by: Anne Andrews
 Licensed Massage Therapist

According to Wikipedia , Osteoporosis is defined as a disease where increased bone weakness increases the risk of a broken bone. It is the most common reason for a broken bone among the elderly. Osteoporosis is not a systemic or whole-body disease, but an indication of where your bone is not loaded correctly. Osteoporosis doesn’t mean that you have a bad-bone condition — your bone loss is not happening over your entire skeleton but in a few key places. Bones that commonly break include the vertebrae in the spine, the ribs, the bones of the forearm, and the hip or really the head of the femur. Until a broken bone occurs there are typically no symptoms. Bones may weaken to such a degree that a break may occur with minor stress or spontaneously.

Some factors that influence the health of your bones are: lack of proper weight bearing exercise, hormone levels, smoking, alcohol, and coffee. Bones loss is actually a natural part of aging. If you live long enough you will experience some bone loss. The thing is to prevent it from developing into something more serious like Osteoporosis. As we get older the cells responsible for building new bone slow down while the cells that destroy and clean up old bone accelerate. While proper nutrition is a requirement for healthy bone, the signal for bone to grow is partly mechanical in nature. Bones respond to loadbearing. In the bone cells there are these sensors called mechanoreceptors that are sensitive to loadbearing and pressure. The signal for bone to grow starts with a cell being “ squished” within the bone. Without that *squish*, the mechanoreceptors cannot send the proper signal to the bone building cells to do their job. Furthermore the nutrients that support bone growth can’t do their job either. Taking the right supplements is helpful, but what can really make a difference is weight bearing exercise.

The research done shows that moving around while weight bearing gives the greatest response to bone development in the right places. Tune in next month for part 2 of this article and learn how properly “stacking” yourself will make your daily walking a more weight bearing activity that will stimulate bone building strength.

Anne Andrews is a licensed massage therapist MA38362, a certified Ortho-Bionomy® Practitioner and a Bones for Life® Trainer. She specializes in addressing chronic pain and bone loss due to postural imbalances . She also teaches a self-care program designed to properly “ stack “ your body when standing , walking, or sitting. She is a graduate from the Florida School of Massage and has been practicing since 2003. For more information you can visit www.anneandrews.abmp.com, www.Societyof Ortho-Bionomy®International.com, or www.BonesforLife.com