November is Osteoporosis Awareness Month

What is Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a disease characterized by low bone mass and deterioration of bone tissue. This leads to increased bone fragility and risk of fractures (broken bone).

Osteoporosis is sometimes confused with osteoarthritis because the names are similar. Osteoporosis is a bone disease; osteoarthritis is a disease of the joints and surrounding tissue.

Bones are constantly being renewed naturally. But with age, this process becomes less efficient and bone mineral density is lost. When bone mineral density is lower than normal, but not low enough to be classified as osteoporosis, it is called osteopenia.

Osteoporosis causes bones to become very thin and weak over time and increases the risk of fracture. It is often called the “silent thief” because bone loss occurs without symptoms.

When bones are seriously weakened by osteoporosis, even simple movements such as bending over to pick up a bag of groceries or sneezing heavily can lead to fractures.

Important Osteoporosis facts:

  • Most common sites of osteoporotic fracture are the wrist, spine, shoulder and hip.
  • Osteoporosis can strike at any age.
  • Osteoporosis affects both men and women.
  • Women and men alike begin to lose bone in their mid-30’s; as they approach menopause, women lose bone at a greater rate, from 2-3% per year.
  • Fractures from osteoporosis are more common than heart attack, stroke and breast cancer combined.
  • At least 1 in 3 women and 1 and 5 men will suffer from osteoporotic fracture during their lifetime.
  • Over 80% of all fractures in people 50+ are caused by osteoporosis.
  • 28% of women and 37% of men who suffer a hip fracture will die within the following year.
  • Osteoporotic hip fractures consume more hospital bed days than stroke, diabetes, or heart attack.
  • A Canadian study showed that 14% of persons with a wrist fracture suffered a repeat fracture within three days.
  • One in three hip fracture patients re-fracture at one year and over1 in 2 will suffer another fracture within 5 years.
  • The risk of suffering a second spine fracture within the first 12 months following an initial vertebral fracture is 20%.
Risks factors of Osteoporosis
In addition to age, there are several factors that will increase your risk of developing osteoporosis.
  • Family history
  • Osteopania
  • Low body weight
  • Diet low in calcium
  • Low levels of activity
  • Ovaries removed or early menopause (before that age of 45), without hormone replacement
  • Vitamin D deficiency
  • Smoking
  • Excessive caffeine intake (more than four cups a day of coffee, tea or cola) or excessive alcohol intake (more than two drinks a day)
  • Long-term oral use of some medications such as cortisone, prednisone or anticonvulsants
Minimizing Your Risk
If you have some of the risk factors listed above, talk to your doctor about getting a bone density test and take preventative action to reduce the risk. Some of the things you can do to protect your bones:
  • Eat well.
  • Include calcium in your diet.
  • Get enough vitamin D.
  • Be active every day.
  • Avoid smoking.
Ajax chiropractors Dr. Noble and Dr. Fera do not treat osteoporosis directly. They are able to reduce some of the symptoms, however, particularly relating to spinal compression fracture, and can offer advice to help prevent further fractures. Both Dr. Noble and Dr. Fera can modify the treatment and find the chiropractic treatment method that suits you.

To learn how chiropractic care can support your symptoms, contact the clinic at 9054273202.

For more in-depth information, visit and .