Osteoporosis: Risk Factors & Treatments
Read on to learn about the condition, the risk factors, and the treatment available to you.
Have you or someone you know recently been diagnosed with osteoporosis?
Book an appointment at Mana Health Clinic to learn more about your condition and find out how Osteopathy may help you
What is osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a disease of the bones. If you have Osteoporosis it means you have lost essential minerals in your body, like calcium, which affect the quality of your bones. The loss of essential minerals makes your bones more fragile and brittle, and you have a higher chance of fracture compared with others. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take much for osteoporosis patients to injured themselves, and a little fall or a small knock can result in a fracture (1).
DID YOU KNOW…
- Unlike other conditions, there are no visible symptoms that can lead therapists to diagnose Osteoporosis
- According to Osteoporosis Australia, over 1 million Australian are affected by the disorder
- The majority of the data shows that women are more at risk due to hormonal changes during the menopause
- At this point, the best diagnostic tool is the dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry test (DEXA scan), which measures the amount of calcium in the bones by differentiating bone from soft tissue (1-3).
If you are over 50 and have some of the risk factors mentioned below, this test may be a good idea for you.
What are the risk factors of osteoporosis? (1-3)
- Lack of physical activity
- Inadequate calcium intake
- Low vitamin D levels
- Smoking cigarettes
- More than two alcoholic drinks per day
- Caffeine intake of more than three cups of tea/coffee per day (or equivalent)
- Excessive dieting or exercise (leading to a ceased menstrual cycle and reduced oestrogen production)
- Long-term medication use (e.g. corticosteroids)
If you think you meet one or more of these characteristics, it may be worth seeking medical advice from your doctor. Why? – Sometimes medications and supplements are prescribed to slow the course of bone demineralisation (1-3). It can be scary to hear that your bones can become, or already are, significantly more fragile than they use to be. The fear of a fall or accident as you get older and begin to lose strength and/or balance is common. With the added complication of Osteoporosis, life can become stressful and often the information that you can receive about you disease can be overwhelming. Visit Mana Health Clinic and speak to an Osteopath today.
How can our osteopath work with you for your osteoporosis?
The evidence shows that addressing the risk factors and adopting a holistic view about Osteoporosis, are the key factors to slow or stop the disease (2-9). An important philosophy of Osteopathy is to view the patient as a whole. This means Osteopaths look at all the factors (internal/external) that contribute to your health issue.
THE OSTEOPATHIC SERVICES WE OFFER FOR OSTEOPOROSIS:
- Nutritional advice about calcium rich foods that will aid in building and maintaining bone strength* (4).
- Specific exercises to strengthen your bone density (6-8).
- Some lifestyle strategies to keep the disorder at bay (9)
- Support to learn how to implement new healthy habits into your life to decrease risk factors
At Mana Health Clinic, your Osteopath will work with you to help achieve your recovery plan. However, no matter how quickly you begin making lifestyle changes to reduce these risk factors, there is no quick fix for bone loss. Nevertheless, positive choices can affect your present and future health and can reverse or halt Osteoporosis. It is important to weigh the advantages of medication and exercises to build bone density and to begin a lifelong program to improve bone strength.
*Disclaimer: To ensure optimal medical advise on nutrition, consulting a dietitian is highly recommended as it is their field of practise. Osteopaths can educate and give general information on the list of foods enriched in calcium, however, they are not trained to prescribe a diet plan focused on specific conditions.