Osteoporosis: The immediate image that jumps to mind is a grey old man or lady walking with a hunched back right? Because only old people suffer from this correct? Osteoporosis is a chronic, progressive condition that steals bone from the body, leading to fractures of the hip, spine and wrist.
A 2013 Loyola University Medical Center report found that secondary causes of bone loss are reported in:
- Up to 60% of men;
- More than 50% of premenopausal women; and
- 30% of postmenopausal women who are diagnosed with osteoporosis.
“When I find a younger patient with osteoporosis, there is likely to be a secondary cause, and if that cause isn’t treated, they will continue to lose bone even if they are on osteoporosis medications,” says report author Pauline Camacho.
The American Chiropractic Association recommends the following tips to maintain healthy bones:
- Start a regular exercise program. Walking, skipping rope, jogging, playing racquet sports, swimming and aerobics are all helpful in reducing the risk of osteoporosis. Exercising for 20 minutes, three times a week, is helpful.
- Although weight lifting exercises are generally recommended, the National Osteoporosis Foundation says those suffering from osteoporosis should consult their health care practitioner before beginning a weight lifting program to avoid excessive strain on the bones.
- Those with severe osteoporosis and who have suffered from fractures may find Tai Chi, a form of martial arts, to be a beneficial strength training exercise system.
- Be sure to include calcium in your daily diet. The National Institutes of Health’s recommendations are 1,000 mg/day for post-menopausal women taking estrogen; 1,500 mg/day for postmenopausal women not taking estrogen, and 1,500 mg/day for men and women over 65 years of age.
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet, including fresh vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds. Try broccoli, kale, collard greens, cabbage and turnip greens. Experiment with tofu, salmon, sardines and grains. Low-fat milk and/or yogurt are good sources of calcium. (A glass of low-fat milk and a cup of yogurt add 600 mg of calcium to your daily diet.)
- Watch your animal protein intake.
- Chiropractic Care Can Help…Talk to your doctor of chiropractic about ways to improve the health of your bones. Doctors of chiropractic are licensed and trained to treat patients of all ages and can help people suffering from osteoporosis lead healthier lives.