You may know osteoporosis negatively impacts the health of your bones, but did you know it affects over 53 million Americans?
Osteoporosis causes deterioration of your bone tissue, leading to low bone mass and an increased risk of fractures. And while both men and women can develop osteoporosis, women are four times more likely than men to have the disease.
At Pro Rehab Chiropractic and Rehabilitation, with nine Delaware locations, our providers are committed to educating our patients about this debilitating disease. It begins by understanding the factors that put you at risk for osteoporosis and taking steps to mitigate it.
Osteoporosis risk factors
You may think of your bones as unchanging entities. But the truth is they grow constantly as old bone cells die and new ones grow in their place. This process, called remodeling, helps keep your bones strong.
Bone strength is one way our doctors predict your likelihood of developing osteoporosis. Let’s take a closer look at how we use bone strength to determine your risk and other common risk factors of osteoporosis.
You have low bone density
Your doctor measures the amount of minerals like calcium and phosphorus in your bones to predict your bone strength. We call this your bone mass.
The higher your bone mass is at its peak, when you’re in your late 20s, the lower your risk of developing osteoporosis. Conversely, the lower the number, the greater your risk.
You’re older or in menopause
When you reach your 30s, your body loses bone material faster than it can replace the cells. This leads to less dense bones and a higher risk of osteoporosis.
For women, menopause also increases your risk of developing osteoporosis as the hormonal changes associated with it increase the rate of bone loss.
Your diet isn’t optimal for bone health
What you eat affects your health — including the health of your bones. Not getting enough calcium and vitamin D increases your risk of osteoporosis.
If you stay away from processed foods and opt for a calcium-rich diet based on healthy foods, such as dark leafy greens, broccoli, tofu, and almonds, you can improve your intake of vitamins and minerals and reduce your risk.
You don’t exercise
Being sedentary or mostly sedentary is one of the worst things you can do for your overall health and especially the health of your bones. When you’re inactive, your body stops spending energy on building a strong skeleton to support your weight and activity.
When you exercise, your body works to create more bone material since your muscles pull against your bones. Performing weight-bearing exercises on a regular basis helps reduce your risk of osteoporosis.
You smoke or drink alcohol
If you smoke and are worried about osteoporosis, it’s with good reason. Smoking more than doubles your risk of developing osteoporosis because it reduces your body’s ability to absorb calcium and other vitamins and minerals. Drinking alcohol also increases this risk.
To help reduce your risk of osteoporosis, quit smoking and eliminate or reduce alcohol use.
What should you do if you’re at risk for osteoporosis?
Your provider at Pro Rehab Chiropractic and Rehabilitation is happy to discuss osteoporosis, your risk factors, and the current health of your bones with you. Our practice uses chiropractic treatment to help ease the symptoms, like back pain and neck pain, that osteoporosis causes.
To learn more about osteoporosis and your risk of developing it, call one of our offices in Wilmington, Newark, Bear/Glasgow, Pike Creek, Christiana, Dover, or Lewes/Rehoboth, Delaware. You can also book your appointment online.