The human body is an amazingly efficient machine. It requires a lot of energy for your body to maintain strong healthy bones. If you do not do any physically demanding activites then your body determines that you have no need for strong bones. As a result your body diverts its energy into other activities like digestion and tissue repair and you develop osteoporosis. If however you are always stressing your body with weight bearing activities then your body responds by maintaining strong healthy bones. You have control over how you age.
It is generally more difficult to treat people chiropractically if they have osteoporosis. The greatest fear with treatment is that the chiropractor will fracture an osteoporotic bone. There are a number of ways of using chiropractic techniques that do not involve high force and hence are safe to use on patients with osteoporosis. It is however always best to prevent this condition.
10 Tips for Preventing Osteoporosis
- Eat calcium rich foods throughout life. This will increase peak bone mass when you are young and decrease bone loss as you age. Foods rich in calcium include cheese, milk, yoghurt, canned salmon, broccoli, soy bean curd and flour.
- Spend 30 minutes outside in the sun to maintain Vitamin D adequacy. Vitamin D is made by the action of sunlight in the skin. It then increases the amount of calcium which can be absorbed in the intestine and as a result increases bone mineralisation.
- Eat a varied diet. This ensures the body has all the nutrients it needs to stay healthy and prevent sickness and disease.
- Reduce sodium intake. A high salt intake increases the amount of calcium that is lost in urine.
- Exercise regularly – especially weight bearing exercise. Weight bearing exercise keeps bones strong – immobilisation osteoporosis. Exercise 3-4 times per week for 30-60 minutes.
- Maintain ideal body weight. Being under or overweight can predispose to osteoporosis.
- Don’t diet or exercise so hard that it adversely affects the menstrual cycle. A disturbance of the menstrual cycle can cause a fall in the production of oestrogen which can cause an increase in the resorption of bone.
- Don’t smoke cigarettes. The metabolic products of tobacco cause a decrease in oestrogen production and an increase in oestrogen breakdown.
- Limit the consumption of alcohol. Excessive intake of alcohol probably acts by depressing bone formation.
- Use HRT or a natural alternative at menopause (NB The use of some HRT preparations may result in an increase in cell turnover and therefore an increase in tumour growth in some patients.)