When we talk about this problem we think of fractures but suffering can also be an indication of disease. They exist for effective analgesic treatments
The word osteoporosis makes us think above all of fragile bones, which break with a trifle, but bone pain is one of the most common symptoms. Deep, continuous, annoying and too often ignored: pain assessment and management is thought of in case of evident fractures, such as that of the femur or shoulder, but to that deaf pain, not infrequently in the back, which accompanies the days of many people few pay attention. This was also highlighted by one of the largest assessments on the impact of osteoporosis in the world, recently published in T.he Lancet, according to which vertebral fractures are the most underestimated, as well as most often causing only pain as a symptom.
Bone pain from osteoporosis largely overlooked and undertreated, apart from cases of hip or shoulder fracture who always receive therapy from the moment they arrive in the emergency room, confirms Maria Luisa Brandi, president of the Firmo Foundation for Bone Diseases. Often then confused with cartilage joint pain, the first one thinks of; on the other hand, in addition to the cartilage there is also the bone, which can weaken and fracture giving a very typical acute and intense, stabbing pain. Many patients refer to it as an electric shock.
It mainly affects the back when a vertebra is broken: in the usual procedure i patients try to be treated with non-steroidal painkillers, which do not alleviate the pain. So they start to worry: The thought often goes to oncological pain, which however is recognized because it is always present; that from vertebral fractures, on the other hand, passes when you go to bed or stay still, Brandi points out. It often takes weeks before patients undergo an x-ray and discover that there is a fractured vertebra, of which pain is just as often the only symptom. In the meantime, a pain that does not pass for weeks can become chronic, becoming more difficult to manage.
Pain from osteoporosis occurs frequently, so if a vertebral fracture is suspected, an x-ray is required and, in case of diagnosis, it is necessary to ask for the pain to be treated: Long-term anti-fracture therapies also reduce bone pain, but it takes time before having the necessary effect intervene with analgesics by choosing from all the possible optionsthe. Patients must ask to be managed with adequate pain therapy, in a specialized center if necessary, because this is their right that will also be reaffirmed in the next Guidelines of the Higher Institute of Health, concludes Brandi.
The consequences of the pandemic
Patients with osteoporosis have largely worsened over the past year and a half – an effect of the pandemic. This was underlined by the International Osteoporosis Foundation, specifying that The prevention but also the treatment of fragile bones was more difficult, and the specialists have verified it in the field, as stated by Maria Luisa Brandi, president of Firmo: It was a dramatic year, all the patients got worse. In some cases because the therapies have been suspended, in all because the movement has ceased. Many have been months and months without moving and the density of bone mass has paid the price: we are seeing an evident reduction in densitometries. Get enough movement so the lesson to be learned from these mesi: This is the best way to take care of your bones, even when they are already fragile. Meanwhile, the studies to evaluate whether raloxifene, an anti-osteoporosis drug, can play a role in the therapy of Covid-19 continue within the European project EXSCALATE4CoV. What now seems certain, and comforting, is that neither osteoporosis per se, nor the therapies most commonly used to treat it seem to modify the risk of contagion: a recent Italian study that retrospectively evaluated the data of about 64 thousand patients treated with bisphosphonates verified that there is no difference between the incidence of infection, hospitalizations and deaths among those who use osteopore drugs
October 24, 2021 (change October 24, 2021 | 18:58)
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