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Osteoporosis: Awareness and Prevention

I wrote a previous article about osteoporosis prevention, but with Osteoporosis Awareness just around the corner, I would like to revisit that subject and share a real case study with you, to highlight how ‘silent’ a condition it is.

For many, the first indication of having this condition is the pain from an osteoporotic fracture when it is usually diagnosed by a doctor using conventional radiography and by measuring the bone mineral density. However, Osteopaths are in a prime position to screen for osteoporosis and to educate those individuals at high risk about prevention and management.

Bone health

It is estimated that osteoporosis affects around 3 million people in the UK. One in two women and one in five men over the age of 50 will fracture a bone, predominantly due to poor bone health. With an aging population, these figures are likely to increase.

So when should we start thinking about bone health? Well, we need to start building strong bones during the crucial development stage, in childhood. We need to eat foods high in calcium, vitamin D, eat fruits and vegetables every day and take regular exercise, including weight bearing activities. For more information on the causes of osteoporosis and how to avoid it, please see the Osteoporosis article.

Case study

A gentleman, aged 48, had a long history of back problems. It had been maintained through osteopathy and physiotherapy and improved to the point where he felt confident enough to attempt skiing again. However, a fall on the slope resulted in him sustaining a spinal fracture.

On further investigation, he was diagnosed with secondary osteoporosis due to underlying Coeliac disease, resulting in malabsorption of important vitamins and minerals, including calcium needed for strong bones. This was a surprise to us all and clearly a situation that may have been avoided by earlier screening.

Osteoporosis screening

In support of the National Osteoporosis Society, The Odiham Clinic offers osteoporosis screening, with one of our Osteopathic team. We can screen anyone aged between 40 and 90 by using a questionnaire, developed by the World Health Organisation.

So make a positive move today, book an osteoporosis screening and find out whether you are at risk and what you can do to help yourself.