May is Osteoporosis Awareness Month


At Center for Orthopaedics, we seek to educate our patients on healthy lifestyle.

May is Osteoporosis Awareness Month. First, a little about osteoporosis: Osteoporosis is a disease that causes bones to become thin and weak, making them more susceptible to fractures, especially as people age. It is estimated that approximately half of all women older than 50 years of age, and as many as one in four men, will suffer broken bones due to osteoporosis. The rate of bone loss varies among individuals and is likely influenced by both genetic factors and lifestyle choices.

According to the most recent statistics by the National Osteoporosis Foundation released in April, approximately 9 million Americans already have osteoporosis, and additional 48 million have osteopenia, or low bone mass. By 2025, experts predict that osteoporosis will be responsible for approximately 3 million bone fractures and $25.3 billion in health care costs annually.

There is a lot you can do in several lifestyle areas to promote bone health. Immediate steps are to stop smoking and limit alcohol intake. Bone health is also an area in which being too thin is a risk factor.

DIET

Put your focus on a healthy diet. Our expert dietician, Heather Shasa MS, RD, can recommend a customized plan for you. In general, a diet high in vegetables and fruits and low in refined foods, sugar, and alcohol will best contribute to your health, and your bone health. Calcium is also important for bone health. In addition to traditional dairy products, did you know that tofu (when prepared with calcium), almonds, kale and broccoli are also good sources of calcium? Calcium-rich foods can be easily accessed through a variety of resources, including online.

SUPPLEMENTATION

Supplementation (vitamins and minerals) is a key recommendation in the area of bone health. Whether it is calcium or Vitamin D, there is a plethora of literature on who should take supplements and how much and from what sources people should consume to promote bone health. However, it is important to have a customized approach to supplementation, and in the consultation with experts, such as those at Center for Orthopaedics, who can assist you with a personal evaluation. What’s more, our experts can recommend a program for the vital strength training that helps increase bone strength.

EXERCISE

When you think of exercise, weight bearing is key to stimulate bone. Many people enjoy walking, hiking or classes at the gym. Activities such as yoga and tai chi also introduce the important element of balance. Balance (to reduce the odds of falling and breaking a bone) is one of the most trainable skills. In fact, it is very easy and effective with practice. Any time or anywhere, just stand on one foot, and then try doing the same with your eyes closed. It’s a challenge, but you’ll soon see improvement. Graduate to balancing on an unstable surface, such as a BOSU (half dome) ball or even a pillow or uneven terrain.

Strength training is also important in order to stress a sequence of muscles and bones. Strength training at least twice a week, says the U.S. Surgeon General, is needed to stimulate bone growth. In fact, strength training is important for many reasons, not the least of which is that muscle mass declines precipitously after age 40, but you can ‘turn back the clock’ with a strength training program. We treat many athletes of all levels at Center for Orthopaedics, and we know the value of a strength training program for a variety of needs, from bone health to improved performance and injury prevention.

TO YOUR HEALTH FROM THE CENTER FOR OTHOPAEDICS!
The Center for Orthopaedics offers patients the full range of orthopaedic expertise. Patients are treated for every orthopaedic need, from simple to complex—all by one team, in one facility, with one overriding high standard of care. In addition, we are committed to the overall health and quality lifestyle of our patients. That is reflected in the information we provide you here.