Secondary Osteoporosis And Managing Its Accompanying Symptoms


September 7, 2023

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When we hear the term “osteoporosis,” thoughts of frail bones and diminished bone health likely come to mind, particularly as a result of aging. However, you should be aware of a lesser-known type of osteoporosis – secondary osteoporosis.

This article takes a closer look at the intricacies of secondary osteoporosis, highlighting its differences from primary osteoporosis and discussing the challenges people may face when dealing with this impactful form of bone disease.

We will explore the underlying causes, recognizable signs and symptoms, and the medical conditions often linked with secondary osteoporosis. Additionally, we will discuss the spectrum of management strategies, ranging from conventional treatments to innovative approaches such as Neurofunctional Pain Management.

Our goal is to provide insights that lead you toward finding effective treatments and enduring relief tailored to your individual needs and lifestyle. We want you to live a life unburdened by the constraints of secondary osteoporosis.

With this knowledge, you can feel confident in making informed decisions regarding your bone health and overall well-being. Let’s begin by defining secondary osteoporosis and how it differs from primary osteoporosis.

What Is Secondary Osteoporosis?

Did you know that most of the adult skeleton is replaced roughly every ten years? Much like your skin, your bones continue to remodel throughout your life via an intricate process known as “resorption” and “renewal.” This process heavily relies on an equilibrium state of your body reabsorbing old bone tissue (resorption) and replenishing it with new tissue (renewal).

Secondary osteoporosis disrupts the delicate balance of your bone’s resorption and renewal, decreasing the quality and quantity of bone tissue. Decreased bone density significantly compromises bone health, reducing overall skeletal strength and increasing fracture susceptibility.

Recognizing that secondary osteoporosis shares important differences with its primary counterpart is crucial, which we will discuss next.

Differentiating Primary And Secondary Osteoporosis

Identifying the differences between the primary and secondary forms of osteoporosis is an important aspect of better understanding their unique attributes and health implications.

Primary osteoporosis occurs as a natural part of the aging process, where the pace of bone renewal slows over time. In comparison, secondary osteoporosis occurs as a consequence of secondary factors such as an underlying health condition or certain medications.

These secondary factors lead to heightened resorption, a situation where the rate of bone renewal cannot keep up with resorption, ultimately reducing bone density and increasing frailty.

When we can differentiate between the two forms of osteoporosis, it guides us toward tailored strategies for both disease prevention and symptom management. Moving forward, let’s look into the signs and symptoms that may indicate the development of secondary osteoporosis.

Common Signs And Symptoms Of Secondary Osteoporosis

Most bone diseases, including secondary osteoporosis, do not present symptoms during their early development. In fact, both osteoporosis forms are referred to as “silent conditions” because individuals frequently remain unaware of their presence until a minor incident leads to a major bone fracture, revealing the underlying bone frailty.

Nonetheless, secondary osteoporosis might reveal itself through several subtle symptoms. These include gradual height loss, a hunched posture of the upper back, and back pain. Additionally, individuals can experience localized discomfort in bones or joints, especially during load-bearing activities, along with extended periods of deep pain or tenderness following a minor injury.

By staying watchful and proactive, secondary osteoporosis may be detected early. This leads us to explore some of the causes of secondary osteoporosis in the upcoming section.

Causes Of Secondary Osteoporosis

We now understand that secondary osteoporosis is a multifaceted condition intertwined with secondary factors. For example, complications from various health conditions can bring rise to secondary osteoporosis. Additionally, medications prescribed to treat many health conditions can inadvertently contribute to weakened bones. 

Alongside these two common causes is an array of lifestyle factors and habits that influence overall bone health. Here, we will discuss the interplay of these components and how they collectively contribute to developing secondary osteoporosis.

Health Conditions

Various health conditions can trigger the development of osteoporosis. These conditions influence the vital processes of bone growth, where they can cause shifts in bone replenishment, the depletion of important minerals, alteration of the bone structure, and even changes in the expression and function of individual bone cells. Some of the more common health conditions include:

Gastrointestinal Diseases

Disorders that affect the gastrointestinal tract, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), can disrupt the absorption of essential vitamins and minerals. Depletion of these essential nutrients can directly affect bone health, reducing their density and overall strength.

