Loss of bone density. You can run from it but you can’t hide. Osteoporosis (the loss of bone density) is an inescapable fact of growing older. For many of us the Big O equates to just aches and pains. For many more adults the effect of osteoporosis means broken bones and fractures and the loss of mobility that these injuries result in.
We often refer to high blood pressure as the “Silent Disease,” but the real silent killer is osteoporosis because it kind of sneaks up on you and it’s not until you hurt a hip or fracture a bone that you become aware of its impact.
Cause and Prevention
Because May is Osteoporosis Awareness Month, it’s important to understand not only the causes and risks but also the steps in prevention or body maintenance. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) one in two Americans 50 years old and older will be at risk for osteoporosis-caused fractures or related joint injuries by the year 2020 — just around the corner.
Osteopososis can be caused by a number of things including heredity, age, inactivity, lack of calcium and, for many women, menopause can be a trigger as well. Osteoporosis can easily go unchecked. Throughout our lives, until about the mid-30s, our bones act as a living entity. New bone replaces old bone.
After about age 35, that process starts to slow down and bone loss occurs faster than bone growth. The bad part is bones cannot be replaced, per se. Healing becomes slower. A bone mineral density test is a smart and painless way to see if osteoporosis is rearing its ugly head.
Thus, the goal of osteoporosis treatment it to prevent further loss and take care of the existing bone structure.
That said, the CDC recommends the following:
- Calcium is Your Friend – That means dairy products for sure but don’t shy away for dried beans and leafy green vegetables. Calcium supplements may also be a consideration.
- The Right Weight – When it comes to bone health, being underweight can do as much harm to your body as being overweight. You don’t want to overstress the bones because you are overweight. Conversely, you can lose weight and lose bone strength as well.
- Don’t Slack Off Physically – It’s not just a matter of staying active. It’s about pushing your body to keep fit. Low impact sports such as swimming are extremely beneficial, but lifting weights has its place as well. Working out not only encourages bone growth but it strengthens muscles which, in turn, protects the bones. Your chiropractor can advise you on proper body mechanics that will allow you to get the most out of your exercise regimen.
- Practice “Fall” Prevention – Some things are in your control, such as keeping fit, keeping your house and hallways clutter-free to prevent falling, and having an annual eye exam. You’re going to trip over what you can’t see so don’t skep the eye test.
We’ve established that bone mass can’t be replaced but you can slow down the effects by staying fit, eating right and visiting your chiropractor on a regular basis.
But don’t practice these things just during this month of May but rather all year round. Your bones will thank you for it!
If you have other questions about bone health, a valuable resource is your local expert at The Joint Chiropractic. A chiropractic adjustment can help the central nervous system work optimally, which can help prevent falling and help you remain sharper. It can also increase range of motion and joint health and flexibility.
Fracture by Andreas D. is licensed under CC BY 4.0
This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.