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Should you be Concerned about your Bone Health?

By: Dr. Stephanie Soto



The quick answer is YES! But, some people should be more concerned than others, especially if you have been diagnosed with Osteoporosis or Osteopenia. Osteoporosis is a condition that causes our body to lose bone or stops our body from making enough bone. This can lead to brittle or frail bones, placing someone at a big risk of a fracture!1


If you haven’t been diagnosed with Osteoporosis or Osteopenia, here are a few risk factors that may help you decide if you should talk to your Physician about your bone health.2


  • Post-menopausal women

  • Over the age of 50

  • Family history of osteoporosis

  • Smokers

  • Heavy alcohol use

  • Diet low in calcium and vitamin D

  • Getting too little exercise


What should you do if you are diagnosed with Osteoporosis?


1. Start thinking about your nutrition intake.

  • Foods high in calcium: Collard greens, turnip greens, kale, okra, Chinese cabbage, dandelion greens, mustard greens and broccoli



  • Foods high in vitamin D: Fatty varieties such as salmon, mackerel, tuna and sardines



  • Drinking heavily can lead to bone loss. Limit alcohol to no more than 2 – 3 drinks per day.

  • Drinking more than three cups of coffee every day may interfere with calcium absorption and cause bone loss.

  • High salt diets can cause your body to lose calcium. Try to limit how much processed foods, canned foods, and added salt you eat per day.

  • While beans/legumes have a high quantity of calcium, they also have a high quantity of phytates. Phytates can inhibit our body’s ability to absorb calcium. Lower the phytate level by soaking the beans in water for several hours, then cook them in fresh water.3


2. Start implementing an exercise routine!


While walking is excellent for your heart and lungs, it is not enough to build strong bones. What exercises have been shown to help improve bone mineral density? Does it matter if exercises are completed in low or high intensity? How long will it take for exercises to improve bone health?

Current evidence shows us that deadlifts, back squats, overhead presses, and impact loading exercises, completed at a high intensity at least two 30-minute sessions per week for at least 6 months have shown to yield the greatest improvements in bone density! There have been many Osteoporosis exercise programs that have demonstrated improved bone mineral density in people with low to very low bone mineral density. Better yet, they have shown to be safe and can even help reduce falls!!4 Now that is exciting!!


If you don’t feel confident implementing these practices or would like to learn more about your bone health, we are always here to help! We offer free in-person screens and phone consultations if you’re not quite sure you need our help. Request an appointment here https://www.thegrpt.com/events-and-offers



Dr. Stephanie Soto, Physical Therapist at The Green Room Physical Therapy



References

1. Learn what osteoporosis is and what it's caused by. National Osteoporosis Foundation. (2021, April 12). https://www.nof.org/patients/what-is-osteoporosis/.

2. Are you at risk? National Osteoporosis Foundation. (2020, December 16). https://www.nof.org/preventing-fractures/general-facts/bone-basics/are-you-at-risk/.

3. Osteoporosis diet & nutrition: Foods for bone health. National Osteoporosis Foundation. (2021, August 24). https://www.nof.org/patients/treatment/nutrition/.

4. Watson SL, Weeks BK, Weis LJ, Harding AT, Horan SA, Beck BR. High-Intensity Resistance and Impact Training Improves Bone Mineral Density and Physical Function in Post-menopausal Women With Osteopenia and Osteoporosis: The LIFTMORE Randomized Controlled Trial. J Bone Miner Res. 2017; Epub ahead of prine

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