Osteoporosis – the 'silent' disease

Currently costing the NHS approximately £1.75 million per year and affecting 1 in 3 women and 1 in 12 men over 50, osteoporosis is a condition that is often overlooked by people and often is not identified until a fracture occurs following trauma.

Osteoporosis is a disease characterised by the bones becoming brittle, thinner and breaking more easily and it does not just affect the elderly. As people are becoming ever more sedentary, particularly in their crucial years of development and growth, the problem continues to grow and is more common in younger age groups. We need to emphasise that prevention is better than cure so knowing what you should or should not be doing and eating will help you towards an active and osteoporosis-free old age.

Here are some ways to prevent osteoporosis:

  • Regularly eat calcium rich foods (green leafy vegetables, sesame seeds and almonds for example). Be wary that milk tends to have less available calcium that it might have done in the past.
  • Consider taking calcium supplements and vitamin D to help absorb calcium. Discuss this with a pharmacist or your GP.
  • Reduce your intake of soft drinks and coffee and try to stop smoking
  • Regular weight-bearing exercise like walking is particularly beneficial
  • Drink alcohol in moderation

Osteopaths are, of course, very aware of what would increase the likelihood of a patient having osteoporosis and treat appropriately. in addition to relieving the back pain, or other problems that the patient present with, they are able to give advice on the types and duration of activities that would be most suitable and discuss other ways in which the patient could minimise the chance of injury due to osteoporosis.

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