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Osteoporosis

Published on: Sunday 19th November 2017

Osteoporosis is a condition in which the usually strong support struts that make up the inside of most bones becomes thinner, which can lead to bones becoming fragile and breaking easily, resulting in pain and disability.

In the UK, one in two women and one in five men over the age of 50 will fracture a bone, mainly due to poor bone health. But osteoporosis is often a silent condition, giving no pain or other symptoms to alert you to the fact until the worst happens and a bone breaks. As such, many people living with osteoporosis are unaware that they have fragile bones until this happens, sometimes with devastating consequences.

Osteoporosis Awareness Campaign 2016 

The iO (Institute of Ostepathy) has teamed up with the National Osteoporosis Society to encourage members to spread the word amongst patients and the public about prevention, detection and treatment of this condition.  Osteopaths are in a prime position to screen patients for this silent condition, offering management advice and support as part of our holistic approach.

What causes Osteoporosis?

Those that smoke or drink in excess of the recommended daily alcohol intake are at greater risk, but gender, genetics, age, race and low body weight are all contributing factors.  Find out more about risk factors at the National Osteoporosis Society website (www.nos.org.uk)

In the healthy skeleton, bone resorption and formation occurs in a balanced and organised fashion, but in the case of osteoporosis, this balance is lost. This might be because of:

Insufficient mass and strength development in the first instance
Excessive bone resorption
Inadequate formation of new bone during remodelling

The disease may be classified as:

Primary type 1 – resulting in women after the menopause due to reduced oestrogen production
Primary type 2 – naturally occurring after the age of 75 in both women and men on a ratio of 2:1
Secondary – to specific chronic medical conditions or as a result of certain medications such as corticosteroids. This does not tend to be age dependant, and effects men as often as women

Due to its larger surface area, cancellous bone is more subject to bone turnover and hence prone to the effects of inappropriate metabolism of bone. In osteoporosis, the supportive bony trabecular break, and are replaced by thinner, weaker bone making them fragile and more prone to fracture.

Because the wrist, hip and spine have more cancellous bone than cortical compared to other areas of the body, relying on trabecula for strength, these areas at greater risk of osteoporotic fractures.

Access indepth fact sheets provided by the National Osteoporosis Society here

How Osteopathy can help:

There is a lot you can do to prevent the condition, and to reduce your chance of breaking a bone if you do get it.  Osteopaths are often seen by the general public as experts in the field of bone health, and as such, they are well placed to screen patients for this condition and offer practical advice on risk factors, prevention and treatment.

Screening:

Your local osteopath can screen you for the condition using a special online screening tool called the FRAX questionnaire.

The FRAX tool has been developed by World Health Organisation (WHO) to predict the 10-year probability of hip or other major osteoporotic fracture in patients based on determinants generally accepted to be the key risk factors.

Prevention Advice:

Once a person who is at risk of developing osteoporosis or sustaining a fracture as a result has been identified, there is a lot they can do to reduce the chance of breaking a bone. Patients who are assessed as being at risk of osteoporosis will be given dietary, exercise and lifestyle advice to help manage risk factors to reduce the impact of the condition on their lifestyle.

Those that are found to be at moderate to high risk will be advised to consult their GP.

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J. Wimbledon

It was my first time seeing an osteopath and Charley was incredible. She is both knowledgeable and personable, she makes you feel completely comfortable and in extremely safe hands. I really feel like she wants you to get better and to really get to the root of what is causing the pain and discomfort. The exercises and stretches she taught me have become part of my daily routine and I have noticed a real difference. Thank you Charley!

Natasha, Mitcham

Having suffered from a shoulder injury since last September and following unsuccessful physio, I decided to try SW19 Osteopath and Yan-Kei has been amazing. Not only has my mobility greatly improved as has my posture and knee pain, I am no longer in pain. Amazing at how effective this has been for me in such a short period of time, and I now am able to return back to sports. Yan-Kei explains what she is doing and definitely is invested in my well-being and although I am so much better, I will make this as part of my self care and ensure that I visit her every 5 – 6 weeks to re-balance myself. I highly recommend Yan-Kei; I truly feel she has worked wonders for me.

Maria, Colliers Wood

I saw Yan-Kei Man following a musculoskeletal injury, which she helped me treat. Impressed with Yan-Kei's professionalism and attentiveness, I have since introduced my young kids (3 and 5 years old) to osteopathy. In hindsight, a wise decision given that a scooter accident had left my 5 year old with a slight postural dysfunction. I thoroughly recommend Yan-Kei for her specialisation and impeccable manners.

Vina

Steve always manages to put me back together again - then life is a pleasure!

Erica, Africa

Following a breech caesarean birth, Max developed a tendency to turn his head to one side, and he developed a visibly flattened side of head. We were fortunate enough to know Steve's expertise in paediatric osteopathy and it was clear to see how passionate and informed he was regarding treatments and possible outcomes. Throughout the non-invasive treatment we felt totally at ease with Steve, as did Max who fell asleep! I would highly recommend Steve. We are extremely grateful for his time, care and attention to detail.

Andreas, Bex and Max. Raynes Park

I saw Simon regularly to help me with symptoms of multiple slipped discs. Cannot recommend enough - as a first time Osteo patient I found Simon to be professional, helpful and friendly. Everything was done at my own pace and fully explained so I knew what it all meant. Many thanks again!

Oliver, Colliers Wood

I damaged my knee in a motorcycle accident and have had trouble with it ever since. I work in the building trade and have to keep fit and active. Stephen has managed my knee and other associated problems, and without his skill I would not have been able to continue with my job. He has even enabled me to go skiing, although this was against his better judgment! If you are looking for an experienced osteopath, then you need look no further; his skill is unrivalled.

Dave D, Wallington

Just before Christmas, my back ‘went’. By ‘went’ I mean I could barely walk and had constant pain in my lower back and leg. I was off work and spent most of the time lying on the floor. I was treated by Stephen and Simon, both of whom have a professional but very calm manner – ideal for anyone who’s in a lot of pain. They identified muscle and sciatic nerve damage. They obviously knew what they were doing because the pain gradually started to ease, such that by the beginning of March I was back on the treadmill in the gym. Would I use SW19Osteopaths again? Definitely. Only this time I’d go sooner.

Sam B, SW19

Stephen has been my osteopath for many years and has helped me recover from several serious operations. The atmosphere in the clinic is so calm and relaxing, and Stephen is an absolute professional in everything he does. He truly has healing hands.

Laura D