Bone & Muscle Health

Bone & Muscle Health Articles

Pickleball pleasures and pitfalls

Pickleball has some drawbacks for older adults. One is that the game is not a total aerobic workout, although it can help work the muscles. Another drawback is the risk of injuries, such as strains or sprains of the ankle and knees. Pickleball also has fall and fracture risks for older players. Players can prepare for pickleball by wearing the right clothing during a game (shorts, court sneakers, and goggles); warming up before the game; and stretching the muscles after playing. (Locked) More »

Can I do anything to prevent osteoporosis?

Many risk factors for osteoporosis, such as sex, age, and genes, are not modifiable. But women at risk can make changes to improve bone health, such as not smoking and limiting alcohol consumption, exercising more, and adopting a healthy diet rich in calcium and getting enough vitamin D. More »

Is it too late to save your posture?

It’s usually not too late to improve posture, even with rounded shoulders or healed compression fractures. The key is strengthening and stretching the upper back, chest, and core muscles. Shoulder strengtheners include scapula squeezes and rows. Core strengtheners include modified planks or simply tightening the abdominal muscles, pulling the navel in toward the spine. It’s also important to cut down on activities that have led to poor posture, such as sitting slouched for long periods in front of a computer or TV. (Locked) More »

Too much vitamin D may harm bones, not help

A new study found that high doses of vitamin D don’t benefit bone health. Bone density didn’t improve any more in people who took 4,000 IU or 10,000 IU of vitamin D daily for three years when compared to people who took a low dose of 400 IU. In fact, study authors said they found that very high amounts may have actually been detrimental to bone health. More »

Difficult relationships linked to bone loss

Stressful interpersonal relationships may be linked to bone loss in women, according to a new study. Women who reported higher levels of stress saw bigger reductions in bone density than women who reported less stress. More »

A broken back without the fall

Compression fractures of the spine might not have symptoms. However, they could signal trouble on the way. When one vertebra fractures, there’s a high risk that another will. Each fracture brings a slight loss of height and a reduced ability to bend. A number of fractures contribute to a rounding of the back known as dowager’s hump (dorsal kyphosis). The condition significantly increases the risk for disability, as well as difficulty digesting food or breathing. When a compression fracture is discovered, doctors recommend starting treatment for osteoporosis. (Locked) More »

Walk your dog, break a bone?

A study published online March 6, 2019, by JAMA Surgery identified a rising number of fractures among older adults walking leashed dogs: 1,700 in 2004, climbing to almost 4,400 in 2017. Most of the bone breaks were in the upper arm. More »

Fight back against muscle weakness

Muscle weakness impairs health. It slows metabolism, puts more pressure on the joints, hurts posture, throws off balance, and limits mobility. Weakness may be caused by aging, inactivity, medication side effects, or underlying conditions such as neuropathy. A doctor can help sort out the cause of muscle weakness with a physical exam and sometimes some blood tests or nerve testing. A regular program of strengthening and stretching the muscles will make a big difference in health. (Locked) More »

Recognizing a common cause of exercise-related leg pain

Peripheral artery disease, in which fatty deposits block blood flow in arteries outside the heart, particularly the legs, is as common in women as it is in men. The condition can be prevented and should be treated early to prevent serious complications, including amputation. (Locked) More »