Low Bone Density

Low bone density is when your bone density is lower than normal, but not low enough to be considered osteoporosis. It may mean that you have a greater chance of getting osteoporosis if you lose bone in the future because you have less bone to lose. People with low bone density are more likely to break a bone compared to people with normal bone density.

Detecting Low Bone Density

A bone density test will determine whether you have normal bone density, low bone density or osteoporosis. Having low bone density does not necessarily mean you are losing bone. Your bone density may still be considered normal for you. Some people never have normal bone density for a variety of reasons, including genetics, body size or certain diseases and conditions. The older you are, the more likely you are to have low bone density.

Understanding Your Bone Density Test

The result of your bone density test is reported as a number called a T-score. A T-score between –1.0 and –2.5 means you have low bone density. Examples are having a T-score of -1.2, -1.5, -2.0 and -2.2. A person with a T-score of -2.2 has lower bone density than a person with a T-score of -1.2.

If you have low bone density, your healthcare provider may recommend that you start taking an osteoporosis medicine. Be sure to talk about the risks and benefits of taking (or not taking) a medicine. The online fracture risk assessment tool, FRAX can be used to estimate your chance of breaking a bone within the next 10 years and help you decide whether you might benefit from taking an osteoporosis medicine.

Related

Types of Osteoporosis Medications

There are two categories of osteoporosis medications: antiresorptive medications that slow bone loss and anabolic drugs that increase the rate of bone formation.

Managing Your Pain

Recovering from broken bones can be a long and painful process for some people. If you have ongoing pain, talk to your healthcare provider about what you can do to control your pain. 

Treatment with Osteoporosis Medication

There are many things to think about when choosing the right osteoporosis medicine. You and your healthcare provider may want to look at several things.