What is osteoporosis?

In osteoporosis the density of the bones decreases and their brittleness increases causing them to be easily fractured.

For hormonal reasons it is much more common in women than men. Women who are past the menopause are most commonly affected.


How do I know if I have osteoporosis?

In most cases there are no obvious signs of osteoporosis. The first indication is often a fracture after a fall that would not normally cause a fracture in a younger person. Typical sites for these fractures are just above the wrist and the top of the thigh bone.

Another common symptom of osteoporosis is the fracture of one or more vertebrae in the spine, this can cause the bones to crumble and then touch on a nerve root. In these cases a patient may come to the clinic with back pain and be diagnosed with osteoporosis.


How can I find out if I have osteoporosis?

X-rays will normally show up acase of osteoporosis. However the most accurate method is through a bone density scan.


What treatment is available for osteoporosis?

There is little treatment available but preventative measures should be taken to slow the process. Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) to compensate for the reduced oestrogen production has been shown to prevent osteoporosis in women but as soon as the HRTis stopped the bone density can again decline.

Exercise is very important but it must be the right exercise, therefore consult your Chiropractor or GP on this.

Your diet is also very important. Soy foods, green leafy vegetables, berries and grains contain a natural form of oestrogen known as isoflavins. Research recommends that a menopausal female’s diet should contain 45mg of isoflavins per day equating to a typical serving of 55g of Tofu or 600ml of Soya milk. Citrus fruits are also recommended. Calcium supplements should be taken daily. Further supplements are: magnesium, boron and vitamins B6 and D.


Chiropractic and osteoporosis

Let your chiropractor know if you have or suspect you have osteoporosis as adjustments will need to be made in how they work with you. Some of the harder, hands on techniques won’t
be suitable but there are several techniques that are.

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