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About Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis involves 2 different bone cells called Osteoclast cells, and Osteoblast cells. 

Simply, Osteoclast cells are bone cells that break down bone tissue and take away old damaged bone tissue and debris. Osteoblast cells build by bringing all the nutrients that the bones need to grow. 

Osteoporosis is a metabolic disease with both endocrine and psychological influences. 

There are three types:

  1. Type 1: Most well-known and occurs post-menopause from a decrease in estrogen

  2. After Age 75: More prevalent in women, but also possible in men

  3. Secondary Osteoporosis: predisposed medical conditions such as Crohn’s, eating disorders, chemotherapy, and prednisone use.

Risks factors and conditions: There are both modifiable risk factors, what you can change right now, and non-modifiable:

Non-modifiable Risk Factors

  1. Older than 50

  2. Caucasian or Asian

  3. Northern European Descent

  4. Experienced Menopause

  5. Family History

  6. Long periods of rest (spinal core injuries, long-term bed rest) 

Modifiable Risk Factors 

  1. Activity levels

  2. Tobacco

  3. Medications

  4. Diet/Nutrition 

Clinical manifestations of osteoporosis are loss of height and postural changes such as lack of abdomen muscles, forward head posture, and loss of lumbar lordosis. Osteoporosis is unique in that it happens gradually rather than overnight. Before osteoporosis, it is common to first have osteopenia which is too little bone, and low bone mass but osteoporosis is decreased bone density. 

Bone is a dynamic tissue, constantly undergoing the bone remodeling cycle, new bones cells being laid down and built up. 

Wolf’s law is that bone is laid down in areas of high stress and reabsorbed in areas of low stress. Bone alters its shape, strength, and density in response to external forces. External forces cause osteoblast activity to outweigh osteoclast activity and therefore increase bone mass. 

More physical activity = More bone being laid down!

4 Recommendations from the National Osteoporosis Foundation: 

  1. Daily walking programs

  2. Resistance training

  3. Extension-based exercises

  4. Balance training

To learn more about osteoporosis and safe movement and movements to avoid, listen to the full podcast on Spotify or YouTube