Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a disease in which bones become fragile and more likely to break as bone mineral density is reduced. When a bone is affected by osteoporosis, bone marrow has much larger holes within it than a normal bone and as a result bone is much weaker and softer. If osteoporosis left untreated it can progress slowly and painlessly without you even realisng that you have the condition until the actual bone break.

During the first 20 years of life the formation of bone is the most important factor, but after the prevention of bone loss becomes a number one priority in maintaining the healthy bone density. Any factor that leads to decreased formation of bone early in life, loss of bone structure later in life may lead to osteoporosis.

Unlike the popular misconception, inadequate calcium intake is only one of the many factors that can lead to development of osteoporosis. Smoking, excessive drinking of alcohol, being overweight lack of weight bearing physical activity can all lead to development of osteoporosis. Older women demonstrate an increased risk of developing osteoporosis after menopause, when estrogen levels decline. This loss of estrogen accelerates bone loss for a period of 5 to 8 years.

If you have been diagnosed with osteoporosis it does not mean that you need to stop being physically active, instead you just need to adjust your activities. You need to aim to make sure that you maintain bone strength but reduce the risk of any falls or high impact by improving balance, posture and muscle strength. Some of the appropriate activities include, walking, water-based exercises, gentle resistance training for muscle strength and flexibility work. Please try to avoid high impact exercises like running, any heavy weights, sudden twists and turns, bending forward from your waist and sit-ups.