As children, we were told that all we needed to do to build strong bones was drink our milk. Unfortunately, maintaining sufficient bone mineral density (how strong your bones are) is a lot more complicated than that, especially as we age. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, about 95% of peak bone mass is developed happens by age 20, and after the age of 40, the body no longer replaces lost bone matter.
Weaker bones may lead to disorders like osteoporosis, where simple falls can lead to severely broken bones. How can we maintain our bone density, and is it possible to strengthen bones later in life?
Bone Growth and Loss
While genetics play a large role in the size and strength of bone that we can grow, things like diet and exercise also greatly contribute to the development of our bone mass, especially as we are growing up. It’s during childhood, adolescence, an early adulthood that we have to most capacity to develop bone density, with most people achieving peak mass between 25 and 30. By age 40, we all experience a slow decline in the amount of our bone matter, but a number of factors can increase the loss and weakness:
- Poor Nutrition: Diets without enough calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and other minerals essential for bone growth leave the body unable to fill the demand. Also, a diet high in foods that create an acidic internal environment, like those that are processed, high in refined sugars, fried, or include a lot of meats or dairy (yes, dairy!), make the bones break down to release alkalinizing calcium into the bloodstream to bring it back to balance.
- Inactivity: When we engage in weight-bearing activities like brisk walks and weightlifting, the strain on the muscles exerts force on the bones they attach to, causing bone cells called osteoblasts to become active and absorb strengthening minerals. Sedentary lifestyles lead to weakening of the bone because of muscle loss.
- Smoking, chemotherapy: Studies have shown that both greatly increase the risk of developing osteoporosis, especially in women, who are more naturally prone to the disorder because of hormone disruptions in the aging process.
A recently developed exercise system is showing tremendous progress in helping seniors develop stronger bones. BioDensity therapy involves placing users in optimal biomechanical positions to safely lift multiples of their body weight for short periods of time. By adding these four, specific, “body weight” exercises, scientists have harnessed the effects of “Wolff’s Law,” where bone cells become activated to absorb more strengthening minerals because of the weight-bearing forces.
What makes BioDensity therapy accessible for seniors is that the system is self-imposed, meaning that the user determines the comfort level of the load, practically eliminating the risk of injury. In a recently published study, subjects participated in weekly sessions for between 6 and 18 months, and a random sampling were given a DXA scan for bone density in either the hip or spine. 100% of the sampling showed increases in at least 1 of the areas, and more than 75% showed increases in bone density in both.
Bothered by Weakening Bones?
At Synergy Health, our team of medical professionals is available to support your health and recovery with a multi-disciplinary approach to your care. Including Chiropractic, physical therapy, and physical and homeopathic medical services, we will create an individualized treatment plan that will lead to exceptional results. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and to get on the path to healing.