What Is Osteoporosis?
- Created: Friday, 23 September 2011 08:40
- Written by Dr. Michael Bennese
The following article was recently published in Woman Newspaper, a publication serving Cumberland, Dauphin and Adams Counties. It is the first of a series on Bone Density over the next 6 months.
What is Osteoporosis?
by Dr. Michael Bennese
Osteoporosis is a loss of bone density, a condition which causes the bones to become brittle and fracture more easily. Although approximately 8 million women and 3 million men suffer from this debilitating disorder, osteoporosis is not an inevitable part of aging. The misconception that osteoporosis is a normal part of aging results in too many people unnecessarily suffering significant pain, deformity, or death.
In a normal state, bones are in a constant cycle of regeneration. That cycle is necessary so that the vital minerals within the bone can be distributed throughout the bloodstream. Cells within the bone then rebuild the lost bone. However, when that process slows down or becomes imbalanced, bones become weakened. Research indicates that weight bearing exercise, and particularly resistance exercise, is the best method of regenerating bone density. Weight bearing describes any activity you do on your feet that works your bones and muscles against gravity. Activities such as cycling and swimming are not weight bearing activities.
As we age, it is especially difficult to do exercise that stresses the bone enough to regenerate it without damage to joints.
How is Osteoporosis Diagnosed?
A simple, pain-free test to determine your bone density health is called a Bone Densitometry Exam (commonly referred to as a "Dexa Scan"). It the gold-standard in healthcare for measuring bone density. Many clinics in our area offer this test. The Dexa Scan measures bone density from various points in your skeleton, then gives you a score. The score will tell you if you have: a) Normal Bone Density b) Osteopenia (the stage before osteoporosis) or c) Osteoporosis. The test is then repeated anywhere from 1 -2 years later to determine progress of the treatment administered, whether it be drug therapy or Drug-Free Bone Density Improvement Program.
9 Facts on Osteoporosis
- 10 million people already have osteoporosis, many are not aware they do....
- 2 million men have osteoporosis; 3 million are at risk of developing it.
- At least 34 million people currently have lower than normal bone mass.
- 40% of women 50+ will suffer a fracture due to osteoporosis in their lifetime.
- The risk of fracture in women due to weak bones is greater than the risk of heart attack, stroke, or breast cancer....combined.
- Osteoporosis affects the entire skeleton.
- Most fractures due to osteoporosis occur in the spine, hip and wrist.
- 66% of spinal fractures occur without any pain...however, they do lead to the familiar "hunched over posture", which in turn causes many other problems.
- With common sense improvements to diet and nutrition, safe maximum loading of the skeleton over time can improve bone mass and reverse osteoporosis.
Dr. Michael Bennese, DC is a Certified Biomechanics Specialist with special training in the drug-free prevention and reversal of osteoporosis and osteopenia. He is founder of BStrong4Life-Enola, and founder and owner of Synchrony ChiroCare, one of the most advanced clinics in the country. Serving Central PA for 10 years, he is proud to be one of the first clinics in Pennsylvania to offer amazing technology that safely increases bone density, muscle strength, and coordination.