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Osteoporosis July 2012

Osteoporosis Newsletter Osteoporosis is a condition that affects the bones, causing them to become weak and fragile and more likely to break. In childhood, bones grow and repair very quickly, but this process slows as you get older. Bones stop growing in length between the ages of 16 and 18, but continue to increase in density until you are in your late 20s. From about the age of 35, you gradually lose bone density. This is a normal part of ageing, but for some people it can lead to Osteoporosis and an increased risk of fractures. These fractures most commonly occur in the spine, wrist and hips but can affect other bones such as the arm or pelvis. Active Sefton is a partnership between Sefton Council, NHS Sefton and the local voluntary and community sectors

July 2012

Preventing Osteoporosis Building and maintaining bone mass requires a combination of nutrients and exercise. Building bone density early in life is the best way to prevent Osteoporosis. After adulthood, the best way to maintain the bone mass is the same way you build it - getting adequate calcium in your diet and doing weight bearing exercise. These include activities such as walking, stair climbing, running, hiking, and weight lifting. Swimming and bicycling are not considered weight-bearing exercises. A survey of 350 middle-aged women found that those who were most active in their daily lives had significantly greater bone density in their spines, femurs and forearms than less active women. Another study found that running strengthens the leg bones of both older and younger women. Exercise also increases muscle strength, coordination, and balance and decreases the likelihood of falls in the elderly.

Other causes of Osteoporosis include: Diseases of the hormone producing glands, such as an overactive thyroid gland. A family history of Osteoporosis. Long-term use of certain medications which affect bone strength or hormone levels, for example, oral prednisolone. Malabsorption problems. Heavy drinking and smoking.

Symptoms of Osteoporosis There are often no warning signs for Osteoporosis until someone experiences a fracture, often after a minor fall. The most common injuries in people with Osteoporosis are wrist fractures, hip fractures or fractures of the spinal bones (vertebrae). If your doctor suspects you have Osteoporosis, or are at high risk of developing the condition, you may be referred for a bone density scan. This is a short and painless procedure which helps to assess your risk of a fracture.

Further Information: If you are worried about having symptoms of Osteoporosis please visit your GP. If you have Osteoporosis and think you would benefit from a tailored exercise programme to help the condition, we have trained Referral Officers within Sefton who can help. Tai Chi classes and Beginner Running Sessions are available to access within Sefton. If you would like further information regarding these exercise programmes please ring Active Lifestyles on 0151 934 2352 or Active Workforce on 0151 934 2079. Active Sefton is a partnership between Sefton Council, NHS Sefton and the local voluntary and community sectors


Newletter on osteoperosis