Though your risk of developing osteoporosis increases as you get older, it’s not a normal part of the aging process. In fact, taking steps to ward off osteoporosis as early as possible may prevent the chronic and serious bone condition.
At Orthopedic & Wellness, we specialize in treating orthopedic and spine conditions. Osteoporosis increases your risk of fractures, including compression fractures that can cause severe back pain and may require surgical intervention from our spine surgeon.
Our experienced physicians — Dr. Ojedapo Ojeyemi and Dr. Matthew Roh — want to help you live your healthiest life. Here, they share important information about what you can do now to potentially prevent osteoporosis and the health problems that come with it.
Your bones are made of living cells that are under constant reconstruction, with new bone cells continuously replacing old bone cells. When you're young, the rate of new bone cell production exceeds the removal of old bone cells, increasing your total bone mass.
As you get older, the rate of new bone cell production slows down and bone loss outpaces bone growth. While this change in bone cell production and bone mass is part of the aging process, osteoporosis is not.
Your risk of developing osteoporosis depends on your peak bone mass, which is the amount of bone mass you accumulate when you’re young. Though your genetics may have some influence over this number, you can take steps to increase your peak bone mass and reduce your risk of osteoporosis.
New bone cell production starts to slow down in your early 20s. Though your bones gain the most benefits when you take steps to increase bone mass early, it’s never too late to improve bone health and prevent osteoporosis.
Your bones store 99% of your body’s calcium, the other 1% is found in your bloodstream. Getting enough calcium in your diet — from food or supplements — is essential for building and maintaining strong, healthy bones.
Adults need up to 1,200 milligrams of calcium a day.
Weight-bearing exercises like walking or tennis and muscle-building exercises like free weights or use of resistance bands not only stress and build muscle, but they also stress and build bones.
For bone health, engage in these types of bone-building exercises 3-4 days a week.
Calcium is essential for bone health, and eating a diet filled with a variety of healthy foods ensures your body and bones get all the nutrients they need. This means a diet filled with a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean sources of protein.
More than 20% of adults age 50 and older in the United States have osteoporosis, and most of them — 18% — are women. You may not realize you have this serious bone disease until you develop a fracture.
People with osteoporosis may break any bone in their body, but hip, wrist, and spine fractures are the most common. These breaks may heal on their own after casting. However, some fractures may require treatment to support the healing process.
For compression fractures in the spine, we may recommend minimally invasive spine surgery, such as vertebroplasty or kyphoplasty to stabilize the spine, decrease pain, and prevent future spine problems.
We also recommend lifestyle changes to reduce your risk of fractures, such as exercises to improve balance, trip-proofing your house, and wearing low-heeled shoes.
There’s no better time than now to take steps to improve bone health and prevent osteoporosis. We can help. Call our office — we have three convenient locations: Frederick, Waldorf, and Germantown, Maryland — or use our online booking tool to schedule an appointment today.