Do you have osteoporosis in Richmond? Most people believe that osteoporosis is an unavoidable consequence of aging and that little can be done to stop it. Fortunately, this is a misconception and Aligned Chiropractic will provide you with some background information and various treatment solutions for the treatment and prevention of osteoporosis.
The number of people suffering from osteoporosis has become astronomical. In fact, it is estimated that nearly 25 million Americans alone currently have osteoporosis. Statistically, osteoporosis most commonly affects women, with 1/3 of women over the age of 75 having the disease. To put these numbers in perspective, this means that over 12% of the United States population is osteoporotic. As a result, there are nearly 1.5 million osteoporosis related fractures each year with 700,000 affecting the vertebrae in the spine. These numbers are disturbing and demonstrate the urgent need for increased public awareness and alternative treatment options for osteoporosis.
Understanding Osteoporosis in Richmond
In general, osteoporosis broadly refers to a decrease in bone density. To be diagnosed with osteoporosis, a specialized study (similar to an X-ray) is used to evaluate a person's bone content. People with a bone density that is significantly below the average expected for their age, is diagnosed as osteoporotic. It is important to understand that other conditions such as; cancer, hyperparathyroidism, rickets, and osteomalacia may also contribute to a decrease in bone density. Therefore, it is even more important to discover the underlying cause of the decrease in bone density.
Our doctors at Aligned Chiropractic understand that the primary cause for the development of osteoporosis is a change in our body's metabolism as we age. Often these changes in metabolism are due to nerve interference caused by misalignments of the vertebrae in our back. When the nerves cannot send the proper signals, imbalances between substances important for bone strength such as vitamin D, calcium, and phosphate are unbalanced and bone forming cells function abnormally resulting in bones becoming weaker. Consequently, the correction of spinal misalignments is extremely important in the prevention of osteoporosis.
Who Does Osteoporosis Affect?
Osteoporosis can affect anyone, but those with spinal misalignments are more at risk. Understanding the risk factors for osteoporosis can help contribute to its prevention. Other common risk factors include:
- Light skinned individuals
- Small framed (small boned) people
- Post-menopausal women
- Certain GI syndromes
- Vitamin D and C deficiencies
- People of European or Asian descent
- Individuals with a family history of osteoporosis
- Woman having undergone a hysterectomy before the age of 40
- Woman with an early onset of menopause
Osteoporosis has been found to affect certain joints and areas of the body more than others. For instance, osteoporosis has been found to be more prevalent in the weight bearing joints of the lower spine, hips, and pelvis. As a result, as more weight is applied to these weakened bones, fractures commonly occur. The effects of these fractures can have a tremendous effect on our quality of life as we age. In fact, fewer than 40% of people experiencing a osteoporotic related fracture ever return to their pre-fracture health status. Fortunately, Aligned Chiropractic has a number of preventative and treatment solutions for osteoporosis.
How Can I Prevent Osteoporosis?
Our doctors at Aligned Chiropractic focus on the prevention of disease before its treatment. In fact, the prevention of osteoporosis is often described as being the best treatment. One of the best preventative measures for osteoporosis has been found to be weight bearing exercise. As we exercise, the stress placed as various forms of weight is applied, stimulates the activity of bone forming cells, which as a result helps to decrease the loss of bone mass. This whole concept of exercising contributing to the formation of bone is known as Wolff's law. Essentially, bone is more likely to develop in areas of increased stress and demand. Therefore, the Aligned Chiropractic doctors will recommend various low impact exercises such as stair climbing, walking, and step aerobics in combination with your chiropractic care. These activities will not only help maintain muscle strength, but also bone density and let's not forget that people with stronger bones are less likely to develop the dreaded fractures.
In addition, to exercising our doctors will educate you on the importance of nutrition and how it relates to osteoporosis. To maintain an appropriate bone density, vitamin D and calcium levels must be kept in balance throughout the body. Alcohol, smoking, and caffeine intake have been cited as primary thieves contributing to the loss of these nutrients in the body. It is recommended that everyone gets approximately 1,200-1,500 mg of calcium and about 800 IU of vitamin D each day. This is often difficult to achieve through dieting alone, but thankfully our doctors at Aligned Chiropractic can provide you with the appropriate supplementation solutions.
Chiropractic Care For Osteoporosis
Can chiropractic care help osteoporosis? As mentioned previously, the nervous system controls all processes occurring throughout the body. One of the most important processes instrumental to life and the development of osteoporosis that is controlled by your nervous system is metabolism. Metabolism is the process that maintains appropriate levels of substance such as calcium and vitamin D. Since all nerves that control the body exit through small spaces in the spine, vertebral misalignments can have a dramatic effect on their function and therefore the development of osteoporosis. Improper nervous system function may also result in muscle spasms, abnormal muscle functioning, and restricted movement of the bones in the back and other joints. When these systems are not receiving the correct message from our nervous system, symptoms of disease are likely to develop. Fortunately, our doctors at Aligned Chiropractic in Richmond have received extensive training on spinal correction and therefore the restoration of nervous system function.
If you have any of the risk factors of osteoporosis or are concerned about osteoporosis, please contact our Richmond team at Aligned Chiropractic today to schedule a consultation.
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