Bone Density Test
The density of your bones is important to prevent unnecessary fractures. Osteoporosis is a disease that results in weakened, less dense bones that can fracture easily. One of the tests used to diagnose osteoporosis is a bone density test, which can identify the disease and monitor treatment progress. At Primary Care Joliet, one of the diagnostic tools we offer for patients is bone density testing at our clinics in Joliet and Wilmington, IL.
Who Should Receive Osteoporosis Screening?
Osteoporosis can be caused by a variety of factors that strip minerals from the bones, weakening their strength. Medication, hormonal changes, diet, genetics and other factors can contribute to the risk of osteoporosis. Older women, especially after menopause, are at the highest risk of osteoporosis and should receive screening as recommended by their primary care physician. However, all genders and ages can be at risk and may benefit from a bone density test. Some indications for osteoporosis screening include:
- Long-term use of medications that impact bone density, such as corticosteroids
- Family history of osteoporosis
- Height has decreased – those who have lost over an inch and a half may have spinal compression fractures that indicate osteoporosis
- Recurrent bone fractures
Osteoporosis can allow vertebrae to collapse, which can cause back pain, spine conditions and radiculopathy. It can also increase the risk for serious bone fractures that can jeopardize mobility and health. Bone density tests can identify the disease and allow for a treatment plan to strengthen bones and minimize injury risks.
What to Expect
If a bone density test is recommended to screen for osteoporosis, it is performed similarly to an x-ray. A low dose of radiation is used to test the mineral content of a portion of bone. The spine or hip are the most commonly scanned areas to test for bone density. The procedure is not painful, and it has very low radiation exposure, typically less than a chest x-ray.
At Primary Care Joliet, we offer bone density tests for osteoporosis screening and for monitoring osteoporosis treatment. To schedule a bone density test, contact one of our medical centers near you in Joliet or Wilmington, IL. You can also book your appointment online on our website.