Arthritis & Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis & Bone Health
What is osteoporosis?
Often referred to as the ‘silent thief,’ osteoporosis slowly steals your bone density over a period of many years without giving you any signs or symptoms. As such, many people are often unaware that they have osteoporosis until they suffer a painful fracture. According to Osteoporosis Canada, one in three women and one in five men will suffer from an osteoporosis fracture during their lifetime.
What causes osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis occurs when there is an imbalance between new bone formation and old bone resorption. The body may fail to form enough new bone, or too much old bone may be reabsorbed, or both. Two essential minerals for normal bone formation are calcium and phosphate.
What are the risk factors?
There are a number of factors that can increase the risk that you’ll develop osteoporosis, including your age, your race, your lifestyle and any medical conditions or treatments. For instance, women are much more likely to develop osteoporosis than men; a diet in low calcium or a lack of physical activity can increase the likelihood of osteoporosis; and even having a parent of sibling who has or has had osteoporosis or having can also put you at greater risk.
How does osteoporosis affect my daily life?
Osteoporosis can result in pain (due to fractures), loss of mobility and of independence, seriously limiting your daily activity and your quality of life.
Osteoporosis is a preventable disease.
Adequate calcium intake beginning in childhood can help prevent osteoporosis later in life. Eating a diet rich in calcium and vitamin or taking a multi-vitamin or calcium/vitamin D supplement is crucial. It’s also important to maintain an active lifestyle throughout your life as exercise enhances bone strength and helps you maintain balance and gait to prevent potential falls. Weight bearing exercises such as walking, jogging, climbing stairs, dancing or even playing a well-liked sport, 2 to 3 times a week are ideal.
Much of the information above was shared by special guest Myra Siminovitch, B.Sc., MBA, who is a physiotherapist with a special interest in Arthritis and Osteoporosis.
Yoga for Seniors and Individuals with Arthritis and Injuries
Join Natalie (Director of Communications & Outreach, Connexions Resource Centre) as she chats with Lori D’Aoust, Registered Yoga Instructor and co-owner of hOMe Wakefield Wellness. Following the chat, Lori leads us in a fun yoga class geared towards seniors and individuals with arthritis or injuries.
Online Resources for Osteoporosis
- Dietitian’s of Canada Eating Guidelines to Prevent Osteoporosis.
- Osteoporosis Canada, which can also be reached by phone at 1-800-463-6842.
- CSEP Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines and Physical Activity Infographic
- Osteoarthritis in Canada
Online Resources for Arthritis
- Arthritis Society Quebec, which also has an Information Helpline at 1-800-321-1433.
- National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
- Rheumatoid Arthritis in Canada
- Gout and Other Crystal Arthropathies in Canada
- Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis in Canada
Arthritis Facts and Figures
Make sure to take a look at the Arthritis Society of Canada webpage detailing the facts and figures on how arthritis impacts Canadians. Click on the cards below to reveal additional information.