John Muir Health is your resource for meeting the challenges of osteoporosis. We support and guide you through every step, from prevention through treatment.
To check for osteoporosis, we use a special X-ray method called bone densitometry testing. We perform safe, quick diagnostic and screening bone density tests of the spine, hip and forearm. The results help us identify the most effective treatment options for you.
Treatment may include changes to your diet, calcium and vitamin D supplements, exercise, and/or prescribed medications. All of these methods can lessen your risk of fracture and the resulting pain, expense, and danger.
Bones naturally lose their density and strength gradually over time. In people with osteoporosis, this process happens faster. The result is an increasing risk of fracture, particularly in the spine, ribs, hips, and wrists.
Women and men can develop osteoporosis at any age, but it is most common in post-menopausal women. One out of two women over 50 will have an osteoporotic fracture, compared to one in four men over 50.
In addition to age, several factors can increase your osteoporosis risk. They include:
- Advanced Age
- Low peak bone mass at maturity
- Personal history of fractures after age 50
- Family history of fractures or osteoporosis
- Low body weight
- Low calcium intake or vitamin D deficiency
- Smoking or high alcohol consumption
- Use of corticosteroids or other high-risk medications
- Medical conditions such as ulcerative colitis, celiac disease, hyperthyroidism, hyperparathyroidism, kidney failure
The best way to detect bone loss is a quick and painless process called bone densitometry testing. Unlike a standard X-ray, densitometry can measure even very small amounts of bone loss.
We recommend a test for the following individuals:
- Women 65 and older
- Men 70 and older
- Postmenopausal women who have risk factors
- Adults who have had a fragility fracture (an incident in which healthy bones would not be expected to break), any condition associated with low bone mass, or other risk factors
We understand that living with osteoporosis requires more than accurate diagnosis and sound treatment. Our patient education library offers extensive information and videos about bone loss, menopause, and managing osteoporosis.
A John Muir Health physical therapist teaches you safer exercise techniques and bone-strengthening exercises. The class is available at multiple locations. Call the Women’s Health Center at (925) 941-7900 or review our classes online.
Our medical imaging departments rely on state-of-the art scanners. The radiologists interpreting the scans are recognized by the International Society for Clinical Densitometry as Certified Clinical Densitometrists who have undergone special training.
The medical director interpreting the scans and the technologists performing the scans at the Women’s Health Center in Walnut Creek have undergone extensive training and are certified by the International Society for Clinical Densitometry.
What to Expect
During a comprehensive bone densitometry, you remain still on a padded table while the equipment scans one or two areas of your body. The hip and lower spine are the typical areas of bone evaluated; together, they take about 10 minutes to scan. For your comfort, we ask that you wear clothing with no zippers, rivets, or other metal around the spine or hip areas.
Patients must have a signed written doctor’s order before scheduling an appointment. Some insurance companies may require prior authorization so please check with your insurer for more information.
For information or to schedule an appointment at the Women's Health Center, call (925) 941-7990.
To schedule an appointment at John Muir Medical Center, Concord, call (925) 674-2250. For fee information, call (925) 674-2898.