Osteoporosis, Osteopathy and You

Osteopaths, specialised to spot osteoporosis!

Osteoporosis is a common condition where bones lose their strength, becoming more likely to break following minor bumps or fall.Bone strength is determined by its density; this is how closely knit the bone tissue is. If there is loss of density (more space between the bone tissue) the bone becomes fragile. Losing bone density is a normal part of the ageing process, but some people can lose it much faster than normal.Factors which increase the risk of osteoporosis, include:

  • Menopause; women lose bone rapidly in the first few years after the menopause
  • Long-term use of high-dose oral corticosteroids
  • Family history of osteoporosis – particularly history of a hip fracture in a parent
  • Long-term use of certain medications which can affect bone strength or hormone levels
  • Having a low body mass index (BMI)
  • Heavy drinking and smoking

Why is osteoporosis important?

Here are a few surprising osteoporosis facts that are sure to impress at your next dinner party:

  1. It is estimated that approximately 3 million people in the UK suffer with osteoporosis
  2. One in two women and one in five men over the age of 50 will fracture a bone due to osteoporosis
  3. The mortality rate following a hip fracture in the first year after is estimated at 30-50%

Osteoporosis is not only staggeringly common, but can be disruptive in people’s lives. The fractures that result from osteoporosis can be enormously painful in themselves and in many cases the fracture goes un-diagnosed or misdiagnosed prolonging the pain.In addition, the resultant the loss of mobility following a fracture be extremely debilitating for many elderly people. Daily activities which were once easy can become challenging, stopping people from being self-sufficient.

What can osteopathy do to help osteoporosis?

Osteopaths are fantastically placed at the frontline against osteoporosis, helping with early diagnosis and prevention for sufferers, “specialised to spot”. In the UK, osteopaths treat approximately 30,000 patients every day. For those ‘silent’ sufferers, osteopaths are perfectly placed to identify if they are at a risk. The referrals and advice offered can be fundamental in stopping the further loss of bone strength and getting patients onto their perfect treatment plan.For those suffering with pain related to osteoporotic fracture, osteopath’s experience in musculoskeletal pain means they are often the most experienced at identifying the difference between fracture pain and other joint, muscle and tendon related pain. This fast and effective diagnosis is essential for treatment and preventing further fracture.The osteopathic community are fighting to address this debilitating condition and what osteopathy can do for sufferers. The Institute of Osteopathy have teamed up with The National Osteoporosis Society to raise awareness among patients and practitioners about diagnosis, management and treatment.Within the Bridgeham team, we have 2 osteopaths who are now trained as Fracture Prevention Practitioners, our “osteoporosis spotters” have completed several days of intensive training to spot those early warning signs of degeneration. If you have any questions or queries, don’t hesitate to give us call!

Pilates and Buff Bones!

Our clinic director and highly experienced Pilates teacher Jo is also registered under Buff Bones, a specialised Pilates qualification that provides her the ability to specialise her teaching for those with osteoporosis. It is recommended by the National Osteoporosis Society that gentle weight bearing exercise benefits healthy bone development in those with osteoporosis. Bridgeham offers a specific Pilates class designed for people of all ages suffering with osteoporosis to provide a safe environment for people to move with confidence. The class will allow participants to explore new movements, improve mobility and balance to prevent falls and most of all let you move to your ability.Have a look at our class schedule for times or contact the clinic for more details.

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