Osteoporosis is low bone density.
Loss of bone tissue, and the disruption of the complex architecture within the bone making the bone fragile and increases its risk to fracture.
There are varying forms of loss of bone density, but osteoporosis is defined when the loss of bone density is in a pathological phase – which refers to the increased risk of fracture.
As we age, the loss of bone mass increases, while the re-absorption of the bone mass, within the bone marrow, reduces. This process reaches to osteoporosis when certain factors influence less re-absorption of bone mass within the bone marrow or increasing the loss of bone mass.
The common incidence of fracture is to the hip, usually by a minor fall, but enough to fracture a bone with osteoporosis. Hip spring to mind in most orthopaedics cases, because the management is difficult, making it a higher risk of mortality and morbidity.
Common cause is post menopause, where the oestrogen level decreases, reducing the calcium and protein build up within the bone.
There are other causes, such as a reduced physical exercise – post-operation, disability, poor nutrition, sedentary lifestyle. In my clinic, osteoporosis was noted on people recovering from long-term drug and alcohol use, where lack of nutrition and physical exercise throughout those years has led to osteoporosis.
Exercise – resistance or weight-bearing (walking, jogging), placing strain and pressure in the bone, encouraging health and strength. I am a big fan of Pilates, in these cases.
Please note that bone is the most active organ in the body, with good internal blood supply and good external neurological input, designed to adapt to change of forces, environment, force transmission, gait mechanic and much more; therefore, it will respond very well to exercise.
I recommend rotational exercise, throwing, kicking, running because the bone’s architecture responds very well to torsion.
Nutrition – High calcium, magnesium, vitamin D food, examples of spinach, broccoli. Although this is the general advice, I do believe in a complete nutritional program. For example, dietary components in oily fish, prunes have been known to benefit bone mass density.