Our bone health may be one of the things we take most for granted – often not paying very much attention to them until it’s too late and we’ve been diagnosed with osteoporosis (a significant reduction in bone mineral density) or osteopenia (also a reduction in bone mineral density but not enough yet to meet the clinical diagnostic criteria for osteoporosis).
Unlike other conditions that have distinct early signs and symptoms, the changes experienced when our bone health starts to deteriorate are subtle – and often develop over a long period of time. This means that by the time they’re detected, significant damage could have occurred. In both osteoporosis and osteopenia, the progressive loss of bone mineral density leads to bone weakening, reduced bone strength, and makes the bones more prone to fractures.
Maintaining strong and healthy bones is an essential part of supporting our overall well-being and mobility. As such, it’s important to know what the signs and symptoms of deteriorating bone health could be, especially for older adults where the ageing process increases their susceptibility to osteoporosis. Here’s what you need to know about at-home detection of bone deterioration – and how you can help improve your bone strength easily and simply from the comfort of your own home.
1. Loss of Height
One of the notable signs of deteriorating bones is a gradual loss of height over time. As bones weaken, particularly in the spine, compression fractures may occur. These fractures lead to a decrease in the height of the vertebral column, resulting in a stooped or hunched posture. You may notice a reduction in your overall stature or changes in how your clothes fit. Measuring your height periodically may help identify any significant changes.
2. Back Pain
Persistent or recurring back pain, particularly in the lower back, can be a symptom of deteriorating bones. Vertebral fractures or collapse due to weakened bones can also cause discomfort, tenderness, or a dull, chronic ache. The pain may worsen with movement, lifting, or prolonged periods of sitting or standing. If you’re experiencing ongoing back pain in your older years, it’s important to have it professionally assessed to look for any changes in the bones that comprise your spine – the results of which may lead to further testing throughout the body.
3. Fractures with Minimal Trauma
A hallmark of deteriorating bones is an increased risk of fractures, even with minimal trauma or impact. By this, we mean that those with reduced bone mineral density may experience fractures during everyday activities like lifting, bending, or falling from a standing height. Common fracture sites include the hip, spine, wrist, and shoulder. If fractures occur frequently or with minimal force, like if you bump your leg or hip on the table and significant pain starts, it’s important to have your bone health professionally assessed.
4. Loss of Grip Strength
Weakening bones can also impact muscle strength and function. Reduced grip strength, difficulty opening jars or holding objects firmly, can be indicative of deteriorating bone health. Osteoporosis and osteopenia can contribute to decreased bone density in the hands and wrists, leading to diminished handgrip strength.
5. Receding Gums and Tooth Loss
Dental health can offer valuable insights into overall bone health. Severe bone loss in the jaw can cause gums to recede, leading to increased tooth sensitivity, gum disease, and eventually tooth loss. Individuals experiencing unexplained tooth mobility or persistent oral health issues should consider discussing their bone health with a dentist or other healthcare provider.
6. Fragile or Brittle Nails
Changes in nail health may also, in some cases, indicate deteriorating bones. Brittle or weak nails that break easily, have vertical ridges, or exhibit slow growth may be associated with decreased bone density. These changes may be noticeable in both fingernails and toenails.
7. Poor Balance
Changes in posture associated with poor bone health, specifically the development of kyphosis or Dowager’s hump (characterised by a stooped forward curvature of the spine), can affect the body’s centre of gravity, making it more difficult to maintain balance. The disruption in natural spinal alignment can also further increase the risk of falls and compromise overall balance. Additionally, poor balance can also increase the falls risk – causing those affected to adopt a more cautious gait, which may also disrupt their balance.
8. Overall Frailty
Poor bone health can also contribute to an overall sense of frailty or weakness. If you notice a decline in physical strength, muscle tone, or overall fitness without any apparent cause, it might be related to compromised bone health. Weakened bones can affect mobility and limit the ability to perform everyday activities, so it’s important to go in for a professional medical assessment, especially in older adults.
Preventing Osteoporosis And Improving Bone Health At Home
There are several ways to approach caring for your bones from the comfort of your own home. Evidence has shown that lifestyle factors such as smoking and drinking alcohol excessively can contribute to bone loss – so ceasing or greatly limiting these is one place to start. Another is meeting your daily nutritional requirements, particularly when it comes to the intake of both calcium and vitamin D. Exercise is also highly encouraged, including incorporating weight-bearing exercises with resistance exercises, focusing also on balance, flexibility and strength. While these solutions are simple to write down on paper and are widely recommended by health professionals, the reality of achieving them can be much easier said than done, especially if you’re already experiencing the effects of poor bone health where exercising can feel a lot harder and more daunting, or you struggle with your diet and can’t reliably meet those dietary recommendations. This is where low intensity vibration (LiV) with Marodyne comes in – giving you everything you need from as little as 10 minutes per day, sitting with your feet on the device as you watch TV, chat with loved ones, or read your book.
Marodyne Low Intensity Vibration
Using low intensity vibration has been found to encourage the body to create healthy bone and muscle, and improve overall bone health [1,2] reducing the risk of fractures in a range of people with different ages, and health conditions. This is exactly what the Marodyne Liv device offers. Marodyne is a modern device that has been recognised by the Royal Osteoporosis Society as an effective and safe effective tool for improving bone health and reducing the risk of osteoporosis and all of its complications – like fractures.
Its mechanism of action is grounded in the principles of exercise, where the musculoskeletal system responds to ground reaction forces, loading a person’s bone tissue with high and low frequency mechanical signals. These signals increase bone and muscle mass, and quality, by encouraging the body to produce new bone . By increasing both muscle and bone mass and strength, this can reduce the incidence of bone fractures.
Marodyne does not require a prescription, is safe to use at home, and is suitable for both prevention in healthy individuals and for treatment for those with weaker bones. Doctor Clinton Rubin Ph.D., distinguished State University of New York professor and global authority on vibration therapy, advocates whole body vibration platforms such as Marodyne. He recommends a minimum of 10 minutes per day, explaining that the most effective method for success is using the Marodyne LiV every single day. A growing body of evidence is indicating that using multiple cycles of vibration therapy a day, has many beneficial bone-building effects .
Research greatly supports the use of the device, with the 30Hz vibrations that Marodyne produces having been shown to build bone and muscle in the hip and spine of young women with osteoporosis , promote volumetric bone density in the proximal tibia of children with conditions such as cerebral palsy , enhance bone quality in adolescents with idiopathic scoliosis , and help protect balance control in those subject to chronic bed rest .
Start Improving Your Bone Health At Home Today
You can start improving your health, managing your osteoporosis or osteopenia, and reducing your risks of fractures by utilising these preventative strategies today together with the use of the Marodyne LiV at home. It can be utilised by all age ranges, all physical abilities, without the need for repeat prescriptions or GP visits, and without strenuous or unmanageable exercise.
Marodyne LiV is available exclusively from RehaCare. To purchase the device, or for any questions, please contact RehaCare on 1300 653 522.
: Wallace, B. A. & Cumming, R. G. Systematic review of randomized trials of the effect of exercise on bone mass in pre- and postmenopausal women. Calcif. Tissue Int. 67, 10–18 (2000).