Osteoporosis is under diagnosed.
According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation (2015), over 50 million Americans should be paying careful attention to their bone health, because they are at risk of fracture.
During their adulthood, around 50 percent of females, and close to 25 percent of males will probably experience a fracture due to osteoporosis.
Lastly, around 2 million fractures per year are attributed to osteoporosis. That is a huge cost to our medical system, but also emotional, physical, and mental pain for the injured! Unfortunately, nearly 80 percent of the seniors who experience a broken bone, will not be tested or treated for osteoporosis!
Osteoporosis is misunderstood.
Females are more at risk than males, but men should still pay attention to the health of their bones. Men with osteoporosis are at greater risk of mortality after experiencing a hip fracture (Sozen, 2017).
A majority of people believe that, aside from medication, they cannot do anything change their bone health.
Many seniors think osteoporosis is a normal part of aging.
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Osteoporosis is under treated.
Osteoporosis does not typically cause pain, so many people have no idea they have it until they experience a significant fracture.
Many people who should be, are not scanned for osteoporosis after experiencing a fracture Barton, (2019).
When most people think of treatment for osteoporosis, they think of medication. However, physical therapists and the correct types of exercise can play a large role in strengthening, prevention, and safety.
My top 10 Osteoporosis Dos and Don’ts:
- Do pay attention to your height at your annual physical. A significant change may indicate an issue.
- Do some research on your medication side effects. Some medications can place you at greater risk of bone loss.
- Don’t smoke, and limit alcohol.
- Do eat calcium and Vitamin D rich foods.
- Do watch your posture and keep your core strong.
- Do take precautions using good body mechanics with sitting, lifting, and household chores. Check out this link for good posture while working from home at a computer.
- Limit bending forward at your trunk- trunk flexion (especially with rotation) puts your spine at risk if you have osteoporosis.
- Do educate yourself on fall prevention and home safety.
- Do pay attention to your balance and regularly participate in safe (per your clinician) balance activities.
- Don’t give up! There are many ways you can strengthen your bones and improve your health right at home, including resistance exercise and bone stimulating cardiovascular exercise.
One popular method to increase bone stress and challenge with walking is to use a weighted vest (affiliate link)- be cautious of increasing joint pain (think hips and knees), and talk with your health care provider for specific recommendations for your health, before you try something new. Check out this link for other walking tips and challenges to increase bone stimulation.
Monitor your exercise and improve your follow through and progress with printable health handouts! Print this FREEBIE out to log your exercise: cardio, stretching, core and resistance!
Creative Home Therapy Printables- Strong Bones Activity Log or Health Packets on ETSY.com
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What advice do you give to seniors or caregivers regarding osteoporosis and bone care? I would love to hear from you. Subscribe below and receive a free packet of health care printables, and occasional emails on senior health care!