6676 4000

What is Osteoporosis?

What is Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a condition in which the bones lose calcium, become fragile and tend to fracture readily. It is most common in women over 40 years of age.
Your doctor may organize a bone density scan to see if you have, or are at risk of developing osteoporosis.

What causes Osteoporosis?


Throughout life bone tissue is very active and is constantly being ‘remodelled’. Microscopic amounts of bone are continually being removed and reformed. The bone continues to thicken until your early 20’s, this is your peak bone mass. After about 40 or 50 years more bone is removed then laid down, and gradually the density decreases. During menopause the decline in oestrogen levels results in an accelerated bone loss.


Who is at risk?


  • Over 40 years old
  • Family history
  • Caucasian
  • Women after menopause
  • Smokers
  • High intake of alcohol, salt, caffeine
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • If you have dieted during your life and limited intake of calcium rich foods.


Exercise and Osteoporosis


Research shows that regular lifelong weight bearing exercise and light weight training has a positive effect on bone density. Swimming and cycling although good for your fitness are not as beneficial as walking, dancing, tennis or gentle weight bearing circuit classes. Bone is a living tissue and responds to the stress of weight bearing exercise by becoming stronger. You need to aim for at least three sessions per week.

IT IS NEVER TOO LATE TO START, even if you are past your peak bone mass, exercise will reduce bone loss and help delay the progress of Osteoporosis.

Pottsville Physiotherapy Fit for Life circuit classes incorporate weight bearing exercise, light resistance training and balance / coordination training to help maintain your bone density, improve your posture and balance and help prevent falls.

Exercise to avoid: If you have been diagnosed with osteoporosis you will need to avoid excessive twisting, bending, heavy lifting, jolting, dynamic sit ups, and high impact activities such as running and jumping.

Exercise Tips


  • Warm up first
  • Slow and controlled movement
  • Don’t hold your breath
  • Do not push into pain

Other Treatments


  • Your doctor may prescribe medications i.e.- hormone replacement therapy
  • Diet and or supplements to ensure adequate calcium intake (your doctor or a dietician can advise you on this)
  • Lifestyle factors—quit smoking, decrease salt, alcohol and caffeine intake (these all limit calcium absorption)

How much calcium do I need?


Young adults – 800-1200mg per day
Menstruating women – 800-1000mg per day 
Men – 800 
Pregnant/lactating women  – 1200mg per day

Post menopausal women(no oestrogen) – 1500mg per day

Post menopausal women(oestrogen) – 1000 – 1200mg  per day

Adults over 65 years –  1500mg per day



Food                                                       Amount                                              Calcium (mg)


Low fat milk                                         1 glass (250ml)                                                 405

Soya beverage                                   1 glass                                                                  365

Yoghurt                                                200g                                                                      330

Whole milk                                         1 glass                                                                  300

Hard cheese                                       1 slice (30g)                                                        285

Canned sardines inc bones           (50g)                                                                     275

Processed cheese                            30g                                                                        190

Oysters                                                10                                                                          190

Tofu                                                       100g                                                                     130

Almonds                                              50g                                                                        125

Baked beans                                       1 cup (240g)                                                       108

Canned salmon, inc bones            100g                                                                      90

Cottage cheese                                 100g                                                                      60mg

Broccoli                                                60g                                                                        15mg


Pottsville and Cabarita Physiotherapy 6676 4000

visit www.osteoporosis.org.au

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