- Tara Albright DPT
Updated: Nov 8, 2021
May is Osteoporosis Month, which 1 in 3 women over the age of 50 will experience a fracture due to osteoporosis and 1 in 5 men over 50 will experience the same. Physical therapy can help you exercise safely and build up strength and strong bones in a safe manner. For more information follow the link below. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment give us a call today and see how we can help.
Osteoporosis and low bone mass are becoming a major health threat across the nation. It is estimated that osteoporosis causes more than 8.9 million fractures annually worldwide, resulting in an osteoporotic fracture every 3 seconds. That is staggering statistic and is a little hard to swallow, but there is good news! Physical therapy can help promote bone growth and help you exercise safely to prevent you from becoming a statistics.
It is a known fact that bones become more brittle and fragile as we age. There can be a lot of roads that lead to osteoporosis, however the main concept is that the bone breakdown, or resorption, is occurring at a faster rate than new bone can be made. Hormonal changes and nutrient deficiencies, such as Vitamin D and Calcium, can be contributing factors in low bone density and lead to osteopenia. There are some good supplements and some hormone replacement therapy that is showing promising progress, however there are a few things that you can do to help prevent becoming an osteoporosis statistic.
Avoid smoking and if you do smoke STOP! Smoking increases the rate of bone loss and, subsequently, increases the risk of fractures
Avoid excessive alcohol! Not only does being under the influence of alcohol increase the likelihood of a fall and a fracture, but more than 2 alcoholic beverages a day may decrease bone formation
Avoid a sedentary lifestyle! Often, as we get closer toward retirement age and into retirement we slow down and do less physically active tasks throughout the day. More bone is formed when stress is put on the bones themselves, meaning when we are active, and weight bear, and move around. It is important to maintain a moderate activity level as we age to keep that healthy bone formation coming. Weight-bearing exercises that promote bone growth are: walking, jogging, dancing, and climbing stairs, just to name a few.
Watch your step! As we age our sensation changes and we don’t have the balance that we once had in our 20s and 30s. It is important to keep your balance tuned up. Also, move anything out of the main floor space that may cause you to stumble. This includes power cord, area rugs, and slippery surfaces that may cause you to fall. Also, if you feel your balance is deteriorating contact a physical therapy office that specializes in balance training, like our clinic. We can give your balance a tune-up and provide you with safe exercises to promote bone growth and prevent falls.
Sleep is important! One study showed that adults over the age of 50 who habitually slept less than 6 hours a night, displayed an increased risk of osteoporosis. On average adults should get 7-8 hours of sleep per night to stay in a healthy range.
All of these things are simple things you can change in your life to help promote a healthy skeletal system. If you are currently struggling with an injury, or have been diagnosed with osteopenia or osteoporosis, or feel your balance is failing give us a call today and see how we can help. We would love to keep you on year feet and feeling good.