Osteoporosis and bone density

older-adults wellness

There is a lot of information out there concerning osteoporosis and bone density, but many of us aren’t exactly familiar with it. So, let’s start with some basic definitions.

What is Bone Density?

It is a measure of the amount of calcium and other minerals in a segment of bone.

A higher mineral content indicates a higher bone density and strength. A lower mineral content indicates the onset, or probability of osteoporosis.

What is Osteo?

The term osteo comes from the Greek word “Osteon” and refers to the bones of the body.

There are many forms of osteo ailments as stated below.

    Osteoarthritis– the cartilage within the joint breaks down, causing pain and stiffness.

  • Osteomalacia– the bones become soft, due to problems with the metabolism of vitamin D
  • Osteoporosis– the bones lose mass and become brittle. Fractures can occur.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis– inflammation of the joints
  • Muscle weakness and pain– any of the above conditions can affect the proper functioning of the associated muscles.

Bone is living tissue

As we age, the structure of bone changes and this results in loss of bone tissue. Low bone mass means bones are weaker, and this puts people at risk of breaks or fractures from a bump or fall.

Bones become less dense as we age for several reasons, including: An inactive lifestyle which can cause bone wastage.

Hormonal changes – In women, menopause, and the decline of oestrogen, triggers the loss of minerals in bone tissue. In men, the gradual decline in sex hormones leads to the later development of osteoporosis.

Over time bones lose calcium and other minerals.

What can I do to help myself?

Eat a wide variety of colourful foods like fruit and vegetables which are high in vitamins and minerals.

Keep hydrated, this helps to keep the tissue and bones in our body lubricated and healthy.

Have your Vitamin D level checked regularly and take supplements as required.

Weight bearing exercise can make bones stronger and help slow the rate of bone loss.

Older people can increase muscle mass and strength through muscle strengthening activities.

Balance and coordination exercises can help reduce the risk of falls.

Physical activity in later life may delay the progression of osteoporosis as it slows down the rate at which bone mineral density is reduced.

The best way to exercise for bone health.

Exercise can prevent many age-related changes to muscles, bones, and joints. Exercise also helps reverse damage done to said muscles, bones, and joints.

There is also evidence to suggest that twisting and rotational movements that pull on muscles where the joints attach (with care) is helpful in maintaining long term health of the joints.

It’s never too late to start living an active lifestyle and enjoying the benefits.

Research suggests that two weight training sessions a week utilising body weight and gym equipment is optimal for building strong muscles and helping maintain bone mass.

These workouts do not need to be hard or with heavy equipment. A continual regime of appropriate exercises and a healthy diet are the keys to protecting your bone health, for life.

It is important to see your doctor about your own bone health. If necessary, your doctor will refer you to an appropriate medical professional.

Watch a great video on bone health here: https://youtu.be/R070aeGWi8Y

References:  https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/ConditionsAndTreatments/osteoporosis-and-exercise?viewAsPdf=true


Rachelle Ballard-Clayton meeactive.com.au

  • By: Rachelle Ballard-Clayton
  • Mee Active www.meeactive.com.au
  • 21.03.23
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