Osteoporosis is a major public health threat for most Americans as they age.
One out of every two women and one in eight men over the age of 50 will have an osteoporosis related fracture in their lifetime. The impact of osteoporosis will become even more profound as the oldest of the baby boomers approach menopause, the stage of life when the bone loss begins to accelerate and leads to osteoporosis.
Many women suffer fractures each year as a result of osteoporosis and, to make matters worse, the number is increasing. More than twice as many fractures occur now compared with 30 years ago and this cannot be explained by the aging of our population. Clearly, there is something wrong with our bone health, something the medical profession has not been able to do much about.
By the time women reach menopausal age, one-third of women will have had a hip fracture. One-sixth of men in their 50's will have had a hip fracture. Even more disturbing, these hip fractures are fatal 12-20% of the time. Worldwide, one in three women and one in five men experience a fracture caused by bone fragility. Compared to a fracture of any other bone, a hip fracture results in the most serious of all consequences. Osteoporosis is the cause of 90% of all fractures after the age of sixty-five. In addition, the average American woman loses 1.5 inches of height each decade after menopause as a result of vertebral collapse.
What Is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a condition where the loss of bone over time has caused a dramatic weakening of the skeleton. Bones are more than just a framework that supports our body; our bones are living tissue made mostly from various minerals, not just calcium, and that are constantly changing.
Our bones are at work — all day every day — for our entire lives. They perform tasks that are critical to the functioning of the rest of the body, such as the manufacture of blood and the storage of nutrients. Also, the bones themselves are constantly being taken apart and rebuilt in a process called remodeling.
Remodeling is when old bone is broken down and replaced with new bone. It is kind of a preventive maintenance program that is vital for the day-to-day strength of our skeletons. The entire bone remodeling process is under the control of the central nervous system.
Our bones serve as a “warehouse” or storage site for both calcium and other minerals. When insufficient levels of these minerals exist in the bloodstream, our body takes action by withdrawing minerals from the warehouse. If, for any reason, the body is using these minerals without replacing them, the result is a steady decrease in bone density. This is called bone loss and results in reduction of bone mass.
Researchers have determined that when bone density falls below a certain point, the bones become extremely prone to fracture. This point of impending injury is called the fracture threshold. If the bone density falls below the fracture threshold, the condition is called osteoporosis.
What are the Causes of Osteoporosis?
There are several factors that contribute to osteoporosis and the majority of osteoporotic cases are caused by multiple factors. There are essentially three areas that contribute to osteoporosis:
Abnormal biomechanical or structural stress
Abnormal Biomechanical or Structural Stress
Every change in the function of a bone is followed by certain definite changes in the internal architecture and external conformation in accordance with mathematical laws. One of the main applicable mathematical laws is Wolff’s Law.
Wolff’s Law explains that bones will change their shape and structure in response to how much or how little mechanical stress is applied. Mechanical stress is shown to be transduced into electrical energy which in turn is the signal for remodeling or reshaping of the bone to meet the demands of the stress.
“Daily weight-bearing activity is essential to the health of the skeleton. Mechanical weight-bearing stress is the most important external factor affecting bone development and remodeling.” (reference from National Library of Medicine).
An interesting example of this process occurs in astronauts. Exposure to the microgravity environment of space causes astronauts to lose calcium from their bones. This loss occurs because the absence of Earth's gravity disrupts the process of bone maintenance in its major function of supporting body weight. Space biomedical researchers have found that exposure to the microgravity environment of space causes men and women of all ages to lose up to 1% of their bone mass per month due to disuse atrophy, a condition similar to osteoporosis.
Chemical stresses are from the nutrient choses we make. The chemicals we are exposed to in our water, air and food. We should also understand that many pharmaceuticals can cause bone and muscle wasting. For example; steroid medications that are prescribed for allergies, autoimmune, gastroenteritis and asthma can stress our bones.
The brain and hormone systems control and have an impact on our whole health. Mental stressors also have a huge impact on our bones in addition to our whole health. As a side note, Chiropractic care has been shown to help the effects of sympathetic (stress) hormones.
