What is Osteoporosis, How can chiropractic help?

Updated: May 13

We think of bone as something that stays the same throughout our lifetime. It actually goes through change. Our cells in the bones keep laying down new bone. It's estimated that 10% of our bone is replaced by new bone every year.






Our bone densities are the thickest in 20s and 30s, and starts to thin out slowly after. When females reach menopause, their bones weaken abruptly in the first 5 years.


Osteoporosis is a condition where our bone density decreases. When the bone gets weakened, it becomes easy to break. We find these out by bone density scans. According to WHO, normal bone density is A T- score of -1.0 or above. Diagnosis may also require other testings such as blood calcium level, Vitamin D level or urine calcium level and etc to be accurate for osteoporosis.



Causes

There are many causes for osteoporosis. Old age is common in patients who have osteoporosis, this is because our hormone regulates blood calcium level, and our hormone activity decreases with age. Middle aged people can also get osteoporosis. Causes include:

  1. drugs

  2. steroid use

  3. anti-convulsant

  4. anti-cancer drugs

  5. Endocrine system

  6. menopause

  7. diabetes

  8. hypoparathyroidism

  9. Cushing syndrome

  10. excess thyroid hormone

  11. Chronic kidney disease

  12. Rheumatoid arthritis

  13. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

  14. Malignant Cancer

  15. Excess history of smoking/alcohol consumption

  16. Genetic




Risk Factors of Osteoporosis

  1. Age (Older the higher risk)

  2. Female

  3. low BMI (kg/m2)

  4. Family history of osteoporosis

  5. Rheumatoid arthritis

  6. Currently smoking

  7. Excess alcohol consumption

  8. currently taking steroid drug (over 3months of taking 5mg of prednisolone)

  9. Low femur (thigh bone) bone density





Bone density measurement method

  1. DXA scan

  2. QCT (CT scan)

  3. Ultrasound

  4. T-, Z- value comparison (T- is comparing patient's bone density to average bone density of young people with same gender, and Z- is comparing patients bone density to average bone density of people with same age and gender)

  5. biomarker




Prevention

  1. Calcium

  2. 1000mg per day for +19

  3. 1300mg per day for women +50

  4. Vitamin D

  5. 15 microgram/day (600 IU) for adults 19-70 (WHO)

  6. exercise

  7. Habits change

  8. quit smoking




How can chiropractic help?

chiropractic care is effective in terms of balancing. Good balance is a good preventive measure for falls. The fact that falls can have a severe damage to osteoporosis patients, chiropractic balance care is recommended.









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