Osteoporosis comes from ‘osteo’ meaning bone and the greek word por (passage) ie simply it means porous bone. Normal bone is composed of a mixture of calcium and other minerals such as magnesium and phosphate. It is also made up of collagen (protein), which forms the structural framework of bone.
Osteoporosis occurs when there is a loss of mineral from bone mainly in the form of calcium as well as architectural loss of normal bone structure. The loss of mineral content of the bone is referred to as a loss of bone mineral densityin the bone. Refer
Osteoporosis causes no symptoms and the only signs may be:
- a loss of height as you age caused by compression in the spine or
- experiencing a bone fracture from a minor knock to your limbs, or minor fall
Of all osteoporotic fractures in Australia:
- 46% are vertebral (bones in the spinal column)
- 16% are hip
- 16% are wrist Refer
Easy ways to build better bones. Strength training, weight-bearing exercise, a healthy diet, and medication can help.
Researchers from Tufts University School of Medicine have determined that patients over 65 years of age with knee osteoarthritis (OA) who engage in regular Tai Chi exercise improve physical function and experience less pain. Tai Chi (Chuan) is a traditional style of Chinese martial arts that features slow, rhythmic movements to induce mental relaxation and enhance balance, strength, flexibility, and self-efficacy. Refer
"Tai Chi is a mind-body approach that appears to be an applicable treatment for older adults with knee OA," said Dr. Wang. Physical components of Tai Chi are consistent with current exercise recommendations for OA, which include range of motion, flexibility, muscle conditioning, and aerobic work out. Researchers believe the mental feature of Tai Chi addresses negative effects of chronic pain by promoting psychological wellbeing, life satisfaction, and perceptions of health. Refer
A new study comparing tai chi and physical therapy
Boston researchers publishing in the Annals of Internal Medicine describe a study of more than 200 adults with painful knee osteoarthritis. Half the participants were randomly assigned to standard physical therapy and the other half were assigned to tai chi, a “traditional Chinese mind-body practice that combines meditation with slow, gentle, graceful movements; deep diaphragmatic breathing; and relaxation” (as described in the study). Each course of treatment lasted 12 weeks.
Why did the researchers undertake this research? Preliminary studies had demonstrated that tai chi has clear benefits for people with osteoarthritis, but no previous study had compared it directly with standard physical therapy. And prior trials had found that tai chi can help treat conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia (among others).
This new study found that
- both the physical therapy and tai chi groups saw significant improvements in the amount of pain they experienced, and each group’s pain improved to a similar degree.
- the improvements the participants saw by 12 weeks lasted for a full year.
- the tai chi group improved more than the physical therapy group in measures of depression and in certain measures of quality of life.
One limitation of many studies of tai chi is that some of its effect may be related to the personality or charisma of the instructor. In this new study, the investigators thought of that and compared different instructors; no differences between them were noted. refer
Tai Chi reduces pain and improves physical function, self-efficacy, depression and health-related quality of life for knee OA. Refer