At BodyBalance Physiotherapy, we really do encourage the whole population to be active, especially the geriatric population. In February this year, I decided to set up a ‘Healthy Bones’ class. But why bother? Let’s talk numbers…
- 34 million people in the US are at an increased risk for developing osteoporosis (OP).
- 55% of Americans over the age of 50 have OP.
- Worldwide, 1/3 women & 1/5 men over age 50 will experience OP fractures.
- 75% of hip, spine and distal forearm fractures occur among patients over age 65.
- By 2050, the worldwide incidence of hip fracture in men is projected to increase by 310% and 240% in women, compared to rates in 1990.
These facts and figures are the reason why I wanted to establish a safe bone strengthening class for the community. OP is a huge disease that is affecting the geriatric population massively. Bone frailty leads to an increased risk for fractures.
Osteopenia = low bone mass
Osteoporosis = low bone mass and quality (density)
Bone tissue is constantly being absorbed and produced (replaced). Bone mass reduces when the rate of absorption increases and the rate of production decreases – a naturally occurring event when we get older (over the age of 20). We can help with this progression – BONE PRODUCES IN RESPONSE TO THE LOAD APPLIED TO IT. So, I developed an exercise class where the exercises involved will help to produce bone – if this happens, it can improve bone density and slow its progression.
The exercise class I deliver involves, as recommended by research:
- Weight bearing exercises
- Flexibility exercises
- Strengthening exercises
- Postural exercise
- Balance exercises
All of the classes are closely observed by myself and exercises are personalised to suit your functional ability and goals. The exercises are completed in sitting, standing, using a step or using the wall. You won’t have to worry about getting onto/off of the floor. The primary aim of these classes is to reduce the risk of fall, fracture and improve your bone health and function – overall improving your quality of life.
Other Adjuncts for treating OP:
Most common medication for managing OP are Biphosphonates; for example:
- Boniva (monthly tablet or 4 times per year injection).
- Actonel (weekly-monthly tablet).
- Fosamax (weekly tablet).
If you unfortunately manage to sustain a fracture while on these tablets, you may need a more aggressive bone-building medication such as RANKL Inhibitors (Prolia) or Parathyroid Hormone (Forteo).
- Calcium-rich diet; milk, cheese, almonds, brocolli, cauliflower.
- You should not have a protein-rich diet.
- *When the kidneys flush out excess protein they also flush out calcium that you need.
- Caffeine is also known to inhibit calcium absorption so you should limit your caffeine intake to 3 cups/day.
- Kale is better than spinach as spinach prevents the absorption of calcium in the stomach.
- 1,500mg calcium (3 doses of 500mg) is an effective supplement to strengthen the bones and prevent further bone loss.
- <1,000mg Vitamin D.
- <500mg Vitamin K.
- 4g fish oils.
Below is a list of risk factors for developing OP. If you tick more than 4, definitely give us a call and try out our bone strengthening class. Our number is 046 9002982 or email email@example.com
- > 50 years old
- Family history of OP
- Northern European Ancestry
- Long periods of inactivity/immobilisation
- Alcohol (>3 drinks/day)
- Caffeine (>4 drinks/day)
- Amenorrhea (abnormal absence of menses)
- Thin body build
- Long term steroid use