Chiropractic Care Benefits Patients with Osteoporosis
Chiropractic care addresses symptoms associated with osteoporosis and also promotes healing. Many osteoporosis patients in Santa Fe, NM, have a limited range of motion, either from the condition itself, lifestyle choices, or the normal aging process.
Low-force chiropractic treatments we specialize in (Activator Method Chiropractic Technique) help restore joint mobility so you can move with confidence and ease. Chiropractic reduces your risk of falls from tight muscles or limited mobility. Research indicates that chiropractic care enhances your body's natural healing process by stimulating osteoblast production. Osteoblasts are the cells that boost bone replacement in your body, and they work with similarly named osteoclasts to maintain adequate bone production. Unfortunately, osteoclasts break down bone rather than create it. This isn't a problem when you have enough osteoblasts in your body, so adjustment-induced cell stimulation is helpful for many patients.
What Are Some Other Ways You Can Improve Bone Health?
Many patients experience relief from osteoporosis symptoms after seeing a chiropractor, but you may also want to explore additional remedies. It's wise to consult with a medical professional before treating your osteoporosis at home, but here are some possible solutions:
Strength training or weightlifting
Vitamin D or calcium supplements
Limit or avoid smoking and alcohol consumption
It's generally safe for patients to supplement with vitamin D or calcium, but make sure these nutrients don't interfere with other medications. It's also helpful to get blood work done before you start a supplement regimen, as you may not have a deficiency in the nutrients you're considering. Some patients also boost their bone health with protein shakes or collagen capsules, which can help make bones stronger.
Weight loss can help osteoporosis patients live more comfortably but losing too much weight is a risk factor for osteoporosis symptoms, so it's always a good idea to continually monitor your weight.
When you focus on dietary changes, ensure your meals have plenty of nutrient-rich leafy greens. When you focus on dietary changes, ensure your meals contain plenty of nutrient-rich leafy greens. These veggies contain high amounts of calcium, magnesium, and potassium, all of which work together to protect your bones. Watch out for foods high in sugar, as excess sugar consumption can weaken your bones.
You should also monitor your sodium intake, but don't abandon salt completely. Your body needs some sodium to protect your bones, and low-sodium diets can trigger or worsen the symptoms of osteoporosis. Caffeine is another ingredient you should monitor, as consuming too much of it can damage your bones.
Cigarettes and alcohol are often risky choices, but they are especially bad for patients with osteoporosis. These vices leech nutrients from your body, so it has to work harder to produce what you need. This is a problem for patients with osteoporosis, as you may already have nutritional deficiencies responsible for your symptoms.
How Osteoporosis Works
Not everyone with osteoporosis has it in every bone. Many patients can have it just in the jaw, for example, or just the lower (lumbar) spine. And contrary to popular belief, women aren’t the only ones who can get it. Men are also susceptible. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), the reason most men don’t consider themselves at risk for osteoporosis is that most women who get it do so because of rapid bone loss after menopause. However, by age 65 or 70, men and women lose bone mass at the same rate. So don’t disregard this post if you’re a man. You can get it in your twilight years just as quickly as women.
But how does this low bone density disease occur? Your Santa Fe chiropractor will tell you that genetics play a significant role. Osteoporosis is most common in older Caucasian women with petite frames and a family history of the disease.
Since bone is a living tissue that replaces itself over time (your entire skeleton is replaced every ten years), bone density loss is possible. Osteoporosis occurs when the body does not produce enough new bone or the body absorbs too much existing bone. You do not feel osteoporosis happening and usually only know you have it through a bone density scan or when a weakened bone fractures and you feel pain.
Preventing Osteoporosis in the Spine
When it comes to your spine, getting enough calcium and vitamin D isn’t the only thing you can do.
Weight-bearing exercise is critical for preventing spinal osteoporosis. Spine-health.com tells us this means exercises you perform while standing up and working the bones and muscles against gravity, which increases bone density in the spine. They recommend 20-30 minutes of these exercises three or four times per week to be effective in preventing osteoporosis in the spine.
Treating Osteoporosis in the Spine
Finally, in treating osteoporosis in the spine in Santa Fe, there are a few things you can do. You can take medications that stop the loss of bone density. And you can do exercises to strengthen your back muscles (thereby taking pressure off the vertebrae themselves) and learn new body mechanics.
The National Osteoporosis Foundation tells us that if you bend backward or lean back instead of leaning forward, you will reduce stress on the front of the spine. This will help to prevent fractures in the front of the vertebrae, which is the painful part of osteoporosis of the spine.
Have you ever been diagnosed with osteoporosis?
So while your elementary school teachers and doctors in Santa Fe, NM, were right about drinking milk, that’s not the only thing you can do to keep osteoporosis from restricting your movement later in life. Keep up a good diet and exercise regularly. And remember to continue doing weight-bearing exercises into your old age.