If you've ever seen a real skeleton or fossil in a museum, you may think that bones are dead, although bones in museums are dry, hard, or crumbly, the bones in your body are different.
Bones in our bodies are living and growing tissues that are constantly rebuilding themselves, they contain nerves, blood vessels, and marrow, where blood cells are created.
When we are born we have 300 bones that are soft and connected to cartilage, when we become adults at age 25, we have 206 bones due to fusion of these younger separate bones along with our cartilage.
Bone has a soft framework made up of a protein called collagen, collagen is actually an elastic protein and improves our bones against fracture resistance.
The harder framework that adds strength to our bones is made up of a mineral called calcium phosphate, calcium phosphate is used to take calcium supplements.
What are our bones made of?
50% bones salts, and primary calcium phosphate, 25% bone tissue, 25% collagen!
Why is calcium important to bone health?
Calcium is essential for maintaining the bone mass necessary to keep our bones healthy and strong, The body is also constantly using calcium in muscle and nerve functions as well as to carry out functions in the heart.
Why do we lose calcium?
As we touched on the body uses calcium to aid in muscles contraction, transmitting nerve signals, if our bodies are lacking in calcium then the body will use take if from the bones to aid the above processes.
Human bodies don't actually make any calcium, we get all of our calcium through diet, the way we absorb calcium is through our intensive and a vital mineral that helps this happen, its Vitamin D. A major cause of weak bones (or osteoporotic bones) is lack of vitamin D which then doesn't allow our bodies to utilise the ingested calcium!
What is osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a bone disease that occurs when the body loses too much bone, makes too little bone, or both. As a result, bones become weak and may break from a fall, rather than a bone being strong and flexible the bones affected by osteoporosis have a holey appearance under a microscope, like a honeycomb.
Osteoporotic bone breaks are most likely to occur in the hip, spine or wrist, but other bones can break too.
According to the National Osteoporosis Society, more than 3 million people in the UK are estimated to have osteoporosis, a condition that causes around 500,000 broken bones every year - that's one every minute.
Osteoporosis is measured primarily determined by measuring bone mineral density and is largely an asymptomatic condition that often remains undiagnosed until it manifests as a low-trauma fracture of the hip, spine, arm, pelvis, and/or wrist, this may lead us onto spending more time in hospital.
Treatment and prevention
The goal of medication is to reduce the risk of fractures however osteoporosis is preventable with proper management of diet, lifestyle, and fall prevention interventions.
Health and lifestyle:
Lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise influence how healthy your bones are.
regular exercise and strength (resistance training), its recommended through NICE guidelines that Adults aged 19 to 64 should do at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, such as cycling or fast walking, every week.
Strength training: adults aged 19 to 64 should also do muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week by working for all the major muscle groups, including the legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, arms and shoulders.
a healthy and balanced diet is important for everyone, its help prevents major health issues and improves our bone density.
Calcium is a common mineral found in many foods. The body needs calcium to maintain strong bones and to carry out many important functions. Almost all calcium is stored in bones and teeth, where it supports their structure and hardness
Adults need 700mg a day, which you should be able to get from your daily diet. Calcium-rich foods include:
• leafy green vegetables
• dried fruit
Also, important for important for healthy bones is vitamin D. It helps your body absorb calcium.
Public Health England (PHE) has advised that nearly everyone in the UK should take a 10 mcg (400 IU) supplement of vitamin D in the autumn and winter months, which is not available from sunlight alone.
However, it can be difficult to get enough vitamin D from foods alone. So, all adults should consider taking a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D.
How can chiropractors help?
Chiropractic cannot prevent loss of bone density through treatment! as said above it has to come through leading a healthy lifestyle.
However, we can help you get fit; improve those injuries that have kept you out of exercise for so long. We will also get you started on a training program and may give health advice.
if you have a diagnosis of osteoporosis, we can still treat your soft tissues, we use extremely gentle techniques to help keep muscles loose and usually our main is to improve your balance with a series of exercises.
Good balance enables you to reach for objects, walk without shuffling and withstand mis-steps and even tripping. Balance enables you to react and recover to changes occurring throughout daily movement. In essence, balance assists you in preventing injuries and avoiding falls.