Each month we’ll bring you a note from one of our therapists. It might be something they’re reading, learning or just something they want to share.
This month’s note is from Jacob Hardy, DPT Student:
My name is Jacob Hardy. I am a DPT student at South College finishing up my last clinical internship at Core Physical Therapy. Today, I am writing to you about bones. Bones are a living tissue and go through changes during the aging process just like any other tissue in the body. A common issue as we age is the loss of bone density. Bones lose density, or become more brittle, when bone loss outpaces bone growth over time. Now, why does this happen and what can be done about it?
Bones are constantly being built up and torn down at the cellular level in response to the forces that are experienced throughout the body. When bones experience a variety of forces, the rate of remodeling increases, resulting in stronger, more resilient bones. When the bones experience fewer forces, like when a person is sedentary for long periods of time, the rate of remodeling decreases so these adaptive changes do not take place, or the rate of bone destruction could start to outpace bone growth. When this is the case over long periods of time, bones can lose density which can make them more likely to fracture.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to make sure you are putting adequate forces through your bones to ensure appropriate bone remodeling. The simplest way to start is to walk! Walking loads the bones and joints gently to ensure some amount of bone remodeling. To experience more benefits, you may need to consider some form of strength training. The best way to encourage bone remodeling is to load the bones and joints more than what they experience from bodyweight alone. Adding more load encourages a greater rate of remodeling and better changes overall. To get a better idea of what you should be doing to ensure you are taking care of your bones, ask your therapist at Core PT at your next appointment.