Osteoporosis is a disease that is characterized by low bone mass and deterioration of bone tissue. This puts people at risk for increased bone fragility and greater risk for fracture (broken bones). Bone loss often occurs without symptoms and because of this Osteoporosis has become known as the “silent thief”.
Fractures resulting from Osteoporosis are more common than heart attack, stroke and breast cancer combined. One in five men and one in three woman will suffer from an osteoporotic fracture in their lifetime. In 2010 the overall cost to the Canadian healthcare system for treating osteoporosis and fractures relating to the disease was over $2.3 billion.
Osteoporosis is to blame for over 80% of all fractures in people 50+ according to Osteoporosis Canada. There are 30,000 hip fractures annually and osteoporosis is responsible for 70-90% of them. The cost for the healthcare system for each hip fracture is $21,285 in the 1st year after hospitalization. $44,156 if the patient is institutionalized.
The chance of a 50 year old woman developing hip, vertebral or wrist fractures during her lifetime is 40%. 1 in 4 women who have a vertebral fracture will fracture again within one year. 20% of people who have suffered a vertebral fracture is at risk of having a second spine fracture within the first year.
Checklist for Risk of Broken Bones and Osteoporosis (provided by Osteoporosis Canada).
Our bones are constantly at work each and every day. They perform tasks critical to our overall health and well being, tasks such as the manufacture of blood and immune cells, the storage of nutrients, and the bones themselves are constantly being taken apart and rebuilt through a process called remodeling. During remodeling old bone is broken down and replaced with new bone, and this process is a must for maintaining the strength of our skeletons. The entire bone remodeling process is under the control of the central nervous system.
The human spine is designed to protect the nervous system and to support weight. When our spines are healthy they provide resistance to gravity and other external stress. When this structure is not healthy there is a loss of resistance to gravity that results in spinal degeneration and conditions such as osteoporosis.
Chiropractic care can help with optimal bone health by properly aligning your hips and spine. This allows for optimal range of motion and joint function. Chiropractors are experts in spinal structure and through adjustments can help maintain sound structure of the body.
Suggested Lifestyle Changes
- Add weight bearing exercises to your daily routine (this will help your bones grow denser and stronger). This can include walking, jogging, yoga and weight training.
- Quit Smoking (reducing the risk to Osteoporosis and other diseases).
- Include a calcium and vitamin D supplement in your diet (helps build and maintain bone tissue). Check with your Chiropractor or doctor for recommended amount based on your specific needs.
- Reduce or eliminate caffeine and phosphorus rich drinks (coffee/pop) as it leeches calcium from our bones, resulting in a decrease in bone density mass.
- Go outside for a min. 20min. a day to take in our best source of vitamin D, the sun. (vitamin D, helps with the absorption of Calcium).
- Avoid or limit alcohol consumption. Alcohol can interfere with the bones absorption of calcium and vitamin D, which diminishes the body’s ability to build and maintain bone mass.
- Wassung, K. Osteoporosis: Prevention with the Chiropractic Lifestyle