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Building Better Bones

Posted 3/11/2015 by UHBlog

Many of us experienced broken bones as children. You probably remember having your friends sign the cast, wearing a special sling or using crutches while the bone healed – and in 6 weeks or so, you were back to normal, running and playing just like before.

Like all the structures of our bodies, our bones age right along with us and unfortunately become less resilient over time. By the time we are in our mid to late twenties, we have reached our maximum bone density and, unless we take preventive steps, we can begin to lose bone mass from that point on making us more susceptible to fractures. In addition, the older we get, the longer it takes for a broken bone to heal.

There are many things we can do to keep our bones healthy:

Eat Right – Your diet and getting enough calcium is crucial to bone health. Low-fat dairy products and dark green, leafy vegetables are good sources of calcium. Also, a calcium supplement is often recommended for those at risk.

Exercise – Bone is like muscle – the more you use it, the stronger it gets. Weight bearing exercises like walking, stair climbing and weight lifting help to keep your bones strong.

Don’t Smoke or Drink Alcohol – Smoking and alcohol are bad for your bone health. The sooner you quit, the better.

Osteoporosis is difficult to diagnose because there are no symptoms. Often, you may not be aware that you have a problem until you sustain a fracture and your doctor gets a “sneak peak” at the inner structure of your bone. Don’t wait. Ask your physician if you are at risk and if you should have a densitometry test. This test gives an accurate and precise measurement of the actual amount of bone in your body, called bone mineral density (BMD).

UH offers the most advanced diagnostic imaging services available in the region, including bone densitometry. To find out more about this simple, potentially “bone-saving” procedure, call 1-866-UH4-CARE.

Learn more about bone health and preservation at a free community event on May 30, 2015 at Landerhaven in Mayfield Heights. The keynote speaker is orthopaedic sports surgeon, J. Martin Leland, MD. Dr. Leland joined University Hospitals in February 2015, and has offices at UH Geauga and Geneva Medical Centers and at the UH Solon Health Center.

“A physician’s first job is to teach prevention and wellness. And, although I’m a sports surgeon, 99 percent of my patients are not professional athletes. Most are regular people who are treated with physical therapy, medicine and bracing – most patients will not need surgery,” says Dr. Leland.

You can request an appointment with Dr. Leland or any other doctor online, or by calling 440-285-5004.

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