What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a condition in which the bones become fragile and brittle, leading to a higher risk of fractures than with normal bone. (Osteoporosis Australia 2012)
WORLDWIDE osteoporosis causes more than 8.9 million fractures a year, resulting in an osteoporatic fracture
every 3 seconds.
ONE in three women over 50 will experience osteoporatic fractures, as will one in five men.
Bones contain collagen (a protein), calcium, salts and other minerals.
Each bone is made up of a thick outer shell known as Cortical bone, and a stronger inner
mesh of Trabecular bone which looks like honeycomb.
Demineralisation of this Trabecular bone
leads to decreased strength (decreased
density: BMD), some bones are more prone to osteoporatic changes – eg: wrist/hip/spine.
Bone density can be assessed with a Dexa-scan. This compares bone density against that of normal bone of people of the same age and gives a result called a T-score.
T-score of -1and above: Bone density is considered normal
T-score of between -1 to -2.5 Diagnosis of Osteopenia; a condition in which bone density is below normal, and may lead to Osteoporosis
T-score -2.5 and below Diagnosis of Osteoporosis
After age 35, bone density is gradually lost. This becomes more rapid in women for
several years following the menopause.
There are other risk factors for developing the condition:
- Premature menopause
- Diet – decreased calcium levels
- High alcohol intake
- Decreased activity and exercise levels
- Prolonged steroid use
About 50% of people with one fracture due to osteoporosis go on to have another.
The risk of future fractures rises with each new fracture.
How can we manage Osteoporosis?
Exercise: There is a growing evidence for effectiveness of exercise including water based exercise and Pilates in the prevention and management of
The role of exercise is important at every age:
- To maximise bone density in the first three decades of life
- To minimise age related decline in bone mineral density (BMD)
- Promotes muscle control giving support to joint
- Improves balance – preventing and reducing falls and fractures
For further information and advice please contact us.