The Business of Healthy Bones
When we think of our bones and the skeletal system in general, we think of words like, hard, strong, or solid. While we realize bones can be broken (6.8 million broken bones are reported each year), we often take for granted that bones are a living, growing tissue. All throughout our lives we are losing old bone while new bone continually grows. Children and adolescents form bone at a faster rate than they lose it, but for seniors it’s the reverse, they can lose more bone than they are able to form.
This is where the condition of osteoporosis occurs which is “A condition in which the bones become so porous and weak that they are likely to break from a minor injury. A person with osteoporosis can break a bone from a minor fall, picking up a bag of groceries, and in more serious cases, from a simple action such as a sneeze. While the most common osteoporosis fractures occur in the hip, vertebrae (bones in the spine) and wrist, these fractures also occur in many other bones.”
According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF), this condition affects 54 million Americans. A bone density test is the only test that can diagnosis this condition. If you are over the age of 65, consider talking to your healthcare provider to see if your insurance covers a bone density test.
The NOF also recommends simple ways to improve bone health:
- Get enough calcium and Vitamin D every day
- Do weight-baring and muscle-strengthening exercises
- Keep healthy lifestyle behaviors
- Talk to your doctor about your bone health
- Improve your balance and prevent falls
It’s never too late (or too early) to protect your bone health! If you are concerned, talk to your health care provide today!