Although bone mass and bone mineral density naturally decrease as we age, a condition in which they are abnormally low for a person’s age is called Osteopenia. A condition differentiated in diagnosis by patients having an even lower bone mineral density is referred to as Osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is considered more severe than Osteopenia, however untreated Osteopenia can develop into Osteoporosis.
Both Osteoporosis and Osteopenia increase the risk of fractures. These conditions generally do not present any symptoms and often go unnoticed, a fracture is often the first sign of this condition. Another common symptom that is experienced with Osteopenia is height loss. Although humans naturally loose height as they age, loosing height faster than normal may be indicative of a bone condition. As Osteopenia progresses to Osteoporosis, even slight bumps or small activities such as lifting a heavy weight can cause a bone fracture. Osteoporosis can even result in the vertebrae in the spine to collapse. If you suspect you may be suffering from either condition it is important to seek medical care immediately.
These conditions are generally caused either not reaching their peak bone mass in their early 20s or because they lose bone mass after reaching their peak bone mass. Genetics and certain conditions such as celiac disease can prevent a person from reaching their peak bone mass and are thus risks for developing Osteopenia and Osteoporosis. Certain environmental factors such as smoking, low levels of exercise, Calcium and Vitamin D deficiencies, and excessive alcohol consumption also increases one’s risk of developing these conditions.
There is no cure for Osteopenia or Osteoporosis however there are a variety of treatments to prevent the progression of the disease and to prevent fractures. Treatments may include certain medications, exercises, and Calcium and Vitamin D supplements. One relatively unknown but promising technique referred to as Pulsed Electro-Magnetic Field (PEMF) therapy has been shown to be a beneficial treatment for Osteopenia and Osteoporosis. PEMF involves applying an electromagnetic pulse to the patient’s body using a PEMF device which stimulates the body's healing process. Electromagnetic fields can penetrate through bones and can stimulate the entire bone to heal from a cellular level. Supplementing PEMF with the other treatments for Osteopenia or Osteoporosis enhances PEMF as it is supplying the body's cells with more substrates to aid in the healing process.
Furthermore, some evidence even suggests that PEMF can enhance bone healing and bone formation and as such can help manage any fractures caused by the conditions. To treat these conditions generally long-term and whole body PEMF are required. Before receiving and treatment always consult with a medical doctor to ensure the treatment is suitable for you.
To conclude, PEMF is a great treatment to compliment other treatments for Osteopenia and Osteoporosis. As there is not enough research done on PEMF for a treatment for Osteopenia and Osteoporosis, yet it is not recommended to use it as the sole treatment. Instead, it nicely complements the other treatments which includes lifestyle changes, medications and supplements.