What doesn’t break you makes you stronger: How we can reduce the effects of Osteoporosis

calcium foodWe know that when we train a muscle it becomes stronger. But, can we do the same with a bone?

Studies have shown us that a bone gets strong when mechanical pressure is applied on it, for example walking or running. The reverse is true too; when no mechanical impact applied on the bone its density reduces and puts the skeleton more likely to fracture.

Decrease in bone volume is a condition known as Osteoporosis (osteo= bone, porosis=degeneration). Postmenopausal and age are the most common causes of osteoporosis (OA). However, immobilization, alcohol abuse, poor diet and smoking are all secondary causes of OA.

Osteoporosis develops less often and later in age in men than women. If you are over 50 years of age you are advised to check your bone density just to be on the safe side and to rule OA out. It is a condition that develops over a long period of time and manifests itself by a bone fracture. Fracture duo to OA most commonly occurs in the spine, hip and wrist.

We can prevent it!!

Bone is made of calcium, therefore eat calcium as simple as it is. You can find it in dairy products, soybeans or spinach. However, remember that calcium is absorbed with the aid of vitamin D therefore make sure you expose yourself to the sun. Recent research suggests vitamin D has other benefits too, such as protecting against colds and fighting depression. Reducing smoking and alcohol consumption is advisable.

Avoid sedentary lifestyle, do physical activities that include weight bearing in order and allow your bones to naturally adapt to the pressure and get stronger. For example: take a walk or hike, climb a stair or two, go for a run or take a cycle round.

Here at the Buckingham clinic we use a range of weight bearing exercise techniques to improve strength, balance and function. All of which have been scientifically proven to help reduce loss of bone mass and thus combat the effects of Osteoporosis.

Reference:

  1. Ray N, Chan JK, Thamer M, et al: Medical expenditures for the treatment of osteoporotic fractures in the United States in 1995. J Bone Miner Res 1997; 12:24-35
  2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9431639

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