Healing Path, Inc.




Finding Balance
Chapter 2.21 - Osteoporosis

In this chapter, Dr. Donache presents Complementary/Alternative Medical (C.A.M.) Therapies for the prevention and treatment of Osteporosis.

The chapter includes an overview of the disease's symptoms, conventional treatment methods, and alternative therapies, including Bio-Energetic therapies, Bodywork and Movement therapies, and Mental / Emotional treatments.

This chapter is taken from Dr. Donache's upcoming book, Finding Balance - Integrating Complementary/Alternative Medical (C.A.M.) Therapies for the Prevention of the Top 30 Diseases in America. Each section of chapter 2, which describes alternative treatments for each of the top diseases, is available as a free download on this website.

Table of Contents
Chapter Excerpt
Glossary of Terms Used in this Chapter
Additional Disease Descriptions and Treatments Available for Download

Table of Contents

  1. ABOUT THIS DOCUMENT
  2. OSTEOPOROSIS
    1. THE STRUCTURE OF BONE
    2. OSTEOPOROSIS
  3. CONVENTIONAL APPROACHES
    1. TREATMENT AND MANAGEMENT
      • Exercise
      • Hormone Replacement Therapy
      • Nonhormonal Treatment
      • Issues and Answers
      • Self-Management
      • Support Groups
      • Medication Treatment Programs
      • Exercise
      • Weight Reduction
      • Joint Replacement Surgery
  4. C.A.M. THERAPIES
    1. BIO-ENERGETIC THERAPIES
      • Nutrition and Supplements
        • Nutrition
        • Supplements
        • Enzymatic Therapies
      • Rainforest and Western Herbs
        • Rainforest Herbs
        • Western Herbs
      • Homeopathic Remedies
      • Essential Oils
    2. BODYWORK AND MOVEMENT THERAPIES
      • Therapeutic Bodywork and Massage
      • Traditional Chinese Medicine
      • Hatha Yoga Postures
    3. MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL SUPPORT
      • Meditation
      • Visualization
      • Affirmation
  5. APPENDICES
    1. RESOURCES
    2. PRODUCT ORDERING INFORMATION
    3. GLOSSARY OF TERMS

Back to Top

Chapter Excerpt

Your skeleton has more than 200 bones, 33 of them in the spine alone. While men can and do get osteoporosis, women are four times likely to get osteoporosis, largely due to changes in the body during menopause.

Bones give your body strength and shape, protect the heart, lungs, and other organs. In osteoporosis, the bones are fragile because of a lack of minerals, especially calcium and phosphorus. Weakened bones, especially the vulnerable bones of the wrist, hip or spine, may fracture or collapse with little warning. You can't control some risk factors like being female, aging, having a small frame, being Caucasian or Asian or having a family history of the disease. But, you can help keep your bones healthy by:

  • exercising,
  • maintaining sufficient vitamin D levels (from sun exposure and/or diet),
  • consuming appropriate levels of dietary calcium,
  • avoiding cigarettes and excessive alcohol use.

Women are four times more likely than men to develop osteoporosis, primarily because of a decrease in hormones during menopause. A simple noninvasive bone density test of the lower spine, hip and/or wrist or heel can measure the condition of bone. The measurements are compared with those of other women to see if they fall above or below a theoretical level called the fracture threshold. Several common bone density measurement techniques are available; they differ in equipment type and/or area of bone measured.

The Structure of Bone

Bone is made up of two layers. The hard outer shell is called cortical bone, and the spongy core is called trabecular bone. Trabecular bone is the type most vulnerable to osteoporosis. Bones are alive: new bone is continually replacing old. Bone is made up of cells called osteocytes. They are surrounded by a hard mineral material. Nourishment and minerals are delivered to the bone by blood vessels. When old bone is destroyed by cells called osteoclasts, small holes form. These holes are repaired by osteoblasts, bone-building cells. Calcium and other minerals harden the bone and make it dense. The continuous process of breaking down old bone and building new bone is called bone remodeling. Peak bone mass is attained by the mid-30s. After that, both men and women may begin to lose bone gradually.

Osteoporosis

When too much bone is lost, the bones become fragile and can break easily. Healthy bones are characterized by spongy trabecular bone that has strong, interconnecting strands.

In osteoporosis, the cortical bone gradually thins, and the holes of trabecular bone become enlarged and irregular. When the internal structure of bone is compromised, the force of a fall, or even normal body weight, can cause fractures. In the spine, compression fractures can result in back pain, and a dowager's hump. While both men and women slowly lose bone as they age, a woman may lose 30 to 50 percent of her cortical bone thickness over a lifetime.

Osteoporosis is a disease you will be coping with for the rest of your life. Your primary care physician might refer you to other professionals for help:

  • A dietitian to help you learn how to choose calcium-rich foods;
  • A physical therapist and/or massage therapist to determine your mobility level and plan an exercise program that's right for you;
  • An orthopedic surgeon, who specializes in the surgical treatment of bones, such as hip fractures.

Since most hip fractures are caused by falls, the following are environmental guidelines which may prevent falls by:

  • Securing loose rugs and electric cords
  • Installing stair rails
  • Adding bathroom safety rails
  • Having good lighting and night lights
  • Wearing shoes with low heels and rubber soles
  • Avoiding icy pavements
  • Using a cane or walker if recommended

Back to Top

Glossary of Terms

Term
Definition
Calcium
A mineral needed for strong bones.
Cortical Bone
The hard, compact outer layer of bone.
Dowager's Hump
The rounded hump of the upper spine characteristic of osteoporosis.
Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry Test
A test to determine bone density in areas such as the spine, hip and wrist; radiation exposure is low.
Estrogen
A female sex hormone formed in the ovaries; the lack of estrogen following menopause accelerates bone loss.
Fracture Threshold
An area on the bone density graph; below this area, bones are more likely to fracture.
Hormone Replacement Therapy
A therapy designed to replace the natural hormones that diminish with menopause; adding progesterone with estrogen reduces the risk of developing uterine cancer.
Osteoblast
A cell that builds bone.
Osteoclast
A cell that breaks down bone.
Osteoporosis
A disease in which bones become fragile as a result of loss of calcium and other minerals.
Peak Bone Mass
A measurement to describe maximum bond thickness, which is usually attained in the early 30s. Women typically begin to lose bone gradually in their 40s - men at a later age.
Progesterone
A female sex hormone secreted by the ovary; usually prescribed with estrogen, may have an effect on bones.
Trabecular Bone
The porous, spongy inner layer of bone; may be affected by osteoporosis before cortical bone.
Vertebra
One of 33 bones that form the spinal column.

Back to Top

 

Healing Path, Inc.
Email us with your questions and comments.
Offices in metro Atlanta, Georgia and National Virtual Clinic
770.931.0123