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Osteoporosis

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A Chiropractic Approach to Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis isn’t just a disease of the elderly. Today, many people, especially women, suffer from osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is characterized by low bone mass and deterioration of bone tissue. Bones become fragile and prone to fracture, especially the spine, hip and wrists. Osteoporosis is usually painless, with few symptoms. People may not even know they have it until they’re tested for bone density or suffer a fracture.

There are risk factors associated with osteoporosis. Women, smokers, and those 65 or older tend to be at higher risk. Lifestyle changes, such as a calcium rich diet, fall prevention strategies, vitamin supplements and regular exercise may all help reduce your risk of fractures

elderly man standing with osteoporosis
vector showing osteoporosis bone decay

What Is Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a disease that occurs when bone tissue deteriorates and leads to low bone mass.  The word Osteoporosis actually translates to ‘porous bone’.

People who suffer from Osteoporosis are at a much higher risk of fracturing or breaking their bones.  In particular, the following bones are at the biggest risk:
•    Shoulders
•    Wrists
•    Hips
•    Spine

While these are the most common bones that can be injured as a result of Osteoporosis, in fact, any bone or bones in your body are more susceptible to breakage if you suffer from this condition.  And because people with Osteoporosis have brittle more delicate bones, simple things like sneezing or bumping into a piece of furniture can lead to these fractures and breaks.

man and woman on bikes

What are the causes of Osteoporosis?

Bones are made of minerals such as calcium and vitamin D.  While our bones are continually being broken down and regrown inside our bodies, people who suffer from a lack of certain vitamins, minerals and hormones don’t seem to experience the bone regrowth required to support the body.

Here are some of the other factors that cause lead to Osteoporosis:
•    Family history
•    Body type
•    Lifestyle factors
•    Other health conditions
•    Lack of exercise

elderly couple speaking with a chiropractor

How is Osteoporosis Treated?

There are many different treatment options available for patients with Osteoporosis that range from lifestyle changes to medications to Chiropractic therapy.
Diet and Nutrition

As noted, being deficient in calcium and vitamin D can increase your risk of developing Osteoporosis.  For strong bones, your diet must be rich in these two nutrients.  To incorporate more of both into your diet, eat a diet abundant in the following:
•    Dairy products such as cheese, milk, yogurt, even ice cream
•    Green vegetables such as broccoli and leafy greens
•    Fish such as mackerel, sardines, and salmon with bones
•    Beef liver
•    Eggs including yolks
•    Fortified breakfast cereal, juices, and other foods

As you incorporate these types of healthy foods into your diet, you should try to cut down on salt whenever possible, and limit your intake of caffeine, as both have proven to contribute to a loss of calcium, and in turn, loss of bone density.

note pad with the word symptoms written on it

What are the symptoms of Osteoporosis?

During the initial phases of Osteoporosis, most patients will not experience any symptoms.  This is why Osteoporosis is often referred to as a ‘silent disease’.   However, once the bones have become weakened and begin to lose their density, patients will begin to experience symptoms.

As Chiropractors, the most common symptoms we see in our clinic include:
•    Pain, especially back pain
•    Loss of height
•    Postural changes
•    Bone fractures
•    Bone breaks

Osteoporosis Diagnosis

If a patient experiences frequent fractured or broken bones, Osteoporosis will be suspected.  There are several methods of diagnosis that include the following:
•    DXA Scan – a scan that measures bone mineral density and compares it against the bone mineral density of a health younger person.  The difference between the two can be used as the basis for a diagnoses of Osteoporosis
•    FRAX Tool – The Fracture Risk Assessment Tool is used to determine risk of fracture between the ages of 40 and 90.

Healthy Lifestyle

Exercise is an important part of not only preventing Osteoporosis, but also in treating it. Just like our muscles, our bones become stronger with exercise.  One of the best ways to keep your bones in good shape it to regularly do weight bearing exercises that force your body to work against gravity.  Here are a few fun types of weight bearing activities anyone can do:
•    Walking
•    Dancing
•    Stair climbing
•    Working out with weights

Also, if you smoke and regularly consume alcohol, quitting can help.  Studies have shown a very definite link between the use of tobacco and bone loss.  Alcohol can interfere with your body’s natural balance of calcium, vitamins, and hormones, so it’s wise to limit your consumption to not more than one drink per day for women, and not more than two drinks per day for men.

Osteoporosis Medications

There are several medications available today that are made specifically to treat Osteoporosis.  Depending on your overall health, history and other conditions and medications you currently use, you may be prescribed one or more of these medications.  Additionally, for women who are menopausal, hormone replacement therapy may also be prescribed.

Osteoporosis Natural Treatment – Chiropractic

As Chiropractors, we believe that natural treatments can be just as effective, if not more effective at treating Osteoporosis, while reducing the risk of serious drug-related side effects.  By using a hands on approach to treatment, we can help to prevent Osteoporosis from getting worse, help with pain related to Osteoporosis, and we can also treat Osteoporosis-related injuries.

Common Chiropractic treatments for Osteoporosis include spinal manipulations and adjustments, rehabilitative exercises, relaxation techniques, and educating patients in proper nutrition and dietary supplements.
One of the most beneficial elements of Chiropractic treatment Osteoporosis is that it can help increase range of motion and mobility.  With this increase, our patients experience a reduction in the types of injuries that can lead to falls, fractures, and broken bones.  Being able to move around naturally without pain will keep the body limber and agile.

Osteoporosis Chiropractic Treatment Guidelines

The types of Chiropractic treatments we can offer you will depend on things like your age and how advanced your Osteoporosis is.  Some patients benefit greatly from simple adjustments, while others will need a combination of treatments, exercises and supplements.
Rest assured, as Chiropractors, your comfort is our biggest concern.  We will do a full health and medical history before deciding on a treatment plan, and we will use a gentle approach and soft techniques to address your pain and symptoms.

Summary

There are many treatment options available for those who suffer from Osteoporosis.  If you’re seeking a natural, drug-free way of prevention and treatment, give us a call atBroadway AT Yew Chiropractic & Massage.  We can sit down with you to discuss how we can help you with your symptoms in a way that will improve your quality of life without putting you at risk for harmful side effects.

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