Here at Symmetry Spine and Wellness, Your Health Is Our Priority!
The spine and nervous system are the foundation of the human body, and bone health is something we take very seriously. With the recent implementation of digital X-Ray in our practice, we have incidentally found a significant amount of bone loss on routine X-Ray exams. The accuracy of digital imaging is much more revealing than the plain film technology we’ve previously used. Unfortunately, bone loss does not show up on X-ray until it has reached a point that ranges from 25-50% demineralization. By the time it appears on X-Ray, it should not be ignored.
Even with new technology providing increasing accuracy, X-Ray is not a definitive diagnosis for osteoporosis. So for some of you, we have recommended a follow up visit with your primary care physician to have a bone density scan after seeing signs of bone loss on X-Ray. We can provide you with all the proper documentation to bring to your PCP, which may help get the scan covered by your insurance provider. Ask Dr. Navid or Dr. Boyd if you would like help with this.
Having a base line test is beneficial for knowing where you fall on the bone mineralization spectrum for your age bracket. Getting tested also provides a starting point that will help you work toward building bone using the most natural approaches, as opposed to taking toxic prescription drugs. The drugs that are offered by mainstream medicine for the treatment of bone loss can have severe side effects and do not always improve bone density. Many of you have expressed concerns about these drugs and chosen not to take them. We would like everyone to be aware of and educated about lifestyle changes that can prevent bone loss. In addition, we hope to give you the confidence to improve your health and well being, even if you have already been diagnosed with osteopenia or osteoporosis.
If you haven’t already heard, Symmetry has added three more Power Plates® to its arsenal of spinal rehabilitation equipment.
Power Plate® is the most advanced form of Whole Body Vibration (WBV), and has been shown to improve bone density above and beyond any alternative method. WBV is an advanced form of weight bearing exercise, providing workout intensity that is 30-50 times greater than that of a standard weight training routine. This occurs because of the machine’s set frequencies and the body’s response to standing on a platform that vibrates in all three planes of human motion. According to a recent highly publicized study on WBV published by The Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, “Whole Body Vibration training significantly increased Bone Mineral Density of the hip. These findings suggest that WBV training might be useful in the prevention of osteoporosis.”
These powerful conclusions are very significant in light of the fact that previous to this study, very few methods had proven effective in building bone. With the Power Plate, this promising new method of improving bone health is readily available to you, right in the office.
“You are what you eat!” In addition to a WBV exercise regimen, nutrition is key! By the age of twenty, we have acquired at least 90% of our total adult bone mass. Much of this mass develops throughout puberty, making pediatric nutrition critical. Less than adequate adolescent nutrition plays a major role in the development of osteoporosis. For some of us, this is not completely reversible, but we can positively influence our children’s health by making wise choices. If you have little ones, please provide them with a balanced diet and keep them away from sugar, soda and high carbohydrate diets, all of which can contribute to the problem. In teenage girls, consumption of even small amounts of soda (specifically cola) has been shown to significantly increase the risk of fractures in the age group, and may also contribute to osteoporosis later in life.
As adults, we can still make choices that will effect the way our bones age. Our cells are constantly changing and replenishing, so it is never too late to take care of oneself. For Dr. B’s top nutrition points related to bone density, refer to the Top 5 list in this newsletter.
Just as important as nutrition and exercise is maintaining healthy posture. Research has confirmed a correlation between posture and osteoporosis. In 2003, the journal Spine concluded that the compressive forces of abnormal posture and gravity initiate osteoporotic deformity. Excessive forward postures of the upper back and ribcage intensify the loading of the spinal joints in the mid to lower back making them more susceptible to fracture.
Your health is a matter of education, and a matter of choice. Our staff is here to provide you with the knowledge necessary to understand the fundamentals, and to provide you with new possibilities and positive choices you can make to take control of it, regardless of age, affliction or where you might be on the journey to becoming a healthier you.
Dr. B’s Top 5 for taking care of your bone health!
1. Get your calcium throughout the day via your meals, then, if necessary, add a calcium supplement to make up the difference. 500 milligrams of Calcium is all your body can absorb at one time, so break up the recommended daily allowance of 1000mg into two servings per day.
2. Try adding a few calcium-rich foods to your dinner or lunch. Make an omelet with a bit of cheddar cheese, sautéed greens, and salmon. Or whip up a scrambled-egg stir-fry by adding Swiss cheese, broccoli, and sardines to your eggs, and you’ve got a lunch for strong bones. If you like soups and stews, try adding salmon, kale, or turnip greens to your other favorite recipes.
3. Don’t forget your vitamin D. You need it to absorb the calcium from all those calcium-rich foods. The standard recommended daily allowance (RDA) for adults is 400 IU of vitamin D. Vitamin D is vital in calcium absorption. It is found in certain foods, supplements and is synthesized by the body through sun exposure.
4. Foods rich in Vitamin D include cod liver oil, salmon, mackerel, tuna, egg yolks, liver and shitake mushrooms.
5. Omega-3 fatty are not synthesized by our body and so proper supplementation from reliable sources is crucial. Essential Fatty Acids help to calm the inflammation that is responsible for arthritis pain and heart disease but findings have proven its ability to strengthen bone tissue. Studies have shown that higher levels of omega-3 fats in the blood tend to correlate with greater bone mineral density. Look for pharmaceutical grade fish oils carried by health care providers and nutrition stores.