Rheumatological Conditions

Rheumatic diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, are inflammatory autoimmune conditions. Many factors from rheumatological conditions combine to damage bone health and density, including the direct impact of inflammation, poor nutrition, and reduced mobility. Additionally, medications used to treat these conditions, specifically glucocorticoids, can inadvertently contribute to bone weakening.

Chronic Kidney Disease

Your kidneys are vital in balancing the hormones and minerals required for optimal bone health. When your kidney function is impacted by disease, it can lead to imbalances that deplete your bones of calcium, compromising their structure and density.


While useful for treating specific health concerns, certain drugs can paradoxically induce side effects that accelerate bone loss by catalyzing resorption. This leads to bone weakening and an increased risk of fractures.

These medications include some anticonvulsants, certain cancer treatments, and some medications used to suppress the immune system, like methotrexate. Additionally, glucocorticoids are a prominent treatment for many health conditions. Let’s briefly examine how this drug explicitly affects bone mass.

Glucocorticoid-Induced Bone Loss

Prednisone, hydrocortisone, and dexamethasone are examples of glucocorticoid medications, a class of steroid hormones. Glucocorticoids treat a wide range of inflammatory health conditions such as arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, asthma, and most cancers. However, having increased exposure to glucocorticoids can damage our bones. They lower the bone renewal rate and can increase bone resorption. As a result, this can lead to the development of secondary osteoporosis.

Awareness of the potential side effects of all medications is pivotal, ensuring that you and your healthcare provider make informed choices that balance both your health needs and the preservation of bone density.

Lifestyle Factors

The lifestyle choices we make will greatly impact our overall bone health. Engaging in regular weight-bearing exercises, such as weightlifting, is well known to improve overall bone density. Additionally, maintaining a healthy diet rich in essential nutrients, and avoiding detrimental habits like smoking and excessive alcohol consumption are potent tools in the fight against secondary osteoporosis.

These lifestyle factors play important roles in managing the healthy balance of bone renewal and resorption, while optimizing overall health and promoting positive well-being.

Why Is Early Diagnosis Crucial?

Discussing your concerns about your bone health with your doctor is important. Learning all the facts and understanding the bigger picture of your bone health can help you to take proactive steps toward managing your overall bone health and preventing the progression or exacerbation of osteoporosis.

An early diagnosis, particularly a distinction between primary and secondary osteoporosis, is pivotal for uncovering the root cause of bone loss and making informed decisions about suitable treatments. The following section will discuss the more conventional approaches your doctor might recommend to address a diagnosis of secondary osteoporosis.

Conventional Approach To Managing Secondary Osteoporosis

Due to the multi-dimensional nature of secondary osteoporosis, many components of this condition require a specialist approach to finalize a comprehensive strategy tailored to your individual needs. Some of the components involved in this approach include:

  • Involving various medical specialists: A team of medical experts can conduct specialist assessments and finalize a comprehensive strategy tailored to the individual needs of your bone health. 
  • Depending on the underlying cause of your condition, this may include specialists such as endocrinologists, rheumatologists, nephrologists, physiotherapists, and pharmacists, all providing insights into the intricate interplay of various health factors to help manage secondary osteoporosis. 
  • Medications: Your team of health professionals collaborates to assess the most suitable medication regimen for you. The medications prescribed target the specific mechanisms contributing to bone loss and work towards slowing down its progression. 
  • Additionally, over-the-counter analgesics or more potent prescription drugs such as opioids may be recommended for painful symptoms. It is paramount that medications are carefully selected and monitored to ensure optimal effectiveness and minimize potential side effects.
  • Lifestyle modifications: Positive changes to detrimental lifestyle habits can greatly enhance health outcomes for people with secondary osteoporosis. It may begin with receiving the necessary support to reduce alcohol intake or quit smoking. 
  • Additionally, a tailored weight-bearing exercise program that is safe and effective can be established with guidance from your medical team. This program will help to strengthen bones and promote healthy renewal and resorption.
  • Nutritional support: Establishing a diet rich in calcium, vitamin D, and other essential nutrients is essential in fostering healthy bones. A nutritional expert can address your preferences and dietary requirements to formulate a plan that meets your needs.

While specific management plans may help slow the progression of osteoporosis, it can be challenging to address the accompanying painful symptoms without strong pain medications.

