Osteoporosis occurs when bones start losing minerals faster then the body can replace them. Calcium and Vitamin D are the main minerals involved and when levels become too low a decrease in bone density and mass will occur.
As most people know, Osteoporosis is more common in women, especially those over 50. This is due to the rapid decrease in oestrogen levels during menopause. When this occurs, bones lose calcium along with other minerals at a much faster rate. In fact, approximately 2% of bone density is lost each year occurring for several years after menopause.
Most people don’t realise they have Osteoporosis until a fracture occurs, as there are rarely any preceding signs or symptoms. Known as the ‘Silent Disease’ it can create significant pain and chronic dysfunction. Studies have shown that conservative chiropractic care at all stages of Osteoporosis, even after fractures, can help reduce symptoms of pain and increase function of the spine and neuromuscular system.
The Good news?
Osteoporosis can be prevented. Osteoporosis Australia encourages people to take action in maintaining and improving bone health at each stage of bone development. The body requires healthy levels of Calcium, Vitamin D (which helps absorb calcium) and regular weight bearing exercise. Chiropractic care can also help to maintain proper function of the joints of the spine allowing the nervous system to work at its best. This prevents loss of balance and muscle strength, which at a young age can lower your risk of becoming Osteoporosis.
Calcium is an essential mineral for building healthy strong bones. About 99% of it is stored in our bones, with lower levels being transported through our bloodstream to help the heart, blood vessels, nerves and muscles function properly. If your diet doesn’t include enough calcium, the stores in the bones are slowly depleted over time creating low bone density, which may put you at risk of developing Osteoporosis. Some calcium rich foods include dairy products (cheese, yoghurt, milk) canned sardines and salmon, tofu and soybeans.
Vitamin D is essential for proper absorption of Calcium into our body. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that promotes Calcium absorption in the gut. Without sufficient Vitamin D bones will become brittle and weak and can increase chances of Osteoporosis. Vitamin D is largely absorbed from exposure to sunlight and via supplementation and from foods such as fatty fish, liver and eggs. When the ultraviolet rays contact the skin, Vitamin D synthesis is triggered. The amount of sun exposure is relatively low to acquire the correct levels of Vitamin D.
Regular weight bearing exercise is another way of reducing the risk of Osteoporosis. This will play a major role in building stronger healthier bones in younger people to prevent the onset of Osteoporosis, while regular activity levels for those with Osteoporosis will prevent loss of further bone density. Weight bearing exercise doesn’t have to be strenuous, activities such as walking, jogging, skipping are great, as well as sports including basketball, soccer, tennis, aerobics.
Another major focus for the elderly is to increase or maintain muscle mass, strength and balance to prevent falls and accidents which commonly cause fractures in Osteoporotic sufferers.
For those people suffering from, chiropractic can help. Gentle techniques of chiropractic have been shown to give pain relief to sufferers as well as increasing joint function and body awareness. Regular chiropractic care also aims at reducing the risk of Osteoporosis, by increasing movement and balance of the spine to enhance the neuromuscular function.
If you would like more information or would like to book an appointment at Neurohealth Chiropractic – please call the clinic on 9905 9099 or email us firstname.lastname@example.org or fill in the contact form from our website www.neurohealthchiro.com.au
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