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Osteoporosis

Although osteoporosis can affect any bone in the body, it primarily affects the wrist, spine and hip. Because of the high mortality rate of the hip fracture, it can be called a life-threatening condition.

While it is more common in thin, post-menopausal Caucasian and Asian women, everyone is at risk. It also occurs in pre-menopausal women, men, and people of different ages, body types and ethnic origin.

How do you get it?

Osteoporosis has no known causes. It has been related to many risk factors including lifestyle, medication and dietary considerations. The most commonly associated risk factors are: Caucasian or Asian post-menopausal female, family history and low body weight.

How is it treated?

The “Triangle of Management” includes exercise, medication and diet. Exercise should be resistive, site-specific and weight bearing. Dietary intervention should include adequate calcium intake along with modifications of diet including reduced caffeine, alcohol, and soda consumption. Bioflex low intensity laser therapy can stimulate cell production.

What are the exercise precautions?

General precautions include no flexion exercises- that is no sit-ups, abdominal crunches, or toe touching. Flexion exercise has been associated with fractures of the spine. The exercise program should emphasize postural alignment, site-specific isometric strengthening, extension and resistive exercises.

How is it prevented?

Prevention of osteoporosis begins early in life. Because the majority of peak bone mass is attained by the age 19 and most bone growth occurs during adolescence, prevention truly should begin by age 10. After the attainment of peak bone mass (age 30-35), prevention of consequences of osteoporosis, such as fractures and falls, is most important.

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