Preventing Osteoporosis and Building Stronger Bones

Thursday, July 28, 2016
Preventing Osteoporosis and Building Stronger Bones

Osteoporosis is a disease in which bone density and quality of bone are reduced.  The loss of bone occurs silently and progressively.  Often there are no symptoms until the first fracture occurs.  Genetic factors play a significant roll in determining whether an individual is at heightened risk of osteoporosis.  The good news is lifestyle factors such as diet and physical activity also influence bone development in youth and the rate of bone loss later in life. 

Improvement in body alignment and several types of osteoporosis exercises that are important for building and maintaining bone density, such as; regular weight-bearing and muscle strengthening exercises.

“Walking is the single best weight bearing exercise for most people most of the time.  All one needs is a good pair of well fitting shoes and a safe place to walk,” said Stacey Thury, Physical Therapist at Prairie Lakes Healthcare System (PLHS).   “However, research has shown that it is important to “surprise” the bone by varying forces on the bone.  This can be accomplished with walking on uneven terrain, walking backwards, and walking sideways, as well as forward.  Other weight bearing exercises include dancing, light jogging, hiking, and jumping rope.”

Universal recommendations for all patients include adequate intake of calcium and vitamin D.  The Recommended Dietary Allowance for calcium for men and women age 51 and older is 1200mg.   

“It is best to first assess how much calcium and vitamin D you are currently getting in your diet, said Becky Schaible, Dietitian at PLHS.  “Food sources of vitamin D are limited so it can be difficult to meet your vitamin D needs from food sources alone, therefore supplementation is usually recommended. You may choose to increase calcium from foods, like dairy products, in your diet or add a calcium supplement.  Proper calcium supplementation has been shown to decrease bone loss and risk of fracture. To maximize absorption, calcium should be limited to no more than 500 to 600 mg at one time and should be taken at different times of the day.  To ensure quality and adequate dissolution look for the “USP” or “UL” symbols on supplements.”

Appointments are available with Becky Schaible, Dietitian or Stacey Thury, Physical Therapist by calling Prairie Lakes Healthcare System at 882-7000.

Becky S PLHS   Stacey Thury PLHS   

Contributors Becky Schailble (left) and Stacey Thury (right).

This article was published in The Watertown PO.