Often called the silent killer, osteoporosis—contrary to popular misconception—does not only affect women. Osteoporosis, or loss of bone density, is a disease that impacts every one of us in our form and function. It impacts how we move, how we perform, and the quality of our everyday living. Our bones generally begin the gradual descent to fragility after our 40s. Ten million Americans currently have osteoporosis and another 44 million are at increased risk of developing it. Postmenopausal women are more susceptible to osteoporosis because bone loss is closely related to hormone estrogen deficiency during the menopausal transition period. In the US, 1 in 4 women over the age of 50 will experience osteoporotic compression fractures, as will 1 in 4 men over 50.
Maintain That Chassis
Our skeletal system is the frame on which we move. Like the chassis of a car, it supports us throughout our journey of life. My 2006 Honda Odyssey hit 150k miles recently and the engine still hums, but the frame rattles like the roof is about to fly off. In our own lives, the importance of maintaining our chassis was never as critical as it is today. In the 1960s, life expectancy was around 70. By 2000, it was 75. And today, life expectancy is over 85 years of age.
In my ten years of practicing orthopedics and spine care, the trouble that I have seen is that while your engine will go, your chassis will begin to say no. This leads to pain, frailty, and compromised quality of life. So, what can we do to maintain our frame? We can now prepare our bodies for aging by strengthening our skeletal frame so that no matter how long we live, we can do so with greater vitality, strength, and balance.
Science has shown that our bones strengthen when compressed. This can be done in different ways, usually associated with impact: jumping and sprinting are common methods to compress bones. This concept is known as osteogenic loading. The issue with those repetitive activities, though, is that they can be detrimental to our joints and lead to pain, functional impairment, and disability. In addition, there are several medications to improve and/or preserve bone density that are often considered the gold standard for treating osteoporosis. However, aside from being costly, many of those medications come with undesirable side effects or risks that many would prefer to avoid. In addition, many of us take calcium and vitamin D supplements thinking we are preventing bone loss; however, those supplements simply provide the building blocks for bone health without a stimulus that will use those key nutrients to build bone. In short, increased bone density requires intense osteogenic loading.
Building Bone to Live Pain Free?
A newly developed robotic muscular development system has allowed us to emulate the force required to stimulate the growth of new bone tissue without the risk of injury, with minimal effort and maximum outcome. This new robotic technology, called the Spectrum system, is available at OsteoStrong centers, a US franchise focusing on strengthening bones, joints, and muscles with 150 locations worldwide. The Spectrum system consists of four machines that only require a short session, once a week, to increase bone density, muscular strength, and balance.
A force of 4.2 times our body weight is the minimum required load to trigger bone growth in the hip joint (the most important place to avoid fracture). Peak forces in conventional resistance exercise for adults usually show 1.26 to 1.54 times our body weight, which is not enough to stimulate the growth of new bone tissue. The Spectrum robotic system allows you to experience the required load while minimizing your risk for injury. In 2015, In the Journal of Osteoporosis and Physical Activity, Jaquish et al. demonstrated that the Spectrum system provides a more significant increase in bone density in postmenopausal women than conventional exercise or pharmaceuticals.
The benefits of osteogenic loading go beyond building strong bones. Improvements can be seen in balance, posture, strength, and athletic performance for any age group, as long as you are at least 4’11” tall. Furthermore, while it may be a little premature to proclaim, in my opinion this may turn out to be the key to a future of pain-free living.
Dr. Rikin Patel is board certified in both physical medicine and rehabilitation with subspecialty board certification in both sports medicine and pain medicine. He is specialized in non-operative orthopedic and spine care. OsteoStrong is a science-backed system for strengthening bones, joints, and muscles. Sessions are short, painless, and results are measurable and happen quickly. OsteoStrong Naples Vanderbilt is located at The Shoppes at Vanderbilt and offers a free session.
Contact them at 239.788.1043 or www.osteoct.com.