Osteoporosis – Gentle Chiropractic Treatment
What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a disease that results in low bone mass which makes the bones more fragile. Because osteoporosis causes no symptoms until a fracture, many people are unaware they have it. Most people with osteoporosis are over 50 years old, although it can occur at any age. So what puts you at risk for developing osteoporosis?
Risk for Osteoporosis
Age: Bone mass stops increasing when you are in your early 20s. After that your body is fighting a losing battle to maintain the bone mass you have. Therefore, the older you are, the more at risk you are for developing osteoporosis.
Gender: Women are more likely to develop osteoporosis then men because women’s bones are less dense then men’s bones. Also, hormone changes with menopause speed-up bone loss in women. Low weight and petite framed women are at an even higher risk for developing osteoporosis.
Family History: Having a mother or grandmother with osteoporosis increases your risk for developing osteoporosis. Also, personally having fractured a bone after 50 years old increases your risk of osteoporosis.
Lifestyle: Getting little weight bearing exercise, smoking, excessive alcohol intake, and low calcium intake all increase your risk for osteoporosis.
Menopause: Early menopause and missed periods due to an eating disorder or excessive exercise increase your risk for osteoporosis.
Medications: Glucocorticoids, also known as steroids, are used to treat many chronic diseases. However, these steroids are damaging to the bones and increase the risk for developing osteoporosis.
What can you do to prevent osteoporosis? The best prevention is to build strong bones as a child. By the time most people are worried about osteoporosis, it is too late to build more bone mass. However, if you have children or grandchildren, now is the time to make sure they are getting plenty of calcium (500-800mg/day) and enough exercise to help them build strong bones so they are at less risk latter in their life.
As an adult there are 4 steps to keeping your bones healthy and preventing osteoporosis. First, make sure you are getting enough calcium and vitamin D each day. While calcium and vitamin D come from the food you eat, taking a supplement is often necessary. You need 1200mg of calcium and 400-800 IU of vitamin D each day. Second, weight bearing exercise is essential to maintaining bone mass. The more your bones are used with exercise, the stronger they stay. A weight bearing exercise routine can be as simple as walking followed by a series of arm exercises with 5lb hand weights. Third, avoiding excessive alcohol intake and not smoking help to prevent bone loss. Finally, having bone density testing to find out your bone mass is very important. All women over 65 and women under 65 with one or more risk factors should have a bone density test to assess their bone mass. If your bone density is low, your doctor can make lifestyle recommendations or possible prescribe medications to reduce your risk for fracture.
Osteoporosis Pain | Chiropractic and Osteoporosis
Many people with osteoporosis are hesitant to visit a chiropractor for their back and neck pain. Chiropractors are trained to recognize the risk factors of osteoporosis, and can often diagnose osteoporosis from x-rays. Chiropractors are also trained in adjusting techniques that are very safe for people with osteoporosis. Your Chiropractor at Omagh Chiropractic uses a gentle approach to pain relief, and utilizes many of the techniques that are safe for patients with osteoporosis.