Did you know that your bones are constantly changing?
It is a weird concept to think about since bones can seem like this strong solid mass, but in actuality, your body constantly is breaking down and rebuilding your bones in a process called bone remodelling.
How does this work?
There is a number of processes and pathways that are involved in this cycle, however to simply it we can look at two cells;
- Osteoclasts break down bone <<Think Cut bone>>
- Osetoblasts form new bone <<Think Build bone>>
Osteoporosis, and its precursor Osteopenia, are diseases that occur when bone mineral density is reduced. When this happens our bones become brittle and fragile, increasing the risk of fractures!
As this chronic condition, effects bones, there are often little symptoms prior to fracture, however some can include;
- Low back pain
- Rounding posture
- A loss of height
A conformation of a diagnosis however includes a DEXA scan to measure bone density and compare to normal values!
What causes Osteoporosis?
There is a number of factors which increase your risk of developing osteoporosis some which are changeable and others not.
Some factors that you can not change include
- Your age; commonly osteoporosis risk increases with age, typically starting to impact individuals after 50 years of age
- Women are most likely to get osteoporosis due to changes in hormone levels- especially after metapause!
- If you are Asian or Caucasian studies show you are at an increased risk
- If you have a family history of osteoporosis
- If you are a smaller size, you have less bone mass and therefore at a higher risk as you age
- Some medications such as Steroids as well as other certain medical conditions such as Cancer, IBD or kidney disease to name a few
However, do not loose hope! Osteoporosis has a number of modifiable risk factors that we can change and can significantly increase and maintain our bones!
- Participate in physical activity ; specifically weight bearing activities are associated with building our bone mass in our year years (up to around 30!). After 30 years of age, this weight bearing activity helps to preserve what bone mass we have keeping our bones strong!
- Quit smoking! Smoking reduces our bodies healing processes and has been shown to be related to weaker bones
- Cut back on alcohol! Regular or excessive consumption increases our risk of osteoporosis
- Look at your diet. Calcium and vitamin D are crucial to maintaining bone density as they provide our bone with the necessary building blocks for new bone. However, it is important to look at all your nutrition to see if you are eating a balanced diet of fruit, veg and proteins and maintain a healthy body weight!
This blog is looking to empower you with the knowledge of taking control of your bone health. Although we can not control every factor that can increase our risk of developing osteoporosis, our lifestyle choices, diet and physical activity can play a large role.
As well, it is never too late to start with these changes! Although bone mass peaks in our 20’s and 30’s, research shows that implementing positive changes can help to reduce risk or developing or worsening osteoporosis!
We are pleased to announce a health bones pilates class on Friday mornings with chartered physiotherapist Fran, which if you are interested, the timetable is located at www.physiotherapyworks.ie/pilates-timetable/
If you have osteoporosis or would like physiotherapist input on exercises to build and maintain your bone health call today at 045-853726 or www.physiotherapyworks.ie/book-online/
- Bone Remodelling. University of Washington. Retrieved at https://courses.washington.edu/conj/bess/bone/bone2.html
- Osteoporosis. 2018. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved at https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/osteoporosis/symptoms-causes/syc-20351968