May is National Osteoporosis Month. To bring light to Osteoporosis and how Live Your Life Physical Therapy can help you “Break Free” we have focused this month on bringing you information regarding how to Live Your Life TALL & STRONG and FALL FREE! We want you to be informed about how you can make lifestyle changes, learn about risk factors of Osteoporosis, and take a proactive approach with LYLPT to keep “Break Free.”
It is no surprise that most fractures or “breaks” are related to falls. In a research recently shared by the NOF (National Osteoporosis Foundation) it was found that hip fractures are the only ‘seasonal’ fractures and, contrary to belief, it is not winter time that sees increases to these types of fractures! Believe it or not of the 4,122 fractures reported, hip fractures were the only fracture that showed an increase during the spring. This one factor helps us to understand that breaking bones due to falls is a year round problem and while we tend to think that winter is the most frightening time of the year for falls we have to realize that falls happen 365 days of the year. Osteoporosis is the number one reason why breaks happen during falls, especially in post-menopausal women; however, men are not immune to this disease either. While Osteoporosis is more common in women, men need to know and understand that they too are at risk for this silent disease. Often, you don’t even know you have Osteoporosis until you’ve actually experienced a fall and/or a fracture of a bone or bones. Men can find information more specific to them with this particular guide provided by the NOF, called The Man’s Guide to Osteoporosis.
What Is Osteoporosis?
The above picture/verbiage  is a short, concise definition that you will find when you Google® the word Osteoporosis. However, let’s find out more; including risk factors and how you can make a difference in your life in the fight against Osteoporosis.
When osteoporosis occurs the bones of the body become porous, making them more susceptible to breaking. See the picture to the right in order to understand the difference between a healthy bone and one that has been affected by Osteoporosis. Often people will use terms like “soft bones” to explain how Osteoporosis affects the bones of the body. Bone density is lessened, leaving the bones at greater risk for injury and breaking. The great news is that if you take care of your bones, even at a very young age, you can actually help reduce risk factors later in life. You can actually help strengthen and reduce your risks at any age when guided by a professional. So what’s the lesson taken away from this paragraph alone? START TAKING CARE OF YOUR BONES EARLY IN LIFE if you can, and if you’re older it’s never too late to take a proactive approach in strong and healthy bones!
Risk Factors of Osteoporosis
- Gender – women are more prone to Osteoporosis than men
- Hormones – low estrogen levels due to missing menstrual periods or to menopause can cause osteoporosis in women. Low testosterone levels can bring on osteoporosis in men.
- Cigarettes & Alcohol – both smoking cigarettes & drinking alcohol can cause harm to your bones (among other vital organs & body parts)
- Age – as you age your risk for Osteoporosis increases also
- Diet – a diet that lacks vitamin D & calcium can make you prone to bone loss. Also, suffering from certain eating disorders such as anorexia can contribute to bone loss. A healthy diet can promote healthier bones and an overall healthier body in general.
- Medication – many medications can contribute to bone loss. Check with your doctor to see if any medications you may be on can be increasing your risk for osteoporosis.
- Family History & Ethnicity – your family history plays a vital part in your risk factor for Osteoporosis. If you have a family history of Osteoporosis your physician needs to be made aware and you need to take a proactive approach with lifestyle changes that can help decrease your risk. Also, Caucasian & Asian women are more prone to Osteoporosis; while Black & Hispanic women are at lower risk for the disease.
- Fitness/Activity Level– those who are less active or inactive put themselves at higher risk also. It is important to keep an active lifestyle.
- Body Size– small, thin women are at greater risk for Osteoporosis
Knowing these risk factors can help you to make lifestyle changes to help you reduce your risk of being affected by Osteoporosis and increase your chances of aging without “breaks” and falls. There are some risk factors that we cannot change, such as ethnicity, family history, and age; however, by taking a proactive approach you can not only reduce your chances of being affected by Osteoporosis but make a difference in your overall health. Live Your Life Physical Therapy has a number of treatment interventions and wellness programs that can help you avoid everything from being at risk for Osteoporosis to being at risk for falls. As your physical therapists, we will utilize our extensive knowledge and expertise to design an exercise program that addresses your specific deficits. We will also develop a Wellness for Life Program to keep you healthy and strong as you age. It is never too late to change your lifestyle and age gracefully without falling & breaking a bone. Call us to learn more about this silent disease and help us to stop the silence by standing up and taking action! You deserve to Live Your Life HEALTHY & BREAK FREE!
Dedicated to Keeping You Healthy, SAFE & Active,
Dr. Eva Norman
President & Founder
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Live Your Live Physical Therapy, LLC
 The Osteoporosis Report – Vol. 4 Issue 1 – April 2014 National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF)
 Google® Search Results for Osteoporosis
 National Institutes of Health – What is Osteoporosis? Fast Facts