Posted on: May 2nd, 2017 by The Physio Movement | Categories: Sports Medicine & Nutrition

Osteoporosis is a bone disease which is characterized by low bone mass and a change in the structure leading to a significant risk of fractures.

This loss of bone mineral density is bone activity that favours the osteoclast cell activity (degradation of calcium and collagen) over the osteoblast cell activity (bone building).

Risk factors are as following
>65 yrs of age
Small frame, very low bmi
Loss of height (>3.81cm)
Females more predisposed then males, (during post menopause, reduced estrogen negatively affecting bone growth)

With current levels of inactivity the prevalence of osteoporosis is increasing as people at a younger age are exhibiting higher levels of inactivity. this is an issue as a fractured hip (neck of the femur) at a older age is greatly associated with morality.

Current literature supports that there are 2 main strategies to help improve bone density and reducing the likelihood of fractures to incidents such as falls. Firstly is it very important in the first 3 decades of life to have a correct diet, (high intake of calcium and vitamin D and a high level of physical activity. An example of this is participating in sports from the ages of 11-15 has been shown to have a significant correlation in hip and low back bone density.

As we get older there is an expected decline in bone mass, but this is accelerated in a person’s who is inactive compared to an active person where’s physical activity can inhibit this decline. Whilst is it established to get in early is to have the best preventative measures from developing osteoporosis, physical activity helped with improving bone density and also reducing their risk of falls of the elderly and post menopausal women.

The activities which incur the greatest stimulation for improved bone density and reduce bone reabsorption was found to be resistance training and movements that involved intense dynamic movements (jumping hopping etc) vs lower loading exercises which as cycling and swimming. The mode of exercise prescribed will vary on a case by case basis, as an 17 year old male will respond differently to a 60 year old female.

The importance of vitamin D should also not be overlooked as it is necessary for the maintenance of structural integrity and function of the musculoskeletal system, so doing any of recommended mode of training in an outdoor setting would be of most benefit.

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