“Can I be treated if I have osteoporosis?”
I get all sorts of enquiries and this one cropped up last week. It made me wonder what people know about osteoporosis and what they know about osteopathy.
So, first things first:
What is osteoporosis?
It is a condition where the bones get weak. Usually it develops slowly so you might not know you have it. Often your diagnosis will follow a bone fracture or break with the wrist, hip or spinal bones (vertebrae) being most commonly injured. You might not know you have osteoporosis, as it is painless, until you have a break.
Who can get it?
More than 3 million people in the UK are affected by osteoporosis – so you are not alone. Anyone can be affected including men, women and children
Your risks may increase if you are:
- A post-menopausal woman or had an early menopause;
- Have taken long-term steroids;
- Have inflammation or hormone related conditions;
- Taken certain drugs such as those for breast-cancer;
- You are very think or have a low BMI;
- You’re inactive;
- You smoke or drink heavily.
If you doctor thinks you might be at risk then you might need a DEXA scan.
Depending on your bone density, you may need to take medication.
It is also worth reducing your risk of falls, which can include regular sight and hearing tests.
…is better than cure, so here is a little to-do list to keep your bones healthy and strong:
- Take regular exercise, including using light weights;
- Try to include some impact exercise – even little jumps if you can;
- Give up smoking;
- Reduce your alcohol intake;
- Eat a calcium and vitamin D rich diet or supplement;
- Get 20 minutes of sunshine on your face or forearms a day as this helps your body make its own vitamin D, which is essential for bone health.
There are plenty of resources for help and support such as the NHS and The Royal Osteoporosis Society
Osteopaths are trained look after your physical health. All health systems are considered carefully when diagnosing and treating patients. Osteoporosis is very common so it will always be considered for older patients, post-menopausal women and patients on certain drugs.
So, in short, if an osteopath is asked “Can I be treated if I have osteoporosis?” – the answer is “YES”.
I also teach Pilates which is can be helpful in strengthening the bones.
For further information, do get in touch via my website where you can book online too.
I will look forward to seeing you.