Understanding the Risks of Osteoporosis

Known as the “silent disease,” osteoporosis causes bones to become thin, porous and brittle, resulting in fractures. Some of the most common fractures occur in the hips and spine. According to the New York State Department of Health, individuals with a physical disability are at a higher risk for osteoporosis. There are several reasons for this. Many times, people with limited mobility are less likely or unable to develop and maintain bone mass. Individuals who rely on scooters or power chairs for mobility are less likely or unable to participate in muscle-strengthening and weight-bearing activities. Plus, some medications that people with disabilities take may contribute to bone loss.

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Even if you are at risk for osteoporosis, the New York State Osteoporosis Prevention and Education Program offers suggestions for what you can do to promote strong and healthy bones.

  • Consume a diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables
  • Take a calcium or vitamin D supplement
  • Quit smoking and reduce your alcohol intake

With the advances made in medicine and healthcare, people with disabilities are living longer. They now face the same chronic conditions as the rest of the aging population. It’s important to speak to your health care provider regarding your risk factor for osteoporosis and what you can do to improve your bone health.  

To learn more about osteoporosis and preventative measures, click here.