Osteoporosis: What you need to know

What is Osteoporosis?

Our bones are constantly being broken down and rebuilt. Osteoporosis is a condition that affects our bones and occurs when we lose minerals such as calcium faster than we are able to replace them. As our result our bones become weaker are more likely to fracture. Fractures to the spine, hips, ribs and wrists are most common however, they can occur in any bone in the body.

Why is it called the “silent disease”?

Osteoporosis is often called the “silent disease” because there are no symptoms associated with it. Typically people don’t know they have osteoporosis until they suffer a fracture.

Unfortunately around the age of 35 our bone density begins to decrease. To be diagnosed with osteoporosis your bone density needs to be significantly lower than normal and is usually determined by a bone density scan.

Risk factors

  • Women are more susceptible, especially after menopause
  • Family history of osteoporosis
  • Low levels of vitamin D and calcium
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Smoking
  • Excessive drinking
  • Low levels of oestrogen
  • Long-term use of corticosteroids (eg. Asthma medication)
  • Excessive caffeine consumption
  • Suffer from a condition that affects the body to absorb nutrients (crohns, coeliac etc.)

How can I decrease the chance of getting osteoporosis?

There are things that you can do to limit your chance of getting osteoporosis.

  • Engage in regular weight bearing activity
  • Obtain sufficient amounts of vitamin D
  • Eat calcium rich foods
  • Avoid smoking and excessive drinking
  • Limit caffeine consumption

If you have already been diagnosed with osteoporosis:

  1. Engage in safer exercise options: As you are more at risk to sustain bone fractures it is best to consult a professional as they will show you what exercises are safe to do. Poor form during strength and high intensity training my lead to fractures.
  2. Fall prevention: Reducing the likelihood of a fall is very important, as you are more likely to suffer a fracture. Strategies like performing balance exercises, wearing prescription glasses, wearing appropriate footwear or even wearing hip protectors are good strategies to limit the chance of a fall and a fracture.
  3. Medication: Consult your GP as medication will vary from each individual.

Osteoporotic treatment at Dee Why Chiropractic Care

At Dee Why Chiropractic Care we treat many patients that have been diagnosed with osteoporosis seeking treatment for conditions such as low back and neck pain. We modify our treatment to accommodate each patient to be safe and effective. We prescribe specific home exercises, with the purpose to help maintain and increase bone density.

If you have any further questions regarding osteoporosis don’t hesitate to contact us.