Home / Health / Men's & Women's Health / Maintaining Bone Quality
Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Maintaining Bone Quality


An Ounce of Prevention for Bone Health and Osteoporosis

As the weather warms up and everyone starts to get a little more active, staying consistent with fitness is extremely important. I wanted to give some tips and advice to our women readers on staying active and maintaining healthy bone quality. As women age and go through menopause, they are at an increased risk of breaking bones; we call them osteoporotic fractures. The wrist, spine and hip are the three areas most susceptible to breaking, especially in women aged 50- 70. Osteoporosis is a decrease in bone mass that results from age, menopause and metabolic changes in your body. The treatment for osteoporosis involves a team approach with your medical providers to manage the building blocks of bone and, most importantly, to prevent the condition from occurring in the first place.

Osteopenia and osteoporosis are diagnosed with a special type of X-ray called a DEXA scan. This scan measures the density or bone mineral density of certain bones in your body, such as your pelvis. The results are given as a T-score, which compares your bone mass to that of a 25-year-old. All women aged 65 and above should have this test done, as well as certain women under 65 who have risk factors for osteoporosis. The results of this test determine how often the next scan should be conducted, and the frequency varies from patient to patient.

Like most health concerns, prevention is the best cure for osteoporosis. Maintaining good bone quality requires a healthy lifestyle and staying active. Smoking has been linked to decreased bone quality and osteoporosis. So, kicking this bad habit is a great first step to ensuring bone health.

Adequate intake of the proper nutrients is also crucial. Without the right materials, you can’t maintain healthy bone quality. Calcium and vitamin D are essential for bone health, but getting enough of them in our regular diet is often difficult. Calcium is one of the main building blocks of bone. Women over 50 should consume 1,200 mg of calcium every day. Vitamin D is needed by our body to absorb calcium. Food and sun exposure are the sources of vitamin D, but again, we do not always get enough. The Bone Health and Osteoporosis Foundation recommends getting around 800-1,000 international units (IU) of vitamin D daily for men and women over 50. Taking these two nutrients as daily supplements can ensure your body has the materials it needs to maintain healthy bones.

Staying physically active through exercise is the last piece of the puzzle in preventing osteoporosis and fractures. Weight-bearing exercises are important for increasing and maintaining bone density. These are exercises done while standing, working against gravity. Examples include brisk walking, hiking, jogging and playing tennis. Strength training exercises, which can be done using your own body weight, resistance bands or free weights, can also help improve bone quality. Although yoga and pilates are not necessarily weightbearing exercises and may not directly contribute to bone mass, they can improve balance, which may help prevent falls and fractures.

In summary, maintaining bone health is a lifelong commitment and an investment in yourself. It takes an assortment of healthy lifestyle choices, supplemental intake and exercise to ensure osteoporosis never starts. In some cases, if this isn’t enough, your medical doctor might discuss medications that can help. As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Jeffrey Pearson, M.D. is a fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon specializing in anterior total hip replacement and robotic knee replacement. To schedule an appointment, visit https://orthopedicspecialistsla.com/ or call 318-635-3052.


The Forum News