Women’s Health care needs to go BIG on Osteoporosis
Updated: May 2
Osteoporosis is a condition that affects women much more than men and it's important we know how to look after our bone health.
Women's Health care needs to invest heavily on an Osteoporosis emergency because 3.5 million people in the UK are living with the condition and one in two women over 50 will break a bone because of it.
Osteoporosis is a condition where bones become more fragile and have an increased tendency to break. It is sometimes confused with Osteoarthritis, which is a degenerative joint disease, mainly of the weight bearing joints (such as the hip and knee) and an unrelated condition.
Menopause is a key time for bone health. Women lose bone density more quickly after the first few years of the menopause and are at a particular risk if menopause begins early (before age 45) or they have had their ovaries removed. HRT can be used not only to manage the symptoms of menopause but also to strengthen bones around this time and prevent Osteoporosis in the future.
One of the main issues with Osteoporosis is there are very few signs that you may have lost bone strength and an easily broken bone is often the first sign. One of the most common broken bones caused by Osteoporosis is a broken wrist, often caused by a fall onto an outstretched arm.
Strong bones should be able to withstand the impact of a fall from a standing height. If you're older and have sustained a broken hip after an awkward fall or as a result of being less steady on your feet, then this is a sign your bones have lost strength. You should speak to your GP.
How can we help prevent Osteoporosis? The Royal Osteoporosis Society recommends:
Good quality education and raising awareness among women about the condition. Osteoporosis is NOT an inevitable consequence of getting older.
Placing Osteoporosis at the forefront of good menopause care.
Understanding that exercise, and more of it not less, is one of the ways to help manage and prevent Osteoporosis.
Being physically active and exercising helps:
Promote bone health and muscle strength.
Keeps you steady on your feet and better balanced.
Is an important part of caring for your spine .
Weight-bearing exercise and in particular high-impact exercise, such as skipping, jogging, dancing and aerobics are a great way to strengthen bones. As physiotherapists we can advise on safe exercise choices you can make, prescribe a safe and individual exercise programme just for you that takes into account any other health conditions you may be managing, or you can come to one of our physiotherapist-led Pilates classes.
Some women might be thinking 'yikes, high impact exercise' that's not a good choice for my bladder. Another of our May blogs focuses on the pelvic floor and exercises for stress urinary incontinence. If you haven't read this one, read it here or book an appointment with Charlotte our Women's Health physiotherapist, who will make a thorough assessment and help you gain control and strength in the area.
We also know older women with Osteoarthritis who experience pain in their joints may also steer away from impact exercise for fear that it will further ‘wear their joints out’. This isn’t true, there is no evidence for this and scientific evidence actually shows us that exercise is beneficial for osteoarthritic-related joint pain. If this is you, then our Musculoskeletal Physiotherapists will be able to help you and you can book an appointment with Sarah or Rowena.
To book an appointment with one of our skilled physiotherapists you can click here to take you to our online booking or send an enquiry to email@example.com.
The Royal Osteoporosis Society has a clear and informative website. If you’d like to understand more about Osteoporosis click here https://theros.org.uk/
Interested in reading more about the Menopause? Try another of our May blogs Menopause and the importance of excellent care.