Bone Health and Your Back
If you had a house with an unsteady foundation or shaky walls, you’d worry about your safety while inside. Your bones serve as the foundation, walls and roof of your body. They provide structure to your body, protect your vital organs, anchor your muscles, and store vitamins and minerals for use throughout your body. They are constantly changing, adding new bone as old bone is broken down. Over time, however, your body begins breaking down a bit more than it adds.
Because of the gradual loss of bone, it’s vital for you to know how to promote bone health throughout your life. Ignoring your bone health can lead to debilitating conditions such as osteoarthritis and weak, brittle bones. You can take significant measures to facilitate, encourage and strengthen bone health to prevent these devastating consequences of osteoporosis, fractures, and breaks that could seriously affect your daily life as you age.
Risk Factors and Things to Avoid for Bone Health
A wide range of risk factors involve your bone health. Your spinal doctors at the Southeastern Spine Institute (SSI) can help you discern which ones you’re most likely to face and how best to take steps to correct certain lifestyle habits:
- Gender; females are more susceptible.
- Having a body mass index under 19.
- Avoid illegal drugs and alcohol abuse.
- Be aware of how age can affect your bones.
- Certain races and those with a family history of brittle bones should take precautions.
- Hormone levels can change over your life and have an effect.
- Certain illnesses can make you more susceptible.
- Certain medications can hinder your body’s ability to produce healthy bone.
- Incorporate some physical activity in your day that includes weight bearing exercises.
- Take sufficient Vitamin D, either in your diet or as supplements.
- Adults 19-70, recommended daily allowance (RDA) is 600 International Units per day
- Adults 71 and older, recommended daily allowance is 800 IU per day
- Make sure you’re getting plenty of calcium in your diet, through a combination of foods and supplement
- Adults 19-50 and men 51-70: RDA is 1,000 mg per day
- Women after age 50 and men after 70: RDA is 1,200 mg per day
Nutrition is a Key Element in Back Health
Your back is like the main support beam in a home. The bones and muscles in your back need proper nutrition to support your body and perform its many functions. While supplements have their place, getting your calcium, magnesium, Vitamin D3, Vitamin K2, Vitamin C, proteins, Vitamin B12 and iron from the food you eat is preferable.
There are many foods that can help you fulfill your daily allotment with delicious results. Some of the foods that are best for bone health include:
- Fortified soy milk
- Green, leafy vegetables
- Chinese cabbage or bok choy
- Beans and legumes
- Sardines and salmon with edible bones, usually canned
- Fortified orange juice
- Nuts, especially almonds
- Fortified dairy products
Available Scans for Diagnosis
Having your bone density measured by your SSI specialist can also help you determine any possible weaknesses that should be addressed. The non-invasive scan, often targeting your lower lumbar region, utilizes a minimum amount of radiation and takes between 10 and 30 minutes. These tests are easy, fast and painless and usually require no preparation on your part.
Taking care of your bones is the perfect way to help ensure continued health, mobility and a quality lifestyle. To make the most of your bone health journey, talk to your doctor or specialist about a specific plan that fits your lifestyle and needs. Your foundation will thank you.