Did you know about 52 million Americans suffer from osteoporosis and low bone mass? According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, osteoporosis is responsible for 2 million broken bones each year that equate to about $19 billion in related costs. And experts predict these numbers will rise by 2025 to around 3 million fractures, resulting in $25.3 billion in costs every year.
Osteoporosis is disease that causes your bones to become weak and brittle, increasing your risk of fractures. The term “osteoporosis” literally means “porous bone.” Your bones are living tissue that is constantly being broken down and replaced with new bone mass. However, as you age, the creation of new bone slows down. By the time, you reach your 40s and 50s, your body actually loses more bone mass than it produces, especially if your body isn’t getting enough calcium and vitamin D. Your bones become porous, less dense and fragile – increasing your risk of fractures.
A variety of factors can place you at an increased risk for osteoporosis, including:
- Age. Around the age of 30, you reach your maximum bone density and strength. As you grow older, your body loses bone mass. The older you are, the greater your risk.
- Gender. Women are four times more likely to develop osteoporosis than men. Women over 50 years old who have reached menopause have the greatest risk of developing the disease.
- Ethnicity. Caucasian and Asian women have the highest risk of developing osteoporosis.
- Frame size. Men and women who have small, thin body frames and bone structures are at greater risk since they have less bone mass to lose than people with more body weight and larger frames.
- Family history. If your parents or grandparents had osteoporosis, you may have a greater risk of getting it, too.
- Reduced sex hormones. Menopause and certain cancer treatments can reduce estrogen levels in women. Men can lose testosterone as they age or with certain treatments for prostate cancer. Lower sex hormone levels can lead to weakened bones.
- Tobacco use. Smoking contributes to weaker bones.
- Excessive alcohol consumption. Over 2 alcoholic drinks a day can lead to thinning bones and an increase in bone fractures.
- Certain medications. Long-term use of steroids and medications for seizures, depression, gastric reflux, cancer and transplant rejection can increase your risk of the disease.
- Low calcium intake. Low calcium consumption contributes to lower bone density and early bone loss.
- Vitamin D deficiency. Like low calcium intake, not enough vitamin D can lead to poor bone health.
- Sedentary lifestyle. People who sit more and don’t exercise have an increased risk of osteoporosis. Regular weight-bearing and resistance exercises help create healthy bones.
Early diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis can reduce your risk of losing more bone mass. If you think you may be suffering from osteoporosis, see your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.
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Many people who have osteoporosis don’t even realize they have it until they fracture a bone, and a fracture of the foot is common. While custom orthotics, like ezWalker® Performance Custom, won’t reduce or prevent your risk of osteoporosis, they are biomechanically designed to provide your arches with the proper support they need while reducing stress on your metatarsal bones.
Just like having some risk factors of osteoporosis can increase your chances of getting the disease, improper biomechanics of the foot can increase your risk of certain foot conditions like corns, bunions and plantar fasciitis. But proactive use of ezWalker® Custom Orthotics can reduce your risk of developing these foot conditions and relieve any foot pain you may experience. Visit the WalkEZStore today for more information. Or, order your pair of ezWalker® Performance Custom Orthotics today.
Because … when your feet feel good, you feel good.®