As we get older, the thought of slipping, falling and breaking a bone is terrifying. Fractures can become more serious during this period of our life as we are more at risk of developing osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis is the most common metabolic bone disease, characterised by low bone mass which can lead to bone fragility. This increases the risk of fractures of the hip, spine and other skeletal areas.
Stay active! Strength and resistance exercises aid in the formation of new bone in people with and without osteoporosis. Exercises like weight lifting and resistance exercises like cycling and walking all simulate bone growth helping to prevent the likely chance of these fractures occurring. Strength and resistance training not only builds bone density, it also has a surplus of benefits to the muscular system, cardiovascular and respiratory system and general fitness and health.
Your practitioner at CSSM can help come up with a management plan that best suits you, with exercises tailored to you to help you reach your goals.If you aren’t currently participating in daily activity or resistance exercise, there’s no better time to ask your practitioner at your next appointment.
The Australian Government Department of Health’s physical activity guidelines for adults up to the age of 64, suggest:
-a minimum of 2.5-5 hours of moderate activity per week
-or 1.25 to 2.5 hours of intense physical activity per week
-include strengthening exercises to maintain strong bones.
The Australian Government Department of Health’s physical activity guidelines for older Australians over the age of 65 suggest:
-a minimum of 30 minutes once or twice a day or aiming to build up to this amount
-with a combination of strength, flexibility and balancing activities.
Weight-bearing exercise and strength-training is recommended to improve or maintain bone density. Your CSSM osteopath can tailor a program for you and ensure you are physically ready to begin any fitness programs, in order to improve your bone health. This is done by treating any areas of joint restriction or muscular tightness, as well as any existing injuries.
There are other ways to help prevent osteoporotic fractures including:
-having caffeine in moderation
-some hormone therapies for menopausal symptoms
-preventing falls and trip hazards within the home
The importance of knowing about osteoporosis and prevention interventions is so essential for us and our families. Discussing bone health with your health provider can put you in the right direction to help prevent osteoporotic fractures happening to you or your loved ones.
Osteopath Julia McAllister has a holistic approach to assessment, treatment and management. She particularly enjoys treating and managing headaches, neck pain and sporting injuries using soft tissue, mobilisation and manipulation techniques.
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