The Need-to-Knows of Osteoporosis
As National Osteoporosis Month continues on, we thought it’d be helpful to review the basics of osteoporosis. As you may know, step one of preventing a disease is knowing what it is, if you may be at risk and any signs or symptoms to look out for. Once you arm yourself with that knowledge, you will be better equipped to combat osteoporosis and, if you do develop osteoporosis, how you can best treat it.
What is osteoporosis?
Quite literally, osteoporosis means “porous bone.” As we age, our body stops producing bone at the rate that out paces the rate we lose it. . In fact, most people typically lose between ½ to 1% bone density per year after the age of 30. When this happens, our bodies weaken and become more prone to breaks, whether it be from a minor fall or bump.
What are the risk factors?
When it comes to osteoporosis, there are certain risk factors we are not in control of and others we do have a say in. For example, we can’t change our age, gender, or family history. In fact, 1 in 3 women (and 1 in 5 men) over age 50 will experience an osteoporotic fracture. This is because by age 30, you’ve reached your peak bone density and started the decline. For women, the risk grows even more likely post-menopause.
While those factors are out of our control, you are in control of what you put in your body and how you exercise. For starters, it is vital to get the necessary bone-building nutrients. While this list is lengthy, Calcium, Vitamin D3, and magnesium are the most important. Other lifestyle choices you can control include the decision not to smoke, not to drink, and to perfrom the right kinds of exercise. Also, make sure you read the labels of the medications you take. Some medications deplete bone density.. Additionally, it is important to understand the often-spread bone-building myths about exercise. Extensive studies have shown that few exercises actually contribute to the building up of stronger bones. In fact, extremely high impact exercises appear to be the only ones that contribute to building up bone density.
What are the signs?
Osteoporosis is often referred to as a silent disease, because you don’t realize you have it until it’s too late. To combat this, stay informed of the various signs that may reveal your bones are weakening. Early on, the signs are much less noticeable – however, a weakened grip, receding gums and brittle finger nails could all be small tells.
The most common and noticeable sign of osteoporosis is a fracture that occurs more easily than it should. Worldwide, osteoporosis causes over 8.9 million fractures annually. Additional signs you may have osteoporosis include loss of height, poor posture and back pain. Unfortunately, these signs may not reveal themselves until it’s too late, but keeping them in mind could help you get treatment earlier on.
What are the treatment options?
The most commonly suggested treatment options for osteoporosis include medication, a customized diet plan, weight bearing exercise or, in extreme cases, surgery. While these options have their benefits, there is a much more effective way: osteogenic loading. At OsteoStrong, our proprietary, robotic musculoskeletal therapy system uses the body’s built-in natural adaptive responses to build bone and muscle tissue at just about any age with less than ten-minutes of sweat free effort.
Throughout May, spread the word of osteoporosis awarness to friends and family. In doing so, you may save someone from a serious fracture. To learn more about how OsteoStrong works, visit our website. For more about osteoporosis, visit The National Osteoporosis Foundation.