There are so many expressions in the English language that have to do with our bones. You can’t work your fingers down to anything but the bone. We can get so cold that we’re chilled to the bone. Is there something you just know to be true? - You feel it in your bones. You just can’t get any deeper than your bones - they’re the very foundation of our bodies.
As doctors, we take pretty seriously this idea that we are, at our physical core, a bunch of bones. And so should you. In May, all of us at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Center observe National Osteoporosis Awareness Month. Osteoporosis is a disease that causes the breakdown of bone mass, making bones weak and easily broken.
All People Lose Bone Mass
From the moment we’re born, our bones actively grow and get stronger until somewhere around our early to mid-20s. By age 25, our bones are as dense as they’re ever going to be. Once you reach this “peak bone mass,” you can probably guess what happens: you start to lose more bone than your body can actively replace. Women are at risk for low bone mass due to the loss of estrogen through menopause. Testosterone levels in men tend to drop as they age, putting them at risk for osteoporosis as well.
Is osteoporosis inevitable?
So if everyone over the age of 25 is losing bone mass, does that mean that everyone will eventually get osteoporosis? The good news is that the answer is no.
One of the best ways to maintain strong bones or even to make them stronger is to make your bones work through weight-bearing exercises such as:
- Lifting weights
- Balance training
Other ways to fight the natural process of bone loss include:
- Eating right - consuming the recommended daily allowances of calcium and Vitamin D, and/or taking supplements of these very important nutrients
- Quitting smoking
- Bone density testing to detect low levels of bone mass before they become critical
Osteoporosis and Your Feet
An unexplained foot fracture is very often the first sign of osteoporosis. Any pain or soreness in your foot that increases when you walk or lasts longer than a few days is reason to make an appointment with one of our board-certified podiatrists, Dr. Samantha Boyd, Dr. Hal Ornstein, Dr. Joseph Saka, or Dr. Katy Statler at our office in Howell, New Jersey. We treat patients from all over Monmouth County, including Lakewood, Jackson, and Howell, and welcome your call at (732) 905-1110.