Gynecology & Women's Health located in Napa, CA


The National Osteoporosis Foundation estimates that women make up about 80% of Americans with osteoporosis. John Armstrong Jr., MD, MS, works with you to prevent and treat osteoporosis and protect your bone health as you age. Call  John T. Armstrong Jr. MD Inc. in Napa, California, today or schedule an appointment online to learn more. The practice also offers telehealth visits for your convenience.

Osteoporosis Q & A

What is osteoporosis?

Your bones are living tissue that constantly replenishes itself. When old bone dies, new tissue takes its place. The inside of the bone contains small holes resembling a honeycomb. 

Osteoporosis causes these holes to grow. As the bones become more porous, they lose their density and strength. This process leaves the bones vulnerable to breakage. 

How does osteoporosis develop?

Osteoporosis develops when new bone formation doesn’t outpace resorption — the process in which old bone breaks down. As the disease progresses, the bone’s protective walls thin and weaken. Meanwhile, the gaps inside the bones grow larger. This lack of density increases the risk of fractures and chronic pain.

While anybody can develop osteoporosis, common risk factors include:

  • Being a woman
  • Insufficient calcium or vitamin D
  • Physical inactivity
  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Hormone imbalance
  • Long-term use of corticosteroids
  • Low body weight
  • Small body frame

Having a family history of osteoporosis can also increase your risk of developing the disease with age. 

What are the signs of osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis can be silent at first. Many women don’t realize they have a problem until they break a bone. Understanding the early warning signs of osteoporosis ensures you have the information to take action as soon as possible. Common signs include:

  • Increased back pain
  • Lost height
  • Stooped or hunched posture
  • Fractures that happen easily

Because osteoporosis has very few early symptoms, Dr. Armstrong will take a proactive approach that focuses on early screenings.

How do doctors diagnose osteoporosis?

Reviewing your medical history and performing a physical exam can help your gynecologist determine whether you need additional diagnostics. A bone density scan is necessary to diagnose osteoporosis. This painless X-ray measures the density in your hips and spine to ensure an accurate diagnosis.

I have osteoporosis. What are my treatment options?

While osteoporosis isn’t curable, combining medication, calcium supplements, and weight-bearing exercises can help protect your bone health. Your doctor may also prescribe bone-building medications to help prevent fractures.

Early intervention is key when treating and preventing osteoporosis. If your gynecologist suspects you’re at risk of osteoporosis, they may recommend:

  • Bioidentical hormones replacement therapy (BHRT)
  • Getting plenty of calcium and vitamin D
  • Exercising
  • Quitting smoking
  • Limiting your alcohol intake

John T. Armstrong Jr. MD Inc. provides personalized care for osteoporosis. Call or schedule an appointment online today to learn more.