We need to maintain strong and healthy bones to live an active life. Strong bones are needed for proper movement and the support of our internal organs. Bones also store vital minerals necessary for health.
Over the next 20 years, half of all Australians over 50 will suffer from the effects of weak bones unless changes are made to their lifestyle. Strong bones are established in childhood. However good dietary habits, exercise and modern treatments can help to ensure that your bones remain healthy throughout your life.
And if you have a bone disease such as osteoporosis, the good news is that nowadays your doctor can detect and treat it.
The Fracture cascade
Osteoporosis can cause a ‘cascade’ of fractures. This means that once an osteoporotic fracture occurs, it is more likely that the patient will suffer other fractures. For example, women who have suffered an osteoporotic fracture of the spine are four times more likely than other women to have any fracture.
Nearly two thirds of the fractures of the spine are not identified or treated, even though they nearly all case pain and some disability. People often believe that the symptoms of spine fractures – back pain, height loss or rounding of the spine – are just due to ‘old age’. Many osteoporotic fractures can be prevented, or the risk of further fractures greatly reduced.