24 Jan What Is Osteoporosis?
As defined by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence, osteoporosis is a disease characterised by low bone mass and structural deterioration of bone tissue, with a consequent increase in bone fragility and susceptibility to fracture.
Osteoporosis leads to over 300,000 patients presenting with fragility fractures to hospitals in the UK each year, most commonly seen in the wrist, hip and spine.
The condition itself takes several years to develop and often goes undiagnosed until something happens and a bone fractures. The stage before osteoporosis is known as osteopenia, where you have lower bone density than the average for someone your age.
Women are more prone to osteoporosis than men yet the condition can occur in both genders. More than 50 per cent of post-menopausal white women will suffer an osteoporotic-related fracture, while in white men the risk is just 20 per cent. Black men and women are less likely to experience such issues than their white counterparts (NCBI, Porter & Varacallo).
Other risk factors include not getting enough regular exercise, taking steroid tablets for longer than three months, family history, heavy drinking and smoking, a low body mass index and so on.
How do you prevent osteoporosis?
Lifestyle is hugely important when it comes to keeping your bones nice and healthy, and exercise is essential to prevent the condition. Aerobic exercise and lots of cardio is, of course, important but you should aim to do some strength training at least twice a week, working your entire body and concentrating on the major muscle groups.
High impact weight-bearing exercises include running, dancing, skipping and aerobics, so see if you can’t fit some of these in each week if you are worried about your health.
If you’ve already been diagnosed with osteoporosis, make sure you talk to your GP before you start any new exercise regime, so you know you’ll be training in a way that will benefit your body, rather than damage it.
Healthy eating and following a balanced diet is recommended for everyone, since it can prevent serious health conditions like osteoporosis, but also the likes of diabetes, heart disease, cancer and so on.
Make sure you’re getting enough calcium in your diet as this helps to maintain good bone strength. You need 700mg a day, which you can get from dried fruit, leafy greens, tofu, yoghurt and more (NHS, vitamins and minerals guide).
How can osteopathy help with osteoporosis?
An osteopath may well be able to help relieve some of your symptoms and consequences of osteoporosis, and you are likely to find that massage and gentle movements will help give you greater freedom of movement. They can also help you with diet if that’s what’s needed, as well as giving you exercises to do at home that can help you with pain management.
At OsteoVision, we have skilled practitioners to help you manage your pain and if all treatment options are exhausted, we can refer you to the next level of care within our pain specialists and orthopaedic teams.
Are you looking for a Camberley osteopath? Get in touch with OsteoVision today.