Osteoporosis is a common disease among Australians. The disease makes bones become frail leading to a higher risk of fractures than in normal bone. This happens when bones lose minerals, such as calcium more quickly than the body can replace them.
Osteoporosis usually has no symptoms until a fracture occurs, which is why this disease is often under diagnosed or termed the “silent disease”.
The most common sites which may be affected by osteoporosis are the hip, spine and wrist. Fractures in the spine due to osteoporosis, can result in height loss or changes in posture.
- Knowing your family history is important as bone health can be strongly inherited.
- Low calcium and vitamin D.
- Medical history; certain conditions and medications can affect bone health. (Corticosteroids, Low hormone levels, Thyroid conditions and some chronic disease.
- Lifestyle factors: Low physical activity levels, smoking and excessive alcohol intake
Regular physical activity and exercise plays a vital role in maintaining and improving bone density. For elderly adults, the focus is to increase or maintain muscle mass and strength, and address risk for falls, notably with balance and walking ability. Resistance exercise is important for improving bone health. It has the ability to build bone density in areas where the bone is placed under stress from the surrounding tissue. These include the muscles, ligaments and tendons that provide stress and tension on the bones during the exercise. Weight bearing exercise such as walking, jumping, skipping are also some simple ways to add density to your bones and build muscle mass.
If you would like more information on exercising to reduce your osteoporosis risk or aid in the management of other health conditions, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or head to the website www.absolutebalance.com.au
Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP) (ESSAM)
Todd, A, J., Robinson, J, R. (2003). Osteoporosis and Exercise, Postgraduate Medical Journal, 1(79), p. 320-323