Osteoporosis and Chiropractic Medicine
The Relationship Between Osteoporosis and Chiropractic Care
More than 80% of bone fractures in Canadians over the age of 50 are caused by Osteoporosis, a condition that causes bones to become thin and porous, decreasing bone strength and leading to increased risk of breaking a bone. Osteoporosis can strike at any age and affects both men and women. The main risk for sufferers are fractures, most commonly to their wrists, spine, shoulders or hips.
Victoria, BC Chiropractor Dr. Stephanie Louie sees many patients with Osteoporosis. While the best way to diagnose Osteoporosis is to have a bone density test done, serious cases often show up on Chiropractic X-rays. Dr. Louie emphasizes that it is very important for anyone with this condition to tell their Chiropractor, since that information will dictate the techniques used to provide an adjustment. Some Osteoporosis sufferers may assume they can no longer receive Chiropractic adjustments, but that is not the case.
“There are Chiropractors like myself who use very little force – force similar to pushing a doorbell – and get great results,” says Dr. Louie. “Most of the time, I use tools with these patients to help get the most effective adjustment.”
What these patients won’t feel or hear is the popping or cracking noise during an adjustment, because their bones are too fragile for using force.
“I see a lot of patients with Osteoporosis and Osteopenia, which is where reduced bone mass is less severe than Osteoporosis, and Chiropractic adjustments feel great and are very gentle, with all the benefits associated with being adjusted,” says Dr. Louie.
It is important that Chiropractors use the right techniques to treat patients with this condition, so that it is both safe and effective. Dr. Louie travels around North America to train with and learn from leading professionals in the chiropractic field, so that she can employ the best techniques when treating patients with issues like Osteoporosis.
In addition to providing adjustments, Dr. Louie coaches patients on diet and exercise. Eating lots of leafy green vegetables, and taking Vitamin D, Calcium and Magnesium supplements can help with regaining some bone density. In more severe cases, Dr. Louie will refer clients to a Naturopath. Additionally, weight bearing exercises can help with bone density. These include aerobics, strength training, walking, running, playing tennis and others.
In many cases, the biggest hazard someone with Osteoporosis faces is tripping and falling. According to Osteoporosis Canada, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men will suffer from an osteoporotic fracture in their lifetime; each year in Canada 30,000 people suffer from hip fractures, and many more Canadians suffer osteoporotic fractures affecting the spine, wrist, shoulder and pelvis.
“If someone continues along the path of bone destruction, simply tripping could result in a broken hip or femur,” says Dr. Louie. “We can help improve body awareness through balancing exercises to reduce the chance of tripping, falling and fracturing a bone.”
The suggestions and advice provided by Dr. Louie should not be relied upon in place of a professional chiropractic assessment.