition will cause any bone pain or not. This article will give an insight as to whether osteopenia causes any bone pain.
Can Osteopenia Cause Bone Pain?
Scientific studies have proved that osteopenia in itself does not cause any bone pain unless the bone is fractured. In fact, there are many cases in people with osteopenia where they have a fracture, but it does not cause any pain resulting in a delayed diagnosis of both the fracture as well as osteopenia.
In retrospect, if the bones of the spine or hip are fractured due to osteopenia then it may cause severe pain. However, the fractures of the vertebrae are extremely painless and may not be diagnosed for many years, which may lead to progression of osteopenia to osteoporosis, which makes the bones much weaker and predisposes the individual to frequent fractures due to the weak bones.
In conclusion, while osteopenia in itself does not cause any pain but a fracture especially of the hip or spine, which may be a result of osteopenia may definitely cause severe pain, making quality of life of the affected individual extremely compromised. However, there are certain fractures like a vertebral fracture which can be caused by osteopenia, but are painless and may not even be diagnosed for many years. These types of fractures tend to delay the diagnosis of osteopenia until it progresses to osteoporosis which further weakens the bones making the affected individual vulnerable to fracture with even minimal jerk or fall as a result of osteoporosis resulting out of osteopenia.
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