What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a growing health problem worldwide. It affects an estimated 75 million people in the United States, Europe and Japan, including a large amount of men.
The enormity of this health problem when considering the increasing population of elderly people in the world is contrasted by the present therapeutic difficulties in significantly adding bone and improving bone strength once it has been lost.
Osteoporosis will become an even more serious public health problem. Osteoporosis related fractures can be expected to double during the next 5 decades. It is also expected that the occurrence of osteoporosis in men will increase.
The currently accepted definition of osteoporosis is “systemic skeletal disease characterized by low bone mass and micro architectural deterioration of bone tissue, with a consequent increase in bone fragility and susceptibility to fracture risk”.
Bone mass refers to the amount of bone tissue contained in the skeleton.
Bone mass can be expressed in terms of bone mineral content (the total grams of bone mineral within a given area of bone) or in terms of bone mineral density (the bone mineral content normalized for the projected area).
Bone mineral can be measured with reasonable accuracy and precision. These tests form the basis for diagnosis of osteoporosis and the prediction of fracture risk.
Normally bone density peaks between the ages of 30 to 40 and in subsequent years the bone density decreases. If the decrease is significant enough, the so called “fracture threshold” is reached, and at this level of bone density the patient is at significant risk of fracture. These thresholds are reached at different ages and the extent of bone loss varies depending on the peak bone mass and generic and environmental factors, including activity level and diet.
Why do osteoporosis patients often suffer from back pain?
Due to 'brittle' bones: osteoporosis patients often suffer from very painful micro-fractures in the vertebrae of the spine.
After just a few weeks of Curatron treatments a high level of pain relief is obtained, as a result of these micro-fractures closing.
Will bone density increase?
Yes, Curatron can improve bone density! More on this here under.
A study at the Pacific Health Research Institute in Honolulu was designed to provide concrete data on the restoration of bone mass in post-menopausal females. Bone density rose with an average of 5.6%. At the University of Graz in Austria a similar study clearly showed an increase in bone density after one year of around 6%. These results make all the difference in functioning in good health or suffering with an increasing risk for spontaneous fractures. The proportionate increase in fracture risk is directly related to decreased bone density.
PEMF for treatment for Osteoporosis
Selected low-energy time-varying electromagnetic fields have been used during the past 15 years to treat un-united fractures (non-unions). More than 100,000 patients, mainly in the USA, have been treated. Retrospective studies have substantiated their biological effectiveness in large numbers.
Bone is responsive to the mechanical demands placed on it. When loading diminishes, as it does during bed rest, immobilization and weightlessness, bone mass is lost. On the other hand when loading is increased correctly, bone mass increases.
Results of bio-mechanical and histological investigations prove that electromagnetic fields not only prevent bone loss, but also restore bone mass, once lost.
A program was set up at McGill University of Montreal, where it was found that electromagnetic fields damp bone resorption activity. In addition it was found that selected electro-magnetic fields increase bone formation.
The resorption of bone is lowest and the formation of new bone the greatest when energy of the imposed fields is concentrated in the lower frequency components. These results are consistent with other studies showing that cells respond to a broad spectrum of frequencies. They appear to be most sensitive to frequencies in the range of those produced endogenously, that is in the range of 1000 Hz or less. Tissue dosimetry studies show that the frequency response of cortical bone over a range of 100 Hz to 20 kHz shows a steep roll off between 100 and 200 Hz.
PEMF at specific frequencies have been shown to produce osteogenic effects in a turkey ulna model. Furthermore low-amplitude signals decrease bone resorption in a canine fibular model.
Lifestyle factors like malnutrition, smoking, excessive use of alcohol and a sedentary lifestyle contribute to, and worsen, osteoporosis. It is not known whether this response derives from decreased osteoblastic activity, increased osteoclastic resorption, or both.
Fractures in elderly people can heal in normal intervals, showing that osteoblasts can be activated by appropriate stimuli.
A study led by Associate Prof. Dr. W. Passath and Prof. Dr. G. Leb of the Medical Clinic of the Karl Franzen University of Graz in Austria was designed to provide concrete data on the restoration of bone mass in post-menopausal females. A total of 36 female patients between the ages of 46 and 61, all with decreased bone mineral density as defined by a bone densitometer, were treated during a period of 8 to 12 weeks. One year after the study the average bone density had increased by 5.81 percent.
In another study “Prevention of osteoporosis by pulsed electromagnetic fields” by Clinton T. et.al. of the Department of orthopedics, State university of New York, Stony Brook, increased bone mass of 12.3 and 9.7 percent are mentioned.
PEMF do modify biological behavior by inducing electrical changes around and within the cell. The key to rational use of PEMF lies in the ability to define the specific treatment parameters (amplitude, frequency, wave form, orientation and timing).
Various studies have clearly shown that bone density does increase in osteoporosis-prone patients exposed to specific pulsed electromagnetic fields. Properly applied pulsed electromagnetic fields, if scaled for whole body use, have clear clinical benefits for treatment of osteoporosis.
In order to be able to diagnose osteoporosis it is necessary to measure the patient's bone density. A number of techniques are available for this purpose. More about techniques used for measuring bone density later.
Bone density values in individuals are expressed in relation to a reference in Standard Deviation (SD) units. This reduces the problems associated with differences between the various measuring instruments, it does however require defined “normal” ranges.
If bone mineral density (BMD) is below 1 SD but not below 2.5 SD of the mean value of peak bone mass in young normal women, than there is a low bone mass (Osteopenia). If this value is greater than 2.5 SD below this value the patient has Osteoporosis.
This definition is definitely not perfect but reasonable well for diagnostic and therapeutic considerations.
Osteoporosis is a-symptomatic until a fracture occurs. The risk of fracture is inversely related to bone mass. As bone mass decreases, the risk of fracture increases. Even relatively small alterations in bone mass can lead to significant changes in the risk of fractures. The most common sites of fracture in osteoporotic patients are the vertebrae, the hip, and the forearm.
Osteoporotic fractures are associated with significant morbidity and mortality. The most important complaint of patients with osteoporosis is acute or intermittent back pain following normal activity. The pain usually lasts a few days or weeks and then subsides. Such episodes recur and may result in chronic backache. The episodes are due to crush fractures of vertebrae. As the disease progresses, loss of height, spinal deformity and fractures occur.
Hip fractures, in particular, frequently have grim prognosis. The mortality rate of osteoporotic hip fractures is between 15 % and 20 %, primarily due to pulmonary emboli, pneumonia, and other complications of surgery and prolonged hospitalization. The lifetime risk of hip fractures in white women is as great as the risk of breast, endometrial and ovarian cancer combined. One half of patients who survive a hip fracture are unable to walk unassisted and 25 % are confined to nursing homes. In up to 20 % of hip fractures the patient dies within 6 months.
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