5 Ways to Break-Proof Your Bones

“Silent disease” – That’s a name attached to osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis commands this name because bone loss occurs without symptoms, particularly without pain. People may not know they have osteoporosis until after a fracture occurs.

Keep the silent disease quiet with these 5 key steps to optimize bone health:

  • 1)  A balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamin D: Got calcium? Make up for age-related bone loss with food rich in protein, calcium and Vitamin D. The best food sources are low-fat dairy, but other sources include leafy greens, sardines, and fortified cereals and juices. Supplements may also be used, but discuss with your physician for proper dosage.

 

  • 2)  Benefit from the sun: If you don’t think you are getting enough vitamin D, your body makes Vitamin D on its own when sunlight touches your skin. Experts recommend 15 minutes of sun exposure on half your body, depending on cloud coverage and skin tone.

 

  • 3)  Weight bearing and resistance training exercises: Walk – walking is one of the simplest and best ways to improve your bone density. Just as a muscle gets stronger and bigger the more you use it, a bone becomes stronger and denser when you use it. A physical therapist can design an appropriate exercise program for your individualized needs.

 

  • 4)  A healthy lifestyle with no smoking or excessive drinking: Excessive drinking can negatively impact bone health, and experts think it may be linked to its toxicity on the bone-forming cells. As with alcohol, the nicotine and other chemicals in cigarettes may harm your body’s bone making cells.

 

  • 5)  Bone density testing and medication when appropriate: Specialized tests called bone mineral density (BMD) tests can measure bone density in various sites of the body. A BMD test can detect osteoporosis before a fracture occurs and predict chances of fracturing in the future. It can also determine the rate of bone loss and/or monitor the effects of treatment

If you have questions about how physical therapy can help someone you care about with osteoporosis, please contact us.

By Jason Mattioli, PT, MSPT
Regional Director