Degeneration And Osteoporosis, Are They The Same?
Degeneration and osteoporosis are terms often thrown at people without explanation and are often misunderstood.
Degeneration is a general term that describes the process of something breaking down or declining. It can be used to describe many things; degeneration of muscle, degeneration of bone or degenerative disc disease. During spinal degeneration many conditions can result such as the formation of osteophytes (bone spur),pain/inflammation and stenosis (narrowing of the spaces for your nerves) which can lead to a variety of consequences.
Osteoporosis is the loss of bone density/mass and the bone becomes weak and brittle. Bone turn over or remodelling varies between 100 to 1000 days (Eriksen,2010); in a sense it means you can have a new set of bones 3 times a year. This process can slow down as you age but this process never stops. In severe cases even a simple bend of the lower back can cause a compression fracture in your spine.
In terms of health you are never staying still, you are either going towards health or away from it; that is why people at the same age can have different stages of degeneration and osteoporosis (Miller,1988). It all comes down to how you look after your health. Prevention and maintenance as early as possible is the key to longevity and health. If you are concerned, you should get your health checked now to stay health and prevent the problems before they become permanent.
Dr. Tian Jing Yu (B.Sc.Chiro)