Osteopenia/porosis. What to do about it?
Osteopenia is defined as when your bones are weaker that normal but not so weak as to cause fracture as in Osteoporosis.
This is diagnosed with a Dexa scan, done at the request of your MD. Typically the medical approach is to prescribe medications.
Since I am a Chiropractor and not a Medical Doctor, I do not know all of the ins and outs of available medications. That is something you need to discuss with your MD.
As a chiropractor, I can help with the “now what?” piece. Now that I have a diagnosis of Osteopenia or Osteoporosis, what do I do about it?
I’ve noticed an increase in patients, particularly in women, coming in to my practice, concerned and upset about a diagnosis of Osteopenia. Many of these women are surprised to get this diagnosis since they have been physically active throughout their lives and have no idea where or how this diagnosis came to be. It’s ok. Maybe it’s in your genes. Relax and be proactive. Improve your function. Challenge your balance and get moving.
Ask questions like:
What can I do now to increase how I function today and in the future?
One of the greatest, if not the greatest risks with Osteopenia/porosis is a hip fracture. Why is a hip fracture so serious? A hip fracture is serious because it can seriously impact how you function and your ability to care for yourself.
The most common cause of hip fracture is a fall.
How can I prevent a hip fracture?
You can prevent a hip fracture by decreasing your fall potential by improving your balance and by improving the way your nervous system reacts to unstable situations.
Tai Chi and some forms of yoga (balance based) have been proven to help reduce the risk of falling. Tai Chi and Yoga improve your proprioception therefore improving the communication between your joints and your brain, allowing for a quick correction if you start to fall, allowing your nervous system to react strongly to the unstable state of falling.
I also recommend challenging balance throughout the day by taking breaks to stand on one leg at a time while you have something to hold onto, should you need it.
Increasing or maintaining muscle mass is important and can be done by doing weight bearing activities like lifting weights at the gym or hiking hills with trekking poles (burns more calories and helps with upper body coordination and muscle mass).
After the age of 40, we have to do work to maintain muscle mass. If we don’t do the work, we will loose muscle mass.
I recommend seeking out a trainer at the gym if you are new to exercise or new to weights. I also recommend a trainer if you want to jump start your routine to focus more on balance based trainings. I still hire a trainer a few times each year to help me with specific work.
A diagnosis of osteopenia/porosis should not be scary. Knowledge is good to have. Being proactive will help you now and in the future. Grab a friend or trainer and get started.
Here are some Sisters OR options to help you:
I believe the SPRD offers Tai Chi. I also have seen fall prevention classes happening at the Sisters Fire Station. Life, Love Yoga offers balanced based yoga classes and 1:1 yoga therapy with knowledgeable instructors. Sisters Athletic Club offers personal training options. Resurrection Fitness near Rays offers effective, safe and gentle personal training 1:1 or in small groups.
At Black Butte Chiropractic, Acupuncture, and Massage we can help strengthen your nervous system by improving communication between the brain and the body, to improve the way your nervous system reacts should you fall. We can also help keep your muscles and joints functioning at their highest potential.