What To Know About Osteo(porosis)



Osteoporosis is a disorder characterised by low bone mass and deterioration of bone tissue which leads to bone fragility and a high risk of fractures. One in three women and one in five men over the age of 50 will suffer from an osteoporotic fracture – that’s’ huge! Imagine you’re out to coffee with a couple of your mates and knowing that one of you sitting there is likely to end up with a fracture down the line. Scary!


Even though it is a super common issue, (that actually goes untreated for a lot of people – only 20% of people are actually diagnosed and treated for OP!), there are things we can do to help prevent osteoporosis and fractures – especially if action is taken early.


1) EXERCISE

You know we’re always banging on about the importance of finding something you enjoy that gets you moving, well, here’s another little bang. Get moving! To help prevent OP, exercises that involve weight-bearing (eg walking), muscle-strengthening (using weights) and balance-training (e.g standing on one leg: two-fold this one- you’re weight bearing AND working on your balance to really help minimise any risk of falls and thus fractures from falls) are the best type of exercises you can do and do regularly. This is a HUGE approach in helping to managing OP, especially from a physio point of view. If you need help figuring out what you should do when it comes to exercise- come and see us. This is our jam.


2) NUTRITION

Food plays a big role in your bone-health and ensuring you get enough calcium, vitamin D and protein are the most important nutrients for your bone health. If you need help with figuring out what you should be including in your diet to gain these nutrients (or some safe sun exposure for Vitamin D), chatting to a dietitian can be a great first step.


3) LIFESTYLE

Avoid NEGATIVE lifestyle habits. You know the usual- stop smoking, don’t drink excessively. Those things that we shouldn’t have to tell you because you already feel a bit guilty about admitting that you do them. And maintaining a healthy body weight – this connects with the exercise and nutrition aspect but is a really important one. The less excess weight that your body is having to deal with, the easier it is for your bones to stay healthy.


4) RISK FACTORS

If you know you have a family history of osteoporosis or have had fractures in the past OR if you take certain medications that are known to affect bone health, it’s worth letting your trusted health professional know. Common medications that can have an impact on bone health are ones such as steroid pills, thyroid medications, some hormone and diabetic medications, some antacids, certain anti-depressants, some blood thinners, diuretics and anti-convulsive medications. So you can see that the list is quite long – don’t fear, a lot of these medications have to be taken in high doses and your health practitioner should be aware of the impact on your bone health when prescribing them to you – but if you’re not sure – ask!


5) TESTING AND TREATMENT

If unsure- get tested! It’s something that can be easily monitored and an easy way to figure out if you really need to hustle with the above tips. (I would recommend hustling no matter the result – it’s better to be strong and healthy just because..)


If you still aren’t too sure about the above advice – come in and have a chat and we can figure out a game plan for you to be your strongest self.

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