Various healthcare professionals, from rheumatologists to gynecologists, can treat osteoporosis and help prevent complications, including bone fractures.
If left unmanaged, osteoporosis can lead to loss of bone mass and increase your risk of fractures. This is true for primary osteoporosis, which happens on its own, and secondary osteoporosis, which occurs due to another condition.
Several types of doctors and other healthcare professionals can help you manage osteoporosis. The best option for you will depend on many factors, including any underlying causes of your osteoporosis and other health needs you may have.
Here’s a closer look at some of the professionals who can help.
Your primary care doctor or family clinician you see for general health concerns and annual physicals may be a good starting point.
Depending on their background and area of expertise, they may be able to help by recommending physical activity, nutrition, and lifestyle tips. They can also prescribe medication.
Even if they don’t have expertise in this area, they can offer a referral to another specialist who does.
An endocrinologist specializes in hormone-related conditions. Hormonal changes, specifically decreases and testosterone and the reduction of estrogen after menopause, play a big role in primary osteoporosis.
An endocrinologist can help correct hormone imbalances and recommend lifestyle changes to help treat osteoporosis.
Geriatricians specialize in healthcare for older adults. The risk for osteoporosis increases with age, so geriatricians often have lots of experience with managing osteoporosis.
A rheumatologist is a specialist in musculoskeletal and autoimmune conditions. They diagnose and treat conditions affecting the bones and joints using nonsurgical methods.
They might coordinate your treatment with a physical therapist, orthopedic surgeon, or other doctor.
Gynecologists specialize in female reproductive health. The onset of menopause leads to a drop in estrogen, a hormone that plays a role in protecting your bones. This drop in estrogen can lead to osteoporosis.
A gynecologist can offer guidance on managing menopause and some of its potential effects, including osteoporosis.
A physical therapist is a movement specialist. They can help you to improve balance, strength, and function through a specific exercise program.
They can help you to choose and complete appropriate exercises and activities so you can improve your strength while living with osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis increases bone fracture risk. An orthopedic surgeon treats bone fractures, including those that result from osteoporosis.
Although an orthopedic surgeon likely will not offer treatment and management recommendations for osteoporosis, you may be referred to one if you experience a fracture.
What is the best doctor to see for osteoporosis?
Your choice of healthcare professional depends on the cause of your osteoporosis, but your primary healthcare professional is a good place to start.
Is it better to see an endocrinologist or a rheumatologist for osteoporosis?
Both endocrinologists and rheumatologists can offer osteoporosis testing, diagnosis, and treatment. Rheumatologists specialize in conditions of the bones and joints while endocrinologists specialize in hormone imbalances.
Where do I get an osteoporosis test?
A primary healthcare professional or specialist can
Your choice of a doctor for managing osteoporosis depends on personal preference and the underlying cause of the condition. You might start with a primary care professional who can refer you to a specialist if necessary.