Thursday, 6 October, 2022

Want healthy bones and joints in old age?

  • Sun Online Desk
  • 14th August, 2022 11:39:48 AM
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We see a lot of people in the age of 50 years and above with some bone and joint pain, which could be avoided if proper care is taken in early years of life since one in three women and one in five men above the age of 50 suffer from osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is reduction in bone mass - Bone Mineral Density (BMD) which leads to microdamage to the bones and increases susceptibility to fracture, Hindustan Times reported.

We build bone mass throughout our early years in childhood and adolescent life, whereas during old age we tend to lose bone mass and most people achieve their peak bone mass by the age of 30 while women, especially post-menopausal are more prone to develop osteoporosis. That is why if proper precautions are not taken during young age, it may lead to severe weakening of bones in later years of life and problems of joints and bones can lead to pains, discomfort, fractures and also stooped posture or hunch back, etc.

According to Dr Dayaram Prajapati, Consultant Physiotherapist at Masina Hospital, lots of factors can affect bone health which include:

  1. Calcium - A diet low in calcium contributes to diminished bone density, early bone loss and an increased risk of fractures.

2. Physical activity - Physically inactive have a higher risk of osteoporosis

3. Tobacco and alcohol consumption - Intake of tobacco and alcohol  can reduce bone mineral density. So stop smoking, tobacco chewing and alcohol.

4. Sex - You're at greater risk of osteoporosis if you're a woman, because women have less bone tissue than do men.

 5. Size - You're at risk if you are extremely thin (with a body mass index of 19 or less) or have a small body frame because you might have less bone mass to draw from as you age.

6. Age - Your bones become thinner and weaker as you age.

7. Eating disorders and other conditions - Severely restricting food intake and being underweight weakens bone in both men and women.

8. Certain medications - Long-term use of corticosteroid medications, such as prednisone, cortisone, prednisolone and dexamethasone, is damaging to bone.

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Anup Khatri, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at Global Hospital in Parel Mumbai, revealed some lifestyle modifications, which if adapted in young age can keep your bones and joints healthy:

1. Nutrition - a balanced diet which has fruits, vegetables, cereals, pulses and dairy products is needed for healthy life. Dietary minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium and vitamins such as vitamin D are necessary for good bone health.

2. For adults ages 19 to 50 and men ages 51 to 70, the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) is 1,000 milligrams (mg) of calcium a day. The recommendation increases to 1,200 mg a day for women age 51 and older and for men age 71 and older. 3. Milk, cheese, yogurt, dark leafy vegetables, chicken, boiled egg are rich sources of calcium and phosphorus.

4. Your body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium. For adults ages 19 to 70, the RDA of vitamin D is 600 international units (IUs) a day. The recommendation increases to 800 IUs a day for adults age 71 and older.

5. Milk, soya, mushrooms, cod liver oil and egg yolk are rich sources of vitamin D. Vitamin D is also produced under skin in sunlight.

6. For muscle wellbeing – vitamin E, essential amino acids, levocarnitine, etc are helpful. If needed visit a trained nutritionist.

7. Exercise - Burning calories through exercises is equally important. Workout for at least 30 minutes (adults) to 60 minutes (children) every day helps to keep muscles and bones strong. Cycling, weight training, endurance exercises, walking uphill with a light backpack are few good routines for good bone strength. Exercising also strengthens your muscle strength and helps to maintain good posture and give good stability to joints. Physical activity to specifically benefit bone health should involve loading (stressing) the skeleton. In children above 8 years and adolescents, weight bearing and short intense activities like gymnastics, basketball, volleyball, running, jumping, dancing, soccer can be included in regular routine. For adults, walking, jogging, climbing stairs, weight training increased gradually, recreational activities like hiking, tennis and also balance training should be included as routine.