Strong frames mean strong structures. When a building or a car has a rusted or rotted framework, its stability and strength are compromised. You have your own frame, too—your skeleton. Because of the forces you put on your body, and especially your feet, you need strong bones to support you. Problems like osteoporosis, which compromise your skeletal structures, can severely weaken your feet and put you at risk for debilitating problems.
Thin, Porous Bones
Osteoporosis is a serious thinning of your bone tissue. Over time, your skeleton becomes brittle and weak. Otherwise small injuries or accidents, like tripping, risk causing a break. If the condition is severe, normal actions like coughing, sneezing, or bending over can be enough to cause a fracture. The slow breakdown of your skeletal tissue can also wear down your spine and cause stooping. Because the condition develops over time, you may not notice the loss of bone tissue until you break something or notice a decrease in your height.
The exact cause of osteoporosis is unknown, but multiple factors play roles in it. Age is a significant factor. The older you are, the higher your chances of developing both the condition and complications from it. Women have a particularly high risk. Your genetics seem to play a role as well—you’re more likely to struggle with the disease if it runs in your family.
Your bones grow thinner because old cells are not being replaced at the same rate they are breaking down. Your skeleton is made of living tissue. It reaches its maximum density in your early twenties. Over time, the cells composing it die and are dissolved, along with the calcium matrix around them. In normal, healthy structures, these are replaced in a process called remodeling. With osteoporosis, however, the tissue is not replaced as quickly as it is broken down, allowing your skeleton to thin over time.
This loss of bone density is serious for your feet. Your lower limbs must support your entire body weight, plus the force of your footsteps when you move around. If your skeleton isn’t thick enough, it may not be able to support the pressure, resulting in fractures that could keep you off your feet for extended periods of time.
Saving Your Bones
You cannot reverse a loss of skeletal tissue. You can, however, slow or stop the progression of the disease and prevent painful fractures. There are ways to make your skeleton stronger and protect your lower limbs from injuries. Dr. Noah Levine can help you manage your condition so that your feet stay strong as you age.
Building up bone density before the thinning begins is the best course of action. Eating well and exercising allows the body to lay down thicker bone tissue. Even if you’ve already developed tissue loss from osteoporosis, however, you can prevent its progression the same way. You’ll need to consume calcium and vitamin D-rich foods, like dairy and fatty fish products. Protein, fruits, and veggies are also necessary for your bone density, since they provide additional nutrients that your skeleton needs.
Impact or resistance exercises stimulate the body to thicken bones. The pressure from the pounding stresses your tissues, so your body responds by strengthening those structures to try to prevent injury. When you bones are already brittle, this has to be done very carefully to prevent fractures. However, our staff can help you devise an exercise plan that will keep your feet safe while still allowing you to feel the benefits.
You’ll still need to wear footwear that helps absorb shock and supports your lower limbs. Shoes can make a significant difference for protecting your feet and ankles. Stabilizing your feet and cushioning the soles helps protect you from the general wear and tear of life that could take a toll on your foot structure.
Thinning bones need to be taken seriously. Invest in your bone density now so that your skeleton is protected, even as you age. Don’t ignore problems like frequent stress fractures or other breaks. Instead, invest in your foundation and your framework. Request more information or an appointment from Absolute Foot Care Specialists here in Las Vegas by calling us at (702) 839-2010 or by using our website contact form.