As we age, your bones become less dense. We may become more prone to injury. Osteoporosis occurs when the bones become more porous rather than solid and strong. I am looking at osteoporosis treatment guidelines, and how to build strong bones, and would like to present some potentially helpful information.
When osteoporosis affects vertebrae, or the bones of the spine, it often leads to a stooped or hunched posture. Osteoporosis can affect any bone in the body, but the most common bones are that of the wrists, spine and hips. These fractures cause much personal suffering and loss of quality of life.
Choosing the right activities for people with osteoporosis
- Strength training activities
- Weight-bearing activities
- Flexibility activities
- Stability and balance activities
6 tips to build strong bones
- Eat a variety of fruit and vegetables. Vegetables are a good source of vitamin C. The green and yellow vegetables have been shown in studies to help with supplying minerals to the bones. Five daily servings of fruit and vegetables are recommended.
- Add Vitamin D to your Diet. Many of us in North America do not get enough Vitamin D from the sun. Taking a vitamin D supplement is beneficial to see that you meet your vitamin D and calcium requirement. Ask your doctor of pharmacist what the recommended dose would be for your area.
- Getting enough sleep gives your body time to strengthen and repair your bones.
- Do strength training exercises. Strength training can be done using your own body weight or using resistance bands. Using your own body weight would include walking, stair climbing and gardening. As we age, many of us notice our strength decrease. Weight bearing or resistance exercise increases your muscle mass. Properly done exercise can help to strengthen the bones as well.
- Reduce your stress levels. Worry and anxiety deplete the bones of their resilience. They are primarily damaged by the sympathetic nervous system and adrenal stress hormones.
- Control your vices. Tobacco and excessive consumption of alcohol is associated with loss of bone density. Look into a program to help you quit.
Bone is a living growing tissue, made mostly of collagen. Calcium phosphate is the mineral which hardens the framework. This combination makes the bone strong and flexible.
You can get your bone mineral density tested. Ask your doctor to get a simple X-ray test which measures bone mineral density. This will help determine your risk of osteoporosis and fractured bones. If your doctor determines that you have a problem with loss in bone density, he/she may prescribe medications to help prevent fractures.
Swimming and biking are non-weight bearing exercises, so they would not be as beneficial for bone-strengthening. Walking is the safest weight-bearing exercise there is.
If you have osteoporosis, you may think that exercise will lead to a fracture. However, certain types of exercise strengthen muscles and bones, while other types of exercise are designed to improve your balance, which in turn can help prevent falls. Simply walking is a safe exercise that will build your bones.
Movements to Avoid
If you have osteoporosis, you do not want to do the following types of exercises:
- High-impact Exercises, such as jogging. Avoid rapid movements. Choose exercises with slow, controlled movements.
- Bending and Twisting. Do not include bending at the waist in your exercise regime. That would include touching your toes or doing sit-ups, Other exercises that require twisting are not recommended, such as golfing, tennis or bowling.
A talk with your doctor will help you know how porous your bones are. Your doctor can recommend what exercises you should safely be able to do. You do want to still be active and have fun.
Improving your posture will help to reduce the risk of fractures, as a body in proper alignment with itself is in the best place to support itself. As we strengthen our muscles, it helps keeps our bones aligned with one another.
Walking is a good way to increase bone density. Did you know that if you stomp your feet (but not too hard!) you may increase bone density in your hips! Four stomps on each foot twice a day using enough pressure to crush a pop can may be a good guideline!
Range of Motion
Moving your muscles through their full range of motion helps keep you flexible. Flexibility exercises should only be done after you have warmed up your muscles. Give yourself a 10-minute warm-up and a 10-minute cool down.
Gentle stretching will encourage good posture and ensure that your spine is in its neutral position. Strengthening your lower abdominal and back muscles will help you have that optimal neutral spine position.
Perform stretches slowly and evenly but not to the point of pain. Avoid stretches that cause you to bend at the waist. Your doctor knows which stretches are best for you.
Have a Plan
As we age, it is more difficult to lose weight and build muscle and bone. You need a plan to get started on a good routine of a healthy diet and exercise program.
Proper exercise and a healthy diet are known to show good improvements in your overall health. A healthy routine helps to reduce LDL cholesterol, reduce triglycerides and increase HDL cholesterol.
If you have osteoporosis, it is important to protect yourself from falling. As you keep your home surroundings safe, you are less likely to fall and break any bones.
Make certain that there is enough light in your home. Remove throw rugs which you may trip over. Check your house for electrical cords that you may trip over. Avoid area rugs and slippery surfaces in your home in order to prevent falls.
Wear low-heeled shoes with nonslip soles. Install grab bars just inside and outside your bathtub or shower. Put up sturdy handrails on your stairs.
Find appropriate exercises to increase your strength and balance.
For more information about exercises to preserve your bones, your can check out the website of the National Osteoporosis Foundation at https://www.nof.org/preventing-fractures/exercise-to-stay-healthy/.
Osteoporosis Alternative Treatments
Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese therapy used in Chinese medicine. It involves placing very thin needles in strategic points on the body. This is believed to stimulate various body functions and organs to promote healing.
Tai chi is an ancient Chinese practice that is thought to promote increased immune function and overall well-being for older adults. It may improve muscle strength, coordination, and reduce muscle or joint pain and stiffness. It is known to help improve balance and stability.
The list below, of Success Tactics applies to any and every area of each of our lives. It seemed good enough that I just had to include them here.
I hope you enjoy them!
- Reach for your own dream. Do not be clingy or afraid.
- Start slowly to regain your strength.
- Use resistance bands as a safe way to exercise and strengthen your bones.
- Figure out how to make things better.
- You are unique, but so is everyone else. You are not better or worse, just different.
- Put on your walking shoes and walk!
- Don’t live in the past. Make certain that you have a bigger windshield than rear-view mirror!
- Don’t waste today but get started improving your body and strength.
You need to keep moving, even if you have situations that set you back. You still want to have fun. You don’t want to sit on the sidelines but be as active as possible. I hope you enjoyed our discussion on osteoporosis treatment guidelines, and how to build strong bones.
Please Leave a Comment
I would love to hear from you. What are your thoughts? How would you keep active if osteoporosis tried to slow you down? What would you do?
Disclaimer: I’m not a nutritionist, or a doctor, these are things to help us enjoy life every day. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional. Consult your doctor before starting any exercise program. Because of the various degrees of osteoporosis and the risk of fracture, you may have been told not to do certain exercises. Your doctor or physical therapist knows which exercises are appropriate for you.