The holiday season is a wonderful opportunity to spend quality time with friends and family while creating lasting memories, for children and aging parents alike. There are always the usual stresses that arise this time of year, like making sure gifts are bought, meals are sorted, and activities are planned to keep everyone happy. However, […]
The Global Alliance for Musculoskeletal Health of the Bone and Joint Decade, has declared October 12 – 20, Bone & Joint Action Week. As we age, we begin to feel the wear and tear in our bones and joints. Bone & Joint Action week was established to help increase awareness on health issues specifically related to bones and joints and to provide access to education and tips for prevention. To help get you started, we’ve outlined 4 valuable questions and answers to explore during bone and joint action week:
Why is bone health important?
Your bones are always changing; as old bone breaks down, new bone is made. When you're young, your body makes new bone faster than it breaks down old bone, causing your bone mass to increase. Most people reach their “peak” bone mass around the age of 30. After that, bone remodeling starts and you begin to lose slightly more bone mass than you gain. Once this process begins, it continues as you age. That is why it is important to understand what you can do to protect and maintain your bone and joint health.
The likelihood of developing osteoporosis, a condition that causes bones to become weak and brittle is dependent on how much bone mass you gain before you “peak” and how quickly you begin to lose it after that point. If you had a high bone mass at the “peak,” then you have a lower risk of developing osteoporosis.
What affects bone health?
There are many factors that can affect bone health including:
- Physical activity: Those who are more physically active are less likely to develop osteoporosis. This is just one of the many benefits to staying active while you age.
- Diet: A diet rich in calcium and other vitamins will support healthy bones and joints.
- Age: You may experience issues as you age because your bones do become thinner and weaker as you age.
- Gender: Unfortunately, women are more prone to developing bone and joint issues because they have less bone tissue than men.
- Tobacco and alcohol use: Research has shown that regular tobacco and/or alcohol use contributes to weak bones.
- Medications: Long term use of corticosteroid medications or aromatase inhibitors can be damaging to bones.
What can I do to keep my bones and joints healthy?
When it comes to healthy bones and joints, prevention is key. To prevent or slow bone loss and joint issues it is essential to exercise regularly, include plenty of calcium and vitamin D into your diet, and avoid substance abuse.
How can my doctor help?
If you are concerned about your bone and joint health, speak to your doctor. Your doctor can recommend a bone density test to assess your bone density and determine your rate of bone loss. From there, your doctor will be able to discuss possible solutions including necessary lifestyle changes, supplements, and/or medications to slow the bone loss process.
Take advantage of Bone and Joint Action Week to educate yourself and begin to make the necessary changes. Incorporating better care and habits now, can improve bone and joint health, which help prevent potential breaks, fractures and other issues.
At Paradise Living Centers, our residents are assessed regularly and if our caregivers or nurse have any concerns they may recommend a bone density and joint test. We also encourage our residents to participate in daily activities to benefit their health and wellbeing. For any additional questions about the care we offer please visit our website or give us a call at (480) 878-4112.