Optimal bone health is an important component of your overall well-being. As a musculoskeletal specialist, Dr. Buchko feels compelled to encourage you to take a moment to consider your bone health. Our bones are the main store of calcium in our body, which is required for normal function. Moreover, our bones provide structure & support, and help to encase and protect our vital organs.
Many of you have heard of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a condition defined by low bone mass leading to bone fragility and risk of fracture. As one ages, bone mass deteriorates (at various rates). If this reaches a certain threshold, individuals are at risk of fracture of their wrist, vertebrae (spine), or hip (although essentially any bone can be affected). With each fracture comes, pain, disability, possible medical complications and potential loss of independence. Thus, prevention is key to avoid the morbidity associated with a fracture, and to optimize your overall health.
Dr. Buchko wants to emphasize that bone health is not just important for the elderly. In fact, bone health is quite important in children and teenagers. As a child grows & develops into an adult, they build bone mass. Peak bone mass is reached at age 30, while the vast majority (90%) occurs up to age 18-20 years. That means that by age 30, your bones will be the strongest they will ever be; after that age you cannot build stronger bones, but only try to maintain the mass you have already achieved. With the natural aging process, bone mineral density gradually decreases, except in post-menopausal women, in which it more rapidly decreases. Thus it is important to ensure our younger population builds the strongest bones they can, while our middle-aged and older population maintains the mass that they have (click here and scroll down for a chart outlining bone mass and aging).
to optimize bone health and build/maintain bone mass:
a healthy, well-balanced diet.
adequate calcium & vitamin D intake. Note:
you can get too much calcium (which can cause medical complications), but probably cannot get too much vitamin D. However you should try to stick to the
recommended daily amounts of vitamin D (& especially calcium).
in regular, weight-bearing exercise.
not consume excessive amounts of alcohol.
Dr. Buchko encourages you to visit the Osteoporosis Canada Website. Even if you are young, this website contains valuable information on bone health, including calcium & vitamin D requirements, nutrition, and treatment & prevention of osteoporosis.
More information on bone health is also available on the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons OrthoInfo Website.