What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a condition of low bone density which leads to fractures from minimal stress or traumas. Most people think that the skeleton is a static structure - like a pillar of plaster. Actually, bone is a living, constantly changing, remodeling tissue which is affected by various stresses which are placed upon it.
Osteoporosis affects more than 4 million Americans and cripples more than 1.4 million people each year. More women die from the complications of osteoporosis than from cancer of the breast and cervix combined. Overall, 21% of U.S. postmenopausal women have osteoporosis, and about 16% have had a fracture. White women have the highest incidence of fractures with a rate that increases exponentially after the age of 50.
Osteoporosis is considered a woman’s disease, but the prevalence in men also increases exponentially with age. Hip fracture rates occur about 10 years earlier in women than in men. At age 90, about 17% of males have had a hip fracture, compared to 32% of females.
African descent individuals have higher bone mass and lower rates of fractures. Asian women have lower bone mass than Caucasian women and have somewhat higher hip fracture rates. Hispanic women had approximately half as many fractures as Caucasian women.
Bones are under continuous metabolic changes. They are never static in there nature.
Bone tissue is continually developing into thicker stronger tissues or thinning into weaker tissues. Except in growing bones, the rates of bone deposition and absorption are equal to each other so that the total mass of bone remains constant through out our lives.
Bone must adjust its strength in proportion to the degree of bone stress. Consequently, bones thicken when subjected to heavy loads. Even the shape of the bone can be rearranged for proper support of mechanical forces by deposition and absorption of bone in accordance with stress patterns. The bones of athletes become considerably heavier than those on non-athletes. If a person has one leg in a cast but continues to walk, the bone of the leg in the cast becomes thin and as much as 30 per cent de-calcified within a few weeks, while the opposite bone remains thick and normally calcified.
Prevention of Osteoporosis
When one understands how bones work, understanding the prevention of Osteoporosis becomes easier. Just as pills are not the answer to building strong healthy muscles, neither are they the answer for building healthy strong bones. The same type of physiological processes are at work.
When examining the bone and muscle density of the average elderly individual, noted atrophy exists for both men and women. This is mostly due to their sedentary life style. As most Americans age, we become less active, do less aerobic and anaerobic weight bearing exercising, consequently, bone and muscle atrophy occurs.
This is not the destiny of all aging people however! It is a matter of education and choice. Numerous well designed human studies have clearly demonstrated the reversal of bone loss by mechanical loading the skeleton, i.e., weight resistance exercises. Most exercises which require your muscles to carry your body weight or lift weight will build muscle, therefore will build bone mass!
Nutritional and Lifestyle Factors
-Drinking Soft Drinks, Tea, Coffee: soft drinks contain large amounts of phosphorous as do tea and coffee, which decrease intestinal absorption of calcium.
-Alcohol: inhibits osteoblastic activity.
-Smoking: cigarettes is a known high risk behavior for developing osteoporosis.
-Losing Weight: Because bone strength depends on adequate weight bearing, women or men who loose excessive amounts of weight are at higher risk for developing weak bones.
-Vitamin and Minerals: Vitamin and minerals such as K,D,C, calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, manganese, phosphorus, copper, boron, silica, and chromium are nutrient which tend to fortify and nutritionally support bone development. These nutrients are usually contained in a healthy (Plant based) daily diet, if not supplementation may be required.
-Exercise: A steady lifestyle filled with good activity increases your bone density, and will help prevent osteoporosis
At Cedar City Chiropractic and Rehabilitation, Chiropractic Physicians Dr Josh Williams and Dr. M. Curtis Hobson have the solution to more than just your back. With professional, on-hand dietitians, health coaches, massage therapist, and Chiropractic physicians, we can focus on your overall health and wellness that will allow you to run FASTER, jump HIGHER, recover QUICKER, and will ultimately achieve your greatest health and wellness goals. At Cedar City Chiropractic and Rehab... We have MORE than just your back!