Current statistics state that osteoporosis affects 10 million Americans and 8 million women, or 55% of people over 50 are predicted to be affected by osteoporosis. 1 in 2 women will it is predicted have an osteoporosis-related fracture in their lifetime. This is a significant cause of morbidity as hip and spine fractures cause serious impairment of mobility and health concerns related to immobility. There is much in the news about medications and recommended supplements to take, as well as lifestyle changes to help combat osteoporosis. Understanding the disease process helps to understand how these different treatments impact bone density, thereby enabling women to make informed decisions regarding their treatment of osteoporosis and osteopenia.
The majority of bone density, up to 90%, is formed by age 18 in women and age 20 in men. There are two types of cells which form and maintain healthy bone, osteoblasts are responsible for laying down healthy bone matrix which then undergoes mineralization with the aid of calcium, which adds strength. Osteoclasts are cells which are responsible for resorbing older bone, in so doing, the osteoclasts ensure that remaining bone is healthy. In the early years of our lives, the activity of osteoblasts are balanced with osteoclasts. In osteoporosis, the osteoblasts have slowed in their formation of bone, however resorption of bone has continued at its usual rate. Because of this imbalance, bone slowly thins placing a woman at risk of a break or fracture. A number of factors can influence the balance and imbalance of this process:

  • Parathyroid hormone
  • Vitamin D metabolites
  • Prostaglandins
  • Cortisol
  • Sex hormones

Osteoporosis is a term referring to loss of bone density to the extent that a fracture is possible, osteopenia is a term reflecting a degree of bone loss not severe enough to place a person at risk for a fracture. A person’s bone density is determined most accurately by a test, Bone Mineral Density test. The most accurate of these types of tests is the Central DXA, or dual energy x-ray absorptiometry. In this test, the bone density is calculated, and then compared to women of same age and height to determine if there is a process besides aging causing increased bone loss. This calculated density is also compared to women of same height at 30 years of age, and then the calculated difference of bone density determines the degree of bone density loss.

Who Is At Risk For Osteoporosis And Osteopenia?

Women with decreased estrogen ie. Postmenopausal women, premature ovarian failure
Women undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer, use of aromatase inhibitors
Women who have been on prolonged use of depo-Provera
Women and men who have been on steroids for long periods of time, anticonvulsants. Lithium,heparin
poor dietary intake of calcium and vitamin D
inactive and sedentary people
People of Caucasian, Asian and Latino more so than African American ethnicities
Smokers
People who use of alcohol excessively (>3/day)
individuals with certain forms of arthritis and gastrointestinal illnesses Read More Here ...

The Achilles Tendon

The Achilles tendon is found at the back of the ankle attached to the calf muscle and the heel bone and is mostly used during the running exercise. Injury may occur when the tendon is overstretched, or due to incorrect footwear giving limited flexibility and comfort.
When this occurs a scar which is less flexible forms over the tendon and this can tear or rupture due to straining. We look into the medical conditions associated with the Achilles tendon in this article which are tendonitis and tendon rupture.

Achilles Tendonitis

This is the inflammation and irritation of the thick tendon. This condition is caused by overuse of the tendon during the running exercise. Most people suffer from this condition due to over-pronation and little or no flexibility whereby after too much running the foot bends, is inflamed and becomes painful. Slight tears may form in the tendon which increases the likelihood of the rapture taking place. Pain on the tendon is felt above the heel and any point on the tendon. Redness, stiffness and heat are felt over the ankle.

Most often it is caused by tired, stressed and over-exercised muscles. This occurs through hill running, drastic increase of the running distance, not properly warming up muscles before working out and running with too much speed.
Inadequate flexibility in running shoes strains the Achilles tendon by limiting its stretching and causing the tendon to twist and strain. Running gait also contributes to this condition whereby the foot rotates inwards.
There are various ways to treat this condition and the most important one is rest. Pain and swelling can be reduced and treated by use of anti-inflammatory drugs and ice packs applied over the area.
Massage three times daily and rest the leg in an elevated position till the nodule disappears. Swimming and gentle stretching are helpful in recovery. The healing process takes 6-8 weeks but medical advice is recommended if no improvement is felt after 2 weeks. To avoid recurrence and further damage of the Achilles tendon one ought to stretch and warm up muscles well before working out or running. Read More Here ...