As a result, some individuals may seek alternative therapies that don’t rely on pharmaceuticals. In the next section, we explore Neurofunctional Pain Management as a solution for managing the pain related to osteoporosis.

How RelatyvTargets Pain Caused By Osteoporosis

As osteoporosis weakens bone integrity, micro fractures can develop, especially within large weight-bearing joints such as the spine, hips, and knees. By ta eting the nervous system’s response to pain, Relatyv aims to relieve the pain caused by osteoporosis through specialized Neurofunctional Pain Management protocols. These include:

  • Electroanalgesia
  • Electroanalgesia involves high-pulse electrical stimulation that targets the intricate connections between pain, the nervous system, and the brain. This non-invasive therapy intercepts pain signals at the nerve’s source, providing pain relief at a cellular level. Electroanalgesia can mitigate the discomfort from osteoporosis-related microfractures by modulating the nervous system’s responses.
  • IV therapy
  • Specialized intravenous therapy (IV therapy) directly introduces vital nutrients essential for bone health into the bloodstream, enhancing their availability and maximizing their impact. This essential component of Neurofunctional Pain Management is a targeted approach that supports organ function, replenishes minerals, and reduces inflammation, contributing to overall pain reduction and more robust bones.
  • Lifestyle counseling
  • At Relatyv, we understand that pain goes beyond physical sensations, where it also incorporates aspects of your mental health and overall sense of well-being. Our team of experts fosters an approach to pain management that encompasses the whole person. We offer personalized lifestyle counseling to support individuals with osteoporosis in making informed lifestyle choices. We provide guidance that includes exercise routines to fortify vulnerable joints, dietary recommendations to nurture bone health, and strategies to fosters mindful stress reduction habits.

Our specialized Neurofunctional Pain Management protocol utilizes these innovative techniques collaboratively to address the pain associated with this incurable disease. Let’s shift our focus to examine the prognosis of secondary osteoporosis.

Prognosis Of Secondary Osteoporosis

While secondary osteoporosis cannot be cured, detecting the condition early and following a management plan within the early stages can significantly alter its trajectory. The outlook for individuals grappling with secondary osteoporosis relies heavily on the steps you take to prevent it and the tailored treatments prescribed to you.

By working closely with your team of healthcare professionals, you can mitigate the impact of secondary osteoporosis and enhance the long-term health of your bones, optimizing your future health outcomes. 

Next, we will discuss some practical steps you can take that may help prevent the development of osteoporosis.

What Are The Prevention Strategies?

Prevention is the cornerstone of optimal health, including bone health. By employing practical strategies to promote strong bones, you can help prevent weak bones that are susceptible to breakage. These include:

  • Embracing a well-balanced diet rich in vitamin D and calcium
  • Engaging in bone-strengthening exercises like weightlifting or jogging
  • Reducing your alcohol intake
  • Quitting smoking
  • Addressing underlying health conditions
  • Maintaining regular bone health checkups

Although most of our bone strength develops during our childhood and teenage years, these are some helpful ways you can slow age-related bone loss to prevent your bones from becoming weak and brittle.

Stop Pain Associated With Osteoporosis With Relatyv

Secondary osteoporosis is a complex condition that can significantly affect bone health and reduce the quality of life for those affected. However, through the insights of this article, you are now armed with the awareness and knowledge to actively lower your risk of this disease impacting your life.

Recognizing the subtle signs and symptoms, understanding how it develops, and exploring the management strategies available will contribute to mitigating the effects of secondary osteoporosis. By adopting practical strategies and staying vigilant with checkups, you can effectively reduce the risk factors associated with developing this complex condition.

Seeking professional guidance and prompt treatment can lead to effective solutions that manage the painful symptoms of secondary osteoporosis. You can find lasting relief and improved quality of life through the innovative techniques of Neurofunctional Pain Management.

At Relatyv, our tailored approach strives to reduce pain and magnify your overall well-being. By embracing these strategies and seeking support from our experts, you can take charge of your bone health and pave the way to a future free from the constraints of secondary osteoporosis.


About the Author

Will is a healthcare executive, innovator, entrepreneur, inventor, and writer with a wide range of experience in the medical field. Will has multiple degrees in a wide range of subjects that give depth to his capability as an entrepreneur and capacity to operate as an innovative healthcare executive.

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