An osteoporosis doctor can be a primary care physician or a medical specialist. Types of osteoporosis doctors include rheumatologists, endocrinologists, and geriatricians.
Healthcare professionals can help someone manage osteoporosis with various forms of treatment, such as medical interventions and therapy.
This article will discuss which healthcare professionals can treat osteoporosis and osteoporosis-related problems, how to find a specialist, and more.
There is not one type of doctor for osteoporosis. Rather,
Which type of doctor treats osteoporosis usually depends on the condition’s underlying cause.
Primary care doctors
Primary care doctors can provide osteoporosis care through screening, diagnosis, and treatment.
A primary doctor will often be the first point of contact for someone with osteoporosis. After an assessment, primary care doctors can refer a person to a specialist with more expertise, depending on the suspected cause of osteoporosis.
For example, they may refer the individual to an endocrinologist if they have a glandular condition that can cause osteoporosis.
Rheumatologists specialize in conditions relating to inflammation in joints, bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
Rheumatic conditions relating to osteoporosis include:
- rheumatoid arthritis
- psoriatic arthritis
- systemic lupus erythematosus
- systemic sclerosis
- vasculitides, a group of conditions that can inflame the blood vessels
- Sjögren disease
- crystal-induced arthritides
People with rheumatic disease often have a higher
A rheumatologist can work with a person to address these possible underlying causes, easing osteoporosis symptoms.
Endocrinologists can diagnose osteoporosis and provide hormonal medications to alleviate symptoms and strengthen a person’s bones against fractures.
Geriatricians are doctors who specialize in geriatric medicine, which treats those 65 years of age and older.
As the risk of osteoporosis increases with age, geriatricians need to have experience with osteoporosis and osteoporosis-related issues.
In addition to osteoporosis, geriatricians also have experience treating cognitive and mobility as well as concerns managing medication.
A gynecologist can work with a person experiencing menopause to prevent and manage osteoporosis. They may also work alongside endocrinologists to balance hormone levels.
Orthopedists can treat issues involving the musculoskeletal system, including joints, ligaments, muscles, tendons, and bones.
Orthopedic doctors primarily treat fractures. This is important for people with osteoporosis, who are often vulnerable to fractures.
A person with a fracture resulting from osteoporosis may need to consult an orthopedist to treat the fracture. However, orthopedists do not treat the underlying causes of the condition.
After a treatment plan for the fracture is in place, the person needs continued treatment for osteoporosis by their primary care physician or endocrinologist.
Physiatrists are doctors who treat musculoskeletal and nervous system conditions. Osteoporosis is in the musculoskeletal category.
The main focus of physiatrists is improving a person’s musculoskeletal function. In the context of osteoporosis, they may get involved after the individual sustains a fracture.
They will continue treatment that previous medical professionals have started and often choose a combined treatment approach that includes rehabilitation and physical therapy.
In addition to medical doctors from varying specialties, a person with osteoporosis might also receive care from a:
- Nurse educator: A nurse educator can help a person set up their treatment plan and increase their awareness and understanding of their condition.
- Occupational therapist: An occupational therapist can help someone learn how to perform activities of daily living in ways that reduce pain, protect their bones and joints, and conserve energy.
- Physical therapist: A physical therapist can help someone learn how to improve their joint function, balance, and muscle strength and reduce their risk of falling.
- Dietitian: A dietitian can provide nutrition education aimed at improving bone health.
Anyone with concerns regarding osteoporosis should consult a doctor who can refer them to a specialist if necessary.
The following are answers to common questions about finding an osteoporosis doctor.
Should I see an endocrinologist for osteoporosis?
Yes, a person with osteoporosis should consult an endocrinologist. A primary care doctor may make the referral.
There does not need to be a hormonal cause of osteoporosis for an endocrinology referral. Sometimes, the person requires treatment with injectable medications that an endocrinologist can prescribe.
Osteoporosis can occur from menopause or disorders involving the pituitary or thyroid gland. However, there does not need to be a link with menopause, pituitary, thyroid, or any gland.
What doctor can diagnose osteoporosis?
Specialists who could diagnose osteoporosis include rheumatologists, endocrinologists, and geriatricians.
Does a person need to speak with a rheumatologist for osteoporosis?
A rheumatologist is only one of several types of medical doctors that can provide osteoporosis diagnosis and treatment.
A person may wish to consult a rheumatologist if their osteoporosis relates to a condition involving inflammation in joints or bones, such as rheumatoid arthritis.
Osteoporosis is a disease that weakens a person’s bones and increases their risk of bone fracture.
Treatment can prevent fractures and reduce the effects of osteoporosis.
Several different healthcare professionals can treat osteoporosis. A person can start by speaking with their primary care physician, who can refer them to a specialist if necessary.