Lack and loss of quality sleep is a known risk factor for osteoporosis. Short sleep has been associated with a decline in cortical bone thickness due to the promotion of bone resorption and sympathetic nervous system hyperactivity in the middle-aged group. Leptin levels and cortical bone thickness were found to be closely related, suggesting that cortical bone mass may be regulated via interaction with the leptin-sympathetic nervous system.
Dr. Ronald Benson at the Berryessa Chiropractic Spine and Injury office has been a leader in connecting to patients to prevent and help heal osteoporosis.
The office is one of the few places in the country (and worldwide) that has a proven system to build bone strength.
Nutritional assessment and other health recommendations are key to help prevent osteoporosis and can be discussed with Dr. Benson. The most critical factor after all is said and done, is safe, bone loading exercises performed on a consistent basis.
New technologies, initially developed for high-performance athletes, have created the ability to perform very high intensity exercises that can achieve superior results in the general population. By increasing the level of training intensity, the time commitment required to create the desired adaptive response can be brief. In fact, excellent outcomes are being achieved in as little as 15 minutes per week with patients often dressed in their street clothes. This type of high intensity, wellness training is very advantageous to a large segment of our older population. Older individuals are living longer and in great need of an efficient and sustainable method for maintaining strength and function over their lifetime.
One of the best systems is the BStrong4Life system. It combines years of research and clinical experience that is used to provide a superior workout experience.
BStrong4Life is a clinically supervised, proprietary system using advanced, non-invasive protocols that combines the following exercises for strength, balance and bone health:
The isometric portion of the BStrong4Life® System only needs to be performed once a week. Since your muscles adapt by repairing damage and packing more protein into the myofibrils, it makes your muscles get stronger. Therefore, you can benefit from controlling the damage with the BStrong4Life equipment, and performing exercises that only produce repairable damage.
For concentric exercise, many forms of training and conditioning use mass to put stress on the muscle – for example, weight machines, free weights, etc. Whole Body Vibration machines, instead, apply acceleration to the body, while keeping mass, i.e. your body weight, the same. This is a real breakthrough in training and conditioning as we can now optimally “load” and stimulate the human frame while minimizing high impact, and high stress factors.
Eccentric training is what helps the body absorb or accept load when it is placed on it. Unfortunately there is almost no gym exercise that trains the body eccentrically. For example, every time you go down the stairs, each step down forces your leg muscles to absorb the load of your body. Loss of eccentric ability is a major factor in falls and bone breaks. BStrong4Life® utilizes advanced eccentric training technology that is safe and effective for any age or conditioning lever.
The PowerPlate is the premier brand of whole body vibration. Training with Power Plate machines creates instability in the human body. With each vibration the body is forced to perform reflexive muscle actions, multiple times per second. Furthermore, these contractions must work in multiple dimensions as the Power Plate® machines actually oscillate in all three planes, exactly as the human body is designed to do. The net result is an incredible improvement in force production, or strength and power. Increase in bone density has been noted with use of Power Plate exercise.
We believe that the benefits from the eccentric exerciser - the REACT - is not going to be found in any other programs. It is different from other exercise training because it allows your body to quickly improve eccentric muscle contractions and better support your entire frame than other equipment.
Improved quality of life
Falls are one of the leading causes of osteoporotic fracturs in conjunction with weaker bone structure
We believe that technology has finally caught up with theory. The proprietary protocol of BStrong4Life ensures that you receive the maximum benefit with the least amount of risk. Dr. Benson is trained to structurally assess the condition of your spine and posture and customize the program specifically for you; making the BStrong4Life® System appropriate for all age levels and most conditions. When supervised by Dr. Benson, the BStrong4Life® System has been shown to positively affected clients suffering from osteoporosis, osteopenia, Parkinson’s disease, degenerative discs, Multiple Sclerosis and various other conditions or injuries.
As Benjamin Franklin said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Contact Berryessa Chiropractic if you are having issues with Osteoporosis.