Maintaining Healthy Bones - Preventing Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a condition where the bones become weaker & thinner & more able to break. Osteopenia is where your bones are less dense than the average for your age and gender but not quite up to being called Osteoporosis. Your Physio can help you identify if you are at risk and can educate you in keeping your bones healthy as Osteoporosis has a silent onset.
Some of the risk factors include:
- Gender, with a higher risk if you are a woman.
- Age, the older you are, the greater the risk.
- Race, the lighter your skin, the greater the risk. Vitamin D levels.
- Family history, if close family relatives have Osteoporosis you are at greater risk.
- Body type, with a smaller initial bone density having a higher risk.
- Women, early menopause put you at greater risk.
- Men may need to have Testosterone levels checked.
- Medication such as Corticosteroids.
- Other Medical conditions that may affect Calcium absorption such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease or Coeliac disease.
Other risk factors that can be addressed are a sedentary lifestyle, menstrual interruptions, poor diet (in particular lack of calcium & Vitamin D), cigarette smoking & alcohol. Some medications, for example oral steroids used for asthma & other conditions, also puts you at a higher risk for osteoporosis.
If you think you have a number of the risk factors & haven’t had a bone density scan in the past maybe it is the time to organise a bone density scan. In order to do this you will need to consult your General Practitioner. The test is a special type of X-ray that has a look at your lower spine & hip to determine your bone density & your risk compared to average for your age & sex. Osteoporosis can certainly affect men as well if they have some of those risk factors.
Prevention of Osteoporosis:
- Limit alcohol intake
- Limit caffeine
- Limit fizzy drinks
- Make small changes to your diet.
- Start a weight bearing exercise programme, including strengthening exercises. For assistance in designing this programme contact the Paddington Physiotherapy for an appointment time.